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safer sex

After Contraception or Commitment, Why You Still Gotta Rock Safer Sex

We sometimes deal with a tough situation in direct service: a user comes in, and reports having contracted an STI; a user who also isn't a first-time user of our site or services, and who, in a previous conversation with us about pregnancy risks, blew off also talking about STIs and safer sex and turned down help we offered to them to reduce their STI risks, not just pregnancy risks.

When this happens, a person like this will usually be very upset about having contracted an STI, often angry, and even mystified about how this happened to them. Of course, we're rarely mystified and also are not usually surprised this happened, since we already identified risks of STIs when we were talking with them in the past, which is why we brought the importance of safer sex up with them in the first place.

This is one of those things where there's no joy or pride in being right: it stinks to be right about someone getting any kind of illness and being unhappy. Even though the majority of STIs are t

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Of forgotten condoms. And days without pants.

It occurs to me that the "we both forgot to use condoms" thing that comes up often enough is a bit like suggesting that a person forgot to wear pants.

For a whole day.

And didn't notice.

At all.

They got home, and after hours of being out in the cold or the sun, at work, getting lunch, taking the bus back and forth, only when they saw their pants laying on the bed did they go, "Whoah! I haven't had pants on ALL DAY! I had NO IDEA WHATSOEVER!"

Just think about it. Seriously. Think about it. If in doubt, try The Great Pantsless Experiment and see how long you go without noticing.

Here's a thing to know: chances are AWFULLY good that at least one person in that situation, and certainly the person who would be WEARING the condom realizes they're not wearing a condom. Probably right from the start, but if not then pretty darn shortly thereafter.

That person is highly unlikely not to feel any difference at all, because even though various kinds of sex can feel just as awesome with condoms

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The Testing Diaries: Véro

Do you feel anxious about the idea of getting tested for sexually transmitted infections and diseases? Some of our readers certainly do.

Some never had adequate sex-education and did not realize that sexual activity with a partner -- and not just anal or vaginal intercourse -- can pose STI risks in the first place. Some are not sure where to go for testing or how to ask for it. Others feel uncomfortable discussing STIs with a partner or potential partner. We get it: this stuff can be hard, and it is usually not the kind of thing where someone just takes us by the hand and leads us through.

This is why we're doing this new series at Scarleteen's blog. In it, some of Scarleteen's volunteers share their own stories of how they deal with different aspects of STI testing and reproductive healthcare.

This summer, I went to my clinic to see a general practitioner (GP) for an annual check-up.

This clinic is affiliated with a local university so the way it works is a little different than man

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The Testing Diaries: Joey

Do you feel anxious about the idea of getting tested for sexually transmitted infections and diseases? Some of our readers certainly do.

Some never had adequate sex-education and did not realize that sexual activity with a partner -- and not just anal or vaginal intercourse -- can pose STI risks in the first place. Some are not sure where to go for testing or how to ask for it. Others feel uncomfortable discussing STIs with a partner or potential partner. We get it: this stuff can be hard, and it is usually not the kind of thing where someone just takes us by the hand and leads us through.

This is why we're starting this new series at Scarleteen's blog. In it, some of Scarleteen's volunteers will share their own stories of how they deal with different aspects of STI testing and reproductive healthcare.

I was tested for the first time seven years ago, shortly after I had my first sexual experiences. Things did not go according to plan: though I'd insisted on condom use, the person I

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Breaking a No Condom Habit

CuriosityCat asks:

I am 20 and sexually active. I don't have a long term partner but have had and do have various partners. I have an IUD so I'm protected against pregnancy, however I know condoms are still hugely important. My problem is that I am completely stuck for what to say to make a man put one on. At the moment, it's just getting carried away then really kicking myself later. I have to be more diligent with this, but please- do you have any advice for laying down the law? A non awkward, but still sexy way of asserting myself?

Safer Sex: Do Women Sleeping with Women Need It?

absolutelyapple asks:

My girlfriend and I (I'm a chick) are both virgins. Is there any point in us using a dental dam when/if we have oral sex?

Got an Infection? Some Take-Care Basics.

Over the last few weeks, I have been sicker than sicker than sick. I managed to pick up whooping cough, which, combined with other health issues I already have, made my blood pressure dip to a very scary place, to boot. I had already been having some flare-ups from those other issues, so they made the whooping cough worse, it made them worse. Like plenty of uninsured people do, I tried to hold off on healthcare for as long as I could, but eventually had to cave and suck up the big bill so I could get the big meds and also be sure I wasn't, you know, dying or anything.

This combo of illnesses made it impossible for me to do nearly anything, including most work. When you mostly work from home, you can usually work through almost anything, so when you can't even do that, you know it's bad. They've also put some big cramps in my life. For a week or so, the deepest conversations I had with anyone were something to the effect of "More. Tea. Blanket. Ugh," and the most passionate embrace I

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The Simple and Underrated Art of Washing Your Hands

Handwashing, seriously? Yep, handwashing. Seriously. (Well, mostly seriously.) Here's how to do it and why it's so important to do.

All About Condoms

Want to watch and find out how to use male and female condoms best in English, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, ASL and more?

Condoms Breaking? Ur Probably Doin It Wrong.

As we've explained in the past, like here, with proper use, condoms actually break very rarely. The common mythology that condoms are flimsy and break all the time is just that: mythology, not reality. Different studies on latex condom breakage tend to reflect a breakage rate of around .4%, or only 4 breaks in every 1,000 uses. So, if you're having condoms break often, especially before you've even used them a few hundred times, it's not likely something is wrong with condoms, but that something is wrong with the way you're using them. That's not surprising, since a lot of people don't get good information about how to use condoms correctly, or ever see clear, slow demonstrations of proper use where they also get the chance to ask questions.

Since we've been having some users lately reporting patterns of breakage, we thought we'd take a few minutes to walk you through a review of some common issues that tend to make breakage more likely, so that those of you using condoms can avoid br

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