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The bad news is that there is no such thing as safe sex. The only way to avoid surprise pregnancies and nasty diseases is to abstain from sex. Most people are not willing to even consider this option. So if you can’t exercise any control over your libido, the next best thing is to practice safer sex. But just like it takes two people to make love, it takes two people to practice safer sex. This is something that you have to discuss with your partner.

Contrary to popular belief, sex is not just about penetration. You and your partner could explore other forms of sexual expression like kissing, cuddling and caressing each other. There’s no harm trying it out. You’ll be surprised how pleasurable it can be.

Tips for playing it safe

  • Buy your own condoms and don’t forget to check the expiry date. And this applies to women too. Remember that your body is your responsibility. It is up to you to look out for yourself and take the necessary precautions.
  • Make sure that you or your partner knows how to use a condom properly and use it every time you have sex.
  • You are not going to be in a condition to make a sensible decision about safer sex under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Make your stand clear to your partner before you indulge yourself in these substances.
  • Promiscuity could mean trouble. Be picky about your sexual partners and try to avoid having intercourse with people who have multiple partners.
  • Birth control pills, diaphragms or IUDs do not provide adequate protection against STDs. Spermicides provide a small degree of protection against STDs, but it is advisable to use them in combination with other methods of protection.
  • Keep yourself informed about the symptoms of different STDs so that you can check with the doctor if you have the slightest suspicion that you have contracted a STD.
  • If you are sexually active, it is a good idea to routinely check for STDS even if you don’t have any symptoms.
  • If you or your partner have been infected with a STD, you will have to abstain from sex.
  • Don’t let any feelings of embarrassment stand in the way of your visiting the doctor if you suspect that you may have contracted a STD.

What to expect at the doctor’s clinic

The doctor will probably ask you what symptoms you have that prompted you to think that you may have contracted a STD. He will ask you questions about your sex life and if your partner displays any symptoms of a STD.

Once he has made a note of your history, he will conduct a physical examination. He will probably need you to undergo some tests to confirm his diagnosis. Tests will be run on blood samples, urine samples and any swabs that the doctor takes from the affected area. The results may take a few days to come in so abstain from having sex in the interim to be on the safe side.