We recommend using suitable safer sex tools such as external condoms, internal condoms and dental dams for every sexual contact. An open-minded talk about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) helps you take care of your sexual health. We thus advise you to speak with every partner about their attitude towards testing and risk-promoting behaviour. Regarding testing, it is good to clarify when the person has been tested and for which STIs. To evaluate potentially risky behaviour, it is relevant how many people the person in question has been in sexual contact with, whether safer sex barriers were used and what kind of sexual contact occured.
The correct use of safer sex methods and regular check-ups on your sexual health with the help of STI tests reduce the risk of an infection with STIs for you and your partners.
The external condom is made of latex or another latex-free material and is rolled onto an erect penis or sex toy.
When selecting a condom, pay attention to choose the correct size. The condom should be easy to put on and fit smoothly and comfortably without being loose. If it is loose, you could be risking that is slips off. If it is too tight, your sexual experience will be curbed. When changing between anal and vaginal intercourse, remember to always use a new condom.
Approximately 60-80% of humans come in contact with the virus at least once in their lifetime, most of them through sexual contact. In 95% of the cases, there are no symptoms present, the human immune system usually eliminates the virus after a few months.
A vaccination is available that protects against the most common types of viruses. Condoms as well as femidoms only partially protect against HPV, because skin-to-skin transmission is still possible.
The external condom is inserted into the vagina or anus prior to penetration. If you are using an internal condom for anal intercourse, make sure to remove the condom’s inner ring. When inserting the penis or sex toy, it is important not to miss the condom or push it completely inside the opening.
A dental dam is a thin sheet of latex (latex-free alternatives exist) that is used a barrier between mouth and vulva or anus during oral sex. You can use a prefabricated dental dam or make one yourself from a condom.
Single-use gloves made of latex, vinyl or nitrile, which are also often used in medicine or gastronomy can be used for sexual play. They protect the mucous membrane of the anus and vagina from being torn by your fingernails and thus reduce the risk of transmitting STIs. They furthermore protect from anal or vaginal residue on fingers (and under fingernails) and promote hygiene. It is advisable to have different colored gloves when playing with multiple people.
When choosing lubricants there are 3 possibilities.
Water based lubes are especially versatile and are recommended for use with condoms, internal condoms, dental dams, gloves, as well as toys. Since they are based on water they dry out more quickly and have to be re-applied regularly. Moreover they are easily washed off by water which does not make them suitable for play in the shower or similar situations.
Silicon based lubes provide a substantially longer duration of slipperiness when compared to water based ones. They also can be used with various means of protection but shouldn’t be brought into contact with silicone toys since they can then be damaged.
Oil based lubes can’t be used with regular latex-barriers like condoms because the oil damages them and will put you at risk of contracting an STI. If you want to use an oil based lube, make sure your condoms and other barriers are latex free.
Generally avoid using household oils like baby oil, massage oil, food oils or vaseline. Just like oil based lubes, they can damage the employed barriers and make them permeable to STIs. Moreover, said products often contain substances that can negatively affect the vaginal flora and leave you more prone to infections.