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Curly_Jai90
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Hello Scarleteen Community!

My partner and I experimented with fingering/manual sex a couple of nights ago. (My first time). The experience was pleasurable and I liked it (although I much preferred him rubbing my clitoris more so than him actually fingering me). But then I started reading about the possibility of getting an STI when having manual sex.

Something I've begun to wonder about is this - if fingering/manual sex poses an STI risk, does masturbation too? I've been masturbating for quite a while, and that never crossed my mind until now. Essentially, him giving me manual sex and me masturbating are the same actions; the only difference being WHO is doing the touching. So does the risk factor branch out to masturbation as well?

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Welcome to Scarleteen Curly! The only stupid questions are the ones you don't ask.

No there is no risk of STIs during masturbation. The important difference between masturbation and partnered sex of any kind (in terms of STI risk) is that masturbation involves you and only you. In situations where there is a risk of STI transmission this is because you can get and STI FROM your partner. You can't get an STI from yourself, even if the physical thing you're doing is the same, because if you have no STI, you can't give it to yourself. Conversely if you have an STI, it is possible to give it to a partner, but not to yourself because you already have it.

Put more simple, STIs are transferred from one person to another, in order to have a risk of STI transmission, there needs to be at least two people engaging in an activity that poses a risk.

(Also, I'm not quite clear on whether or not manual sex DOES pose an STI risk. My understanding of it is that it is only IF the there is a cut on the hands of the partner performing manual sex. But the volunteers or staff will have to fill you in on the details, and you can look around the site for articles about this.)

Both manual sex and masturbation can pose a risk of infection if the person using their hands does not wash them first. Some make sure to wash your hands and/or have your partner wash theirs.


EDIT and to clarify, by "infection" in the last paragraph, I mean the kind of infection that comes from bacteria, like what you might get in a cut that gets dirt in it

[ 02-06-2013, 08:29 PM: Message edited by: moonlight bouncing off water ]

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Curly_Jai90
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Thank you Moonlight!

I'm feeling better about this now. So by him washing his hands, there would be little to no risk of an STI, correct?

I'll admit, I asked if his hands were clean AFTER the fact (I got a little carried away in the heat of the moment to ask first - oops!) and he said they were, although I did not see him actually wash his hands prior to the manual sex activity. Should I be worried about the possibility of infection?

I found a small, painful bump on my labia yesterday (the day after the manual sex occurred). Previously, when I had a small bump down there, I got it checked by a gynecologist, who assured me that it was nothing more than an ingrown hair/zit. So I'm thinking that it is probably the same presently, as I don't think infections would manifest symptoms that fast (although I could be wrong). The bump hasn't gotten any bigger, and the pain hasn't intensified, although it is still there.

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Allie R
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Hi Curly,

You're correct in that if your partner washes their hands, you decrease the likelihood of getting an infection that comes from bacteria. It's always important to wash your hands, especially if they're going to enter an area which is prime for bacterial growth- the vaginal canal is warm and moist, which is the kind of environment bacteria love.

Fingering/manual sex comes with a low STI risk; this article provides a list of what STIs can be passed on via manual sex, as well as other kinds of sexual activity: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/crisis/sti_risk_assessment_the_cliffs_notes

Remember that you can't create STIs though- you must engage in said sexual activity with someone who already has one in order to be at risk of acquiring it.

Since you know your body better than anyone (let alone here), it might be easier for you to determine what it is. If you know you haven't engaged in unprotected sexual activity with someone who has an STI that presents itself in the same way, then that isn't a possibility. However, if it's painful and unfamiliar to you, it wouldn't hurt to speak to a gynecologist to be certain of what it could be, even if it isn't a result of an STI.

I hope this helps!

edit: I accidently forgot a word.

[ 02-07-2013, 01:49 PM: Message edited by: nindit ]

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AAR

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Curly_Jai90
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Hi nindit,

That does help, thank you! You've cleared it up for me, and it makes sense about the infection risk without hand washing.

And the bump has been hurting less, so I think it must have just been an ingrown hair or zit of some sort.

I'm feeling much more relieved about everything. [Smile]

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Allie R
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I'm glad to hear it [Smile]

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AAR

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