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safer sex

Condom Basics: A User's Manual

Using a condom is generally easier than it looks (especially if you can relax about it), but the first few times, it can be tricky, especially if you're nervous about knowing how to use one.

Can I Get Pregnant, or Get or Pass On an STI From That?

Want a quick way to sort out what does and does not pose real risks of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections? We've taken the temperature for you here.

All About S.E.X.: The Scarleteen Book!

Get your hands on S.E.X.: the in-depth and inclusive young adult sexuality guide by Heather Corinna! Check out reviews, the table of contents and a myriad of places you can get your very own copy of the sexuality primer for every body.

STI Risk Assessment: The Cliff's Notes

Need to check out what your sexually transmitted disease or infection risk might be in a jiffy?

All the Barriers! All the Time!

Everything you'll probably ever need to know about safer sex barriers, like which to use, how to use them, how to get more comfortable with them, and how surprisingly cute they are.

This Way, Not That Way: Avoiding One of the Most Common Condom Oops

One of the most common condom whoopsies we hear about from our users involves themselves or a partner going to put a condom on, then discovering they've put it on the wrong way.

Often, after doing that, they'll also report following that up with a second common oops, which is just flipping that same condom over and then putting it on the right way.

Condoms are highly effective safer sex tools to reduce the risk of transmitting or acquiring STIs, as well as a very effective method of contraception. But that effectiveness depends a whole lot on using them not just consistently, but properly. This isn't proper use.

If you can see the image here on the page, you'll notice the edge of the condom is rolled facing up. Like the brim of a hat. Or a rolled up sock or stocking before you put it on. Or, if you cuff your jeans, how the cuff looks when you look down at it.

Rolled up, towards you when you're looking at it, rather than rolled under or down, with the rolled-up rim facing away from you

Read more...

Figuring Out How to be a Lesbian Safer Sexpert

When I started having sex with girls, there was no one cheering, especially not encouraging me to have safer sex. But over the last few years, I’ve finally begun to feel confident with safer sex, and it’s improved my sex life a million percent. I wish I’d gotten comfortable with it sooner.

His Religious Beliefs Are No Condoms, But I Need Them. What Do I Do?

sapphire12758 asks:

The guy I'm sleeping with really wants to have PIV sex with me, but he won't wear a condom because he's Roman Catholic. Everything else we've done has been amazing and I really want to do it, but I'm terrified of getting pregnant and I've already had a scare that I haven't told him about. I'm on the pill now, but I know that it isn't 100% effective. Would it be really wrong to try and get him to change his mind about condoms? I'm religious too and I'd hate to make him do anything that would go against his faith, but the idea of getting pregnant scares me so much that I have nightmares about it, and since we're not really together I don't know what he'd do.

We Really Liked Anal Sex, But Should We Do It Again?

likeboom asks:

My boyfriend and I, both 18, are very comfortable with each other. We took things slow, somewhat due to my discomfort in the religious section and partly to make it more genuine. Skip forward a bit and we are delving into the world of sexual activity. I want to steer clear of PIV sex for pregnancy reasons and virginity reasons. But the other day we were exploring each others' bodies and before we knew it we were having anal sex. Thankfully my boyfriend used much lotion in the absence of lube and took it very slow. We both enjoyed it and were even able to switch positions once or twice with little to no difficulty. My question for the staff of Scarleteen is simply this, is there something I'm missing? From word of mouth anal is supposedly unpleasant, unsafe, and should be avoided; but my boyfriend and I really enjoyed ourselves. We want take a day and just explore the possibilities but is there such thing as too much or things that I should be wary about before we even consider more anal sex? Thanks.

STI Testing, Safer Sex Social How-Tos, Fresh Starts and a Bittervention

frenchiemathwhiz asks:

Heather: I have a question about STD testing, but it's together with a lot of other stuff, so I'm giving you some of the whole story.

My long-term boyfriend just broke up with me, seemingly out of the blue. We were together for several of the most tumultuous years of our lives—we dealt with so much stuff, I can't even describe it. We lived together, we lived apart, we did long-distance, we came back, we kept going. We stayed together through moves, parents condemning our relationship, changing universities, changing friends, changing careers. I feel really stupid being broken up about it; my personal philosophy has always been: no mourning over guys. Only stupid women do that. (Obviously there's some of my own internalized misogyny in there, but I'm also being practical. A woman mourning a man comes off as pathetic; a man mourning a women is soulful and sad. That's just the way it is.) But I did (bleech, sounds so gross) really trust him. I let him in my, like, inner circle of trust.

He just broke up with me because apparently he HAS to sleep with this other girl, and he couldn't even wait until he was going to see me in a few weeks. He started hanging out with this group of party guys and I kept saying it was changing him. He kept denying it—until it did. He just got his first job and then started freaking out: he started to get into drugs, to do all this stuff.

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