in: Dating & Relationships

Back to School: Safe Sex 101

Krystal Baugher

School is officially in session. Krystal Baugher will be your instructor in Sex 101. Consider this your essential guide to smart(er) hanky-panky.


One night my roommate and I were bored and so we decided to go grab a beer at the bar down the street. It turned into a rather strange evening.

First, a really cute guy started flirting with me, then a second guy showed up and also started flirting. My roommate gave me a “wtf,” face and I shrugged. I had never had two guys interested in me at the exact same time and I had no idea how to play it. For some reason I thought a simple quiz would help me determine which one I wanted to go home with, so I asked each one, “if you were one item on the taco bell menu what would you be?” The really cute guy responded with “a medium drink,” the other guy said a “5 layer burrito.” I was disappointed in the cute guy, a medium drink? Not even a large? I somehow thought their responses would be comparable to how they were in bed, so I picked the burrito. If there were layers, I imagined them to be excitement, pleasure, thrill, mystery and intensity.

They were in fact, the exact opposite of that. 

We get back to my house and we’re fooling around. I’m like “burrito guy you have to wear a condom if you want to go any further.” He looks at me and quite seriously responds with, “my dick is too big for condoms.” 

I laugh furiously. 

As someone who spent over a year working at a sex toy store I knew that there was no dick too big for a condom. The Magnum from Trojan can in fact fit over a real life human head, I know because I have seen it happen. I even happened to have one on me and the guy kept trying to resist. 

I refused to have sex with him and fell asleep wishing I had picked “medium drink,” all along. 

Sex sure is fun, we can all agree on that, but it should also be safely practiced for all aspects of human health including the physical, mental and spiritual. 

Safer Sex 101

Be Prepared

Man, woman, trans; straight or oriented along any part of the LGTBQP spectrum: if you’re having sex with multiple partners, condoms and dental dams are a must. There’s a whole range of condoms available for any size or sensitivity, for those with monster dicks, tiny wieners, latex allergies, even those designed for “her pleasure,” (which usually just means the condom has some sort of twist or texture added). Sir Richard’s is an all-natural latex brand, meaning that the condoms are vegan as well as glycerine and paraben free. Also for every one condom bought another is donated to a community in need, making them basically one of the best condom companies out there today. 

*Please remember that lamb skin condoms, though an alternative to latex allergies are actually porous and do not help prevent pregnancy. 

Dental dams are used to create a barrier, usually during oral sex, because yes, sexually transmitted infections can be passed through cunnilingus and anal lingius. Here’s an easy way to make a dental dam out of a condom if in a fix:  

Take Notes 

Be in tune with your body. Notice what it feels like in its peak health so if something becomes off it will be easier to prevent or recover from whatever the ailment or condition might be. It’s also helpful as a woman (who has yet to go through menopause) to explore how the body functions throughout all phases of the cycle; for example, if there is a generally a greater amount of vaginal discharge right before a period starts it is not necessarily something to freak out about. Also, take note of your partner, look, smell, taste, if something feels off and you don’t want to precede it’s perfectly okay to respectfully decline.  

Participate in Discussion 

Don’t be afraid to speak up. Yeah, it can be awkward to ask that sexy girl, “so like, are you clean?” but wouldn’t it be even more awkward to wake up with gonorrhea? A lot of people find that talking about safe sex is not very sexy, but that’s just a mental issue that can easily be overcome by both discussing it regularly and having basic respect for each other. If there is a lack of respect for the sex partner, sex probably shouldn’t be had to begin with. It’s a two second conversation that can easily be moved back to the erotic once it’s cleared. (If not cleared then waiting with excited anticipation is alright too.) 

Select the Correct Answers (For You)

As a woman who often has sex with men, I spent years on the different forms of hormonal birth control; I tried pills, the ring, even the shot (I do not recommend the shot in any way); finally, I decided that hormonal birth control options were no longer for me and I went off of them entirely for two years. Recently I had the copper IUD implanted (Paraguard), it’s 99 percent effective and will last for ten years. If you’re not looking to get pregnant I would suggest a second form of birth control as condoms are only 80 percent effective. Again, this is one of those times when listening to the body is important. Doctors can also help narrow down choices, but again you are the one who has the final say.   

Also for all sexually active people who want to practice safer sex, consider alternative practices that are less risky such as making out, mutual masturbation or sexting. These can be good choices if people are currently unsure about their sexual health statuses or even if the two (or more of you) just want to change things up.   

Ace Your Tests 

If having sex with multiple partners (regardless of your actual relationship status) it’s important to get regularly tested. Every three months is pretty standard. The HIV text is now a finger prick and can give results in about ten minutes. If starting a new sex relationship with someone and you both want to double check it can be fun to go together, might as well make a date of it.

So there you have it, Safer Sex 101 for more enjoyable, pleasurable, healthier experiences. 

[image: via Dan Brickley on flickr]

About the Author:

Krystal Baugher Krystal Baugher

Krystal Baugherlives in Denver, Colorado. She is the founder of Go Eat a Carrot, a website dedicated to exploring the worlds of pleasure and politics. Find her on Instagram to stay up to date with all of her shenanigans.

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