Believe it or not, more young men are still prioritizing pregnancy prevention over disease prevention. That is according to a paper from the Global Health: Science and Practice. While safe sex is referred to as sexual activity using methods that reduce the risks, (eg. risk of transmitting or acquiring sexually transmitted infections), ‘safe sex’ is also referred to as safer sex or protected sex because some safe sex practices don’t completely eliminate these risks.Regardless of cultural backgrounds and perceptions of gender roles, one key issue that stands out is the wrongfully-assumed female responsibility for safe sex. Click To Tweet
I find conversations about sex quite interesting.
From empoweringly mind-blowing to annoyingly toe-curling.
I’ve learned equally a lot from either side.
Regardless of cultural backgrounds and perceptions of gender roles, one key issue that stands out is the wrongfully-assumed female responsibility for safe sex.
This article is based on recent research about conversations like what we had as well as personal experiences and observations. By the end, you will clearly see how possible it is for men to take up more responsibility for safe sex and why it is important.More young men are still prioritizing pregnancy prevention over disease prevention. That is according to a paper from the Global Health: Science and Practice. Click To Tweet
9-Step Guide To Increase Responsible and Safe Sex by Men
Below are 9 key things that men can do to share the responsibility of ensuring safe sex:
- Forget the Myths
- Know your status
- Abstain from sex
- Always get consent
- Communicate about everything
- Explore Birth Control options
- Make sure the vagina is well lubricated
- Always use protection for all kinds of sex
- Practice monogamy
Forget the Myths about Safe Sex
Myths about sex seem to be increasing by the day and some of them tend to directly challenge our ego as men.
Some men even fall in the trap of practicing unsafe sex so as to prove their masculinity or manhood.
If it has not been tried and tested just don’t risk it.
- Pulling out has never been a safe sexual practice and can lead to both pregnancy and STI’s.
- Peeing after ejaculation does nothing to prevent STIs or pregnancy because the urinary tract and sperm duct are separate and pre-cum sometimes has actual sperms in it.
- Period sex is not safe because of irregular periods and bleeding during ovulation.
There are many more myths about sex so if it has not been tried and tested just don’t risk it.
Always get consent
The most important thing before any sexual encounter is that you both consent to it.
Partners have to actively consent to have sex with each other.
- It is illegal to have sex with anyone who is drunk as they are not in a position to give consent.
- Caring a condom is not consent and neither is it an invitation to sex.
- If your partner consented to sex once, you must seek consent each time you want to have sex.
Conversations about consent open up space to talk about preference, family planning methods, sexual history, status, expectations, and more…
Know your status
If you are sexually active it is important to get tested regularly for STIs. After getting tested and knowing your status, make sure your partner is tested too.
According to research, men often perceive attractive women as not having any STIs and are more likely to have unprotected sex with them.
Don’t fall into that trap.
Some infections do not cause significant symptoms until several weeks, months, or even years after contraction.
Since you are sexually active, the only way to be sure of your status is through regular testing. If possible, make it a habit to get tested together with your partner so that you both know each other’s status and keep each other accountable.According to research, men often perceive attractive women as not having any STIs and are more likely to have unprotected sex with them. Click To Tweet
Abstain from sex
The only way to fully prevent unplanned pregnancy or an STI’s is through abstaining from vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
There are alternative ways to release your sexual tension from mere masturbation to getting an energy-draining hobby that you enjoy. There are also willpower exercises like meditation and spirituality that have been said to help people kill their sexual desires.
If you need help with abstinence, talking with a counselor at BetterHelp could be helpful.
Regardless of how you manage to do it, making a decision to abstain from sex can prevent you (or you and your partner) from risky sexual habits.
Abstinence can also come in handy after you and your partner get tested and are waiting for the window period before becoming exclusive with each other.
Make sure this decision is communicated with your partner so that you are both on the same page.
The abstinence period can be used to bond with your partner and know more about each other.The only way to fully prevent unplanned pregnancy or an STI’s is through abstaining from vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Click To Tweet
Communicate to Enhance Safe Sex
Sex can be an uncomfortable yet important topic.
It may make you uneasy but actually sends a message that you care about the safety of your partner.
Take initiative and bring up the sex talk before your first sexual encounter, talk about your sexual preference, history, and choice for protection.
Being proactive about this talk helps prevent heat-of-the-moment decisions that can lead to long-term regrets.
Explore Birth Control options
The myth about birth control is a woman’s concern can best be broken by men.
We should spark conversations about birth control alternatives with our partner before sex.
For example, there are cases where men assume that the woman will take a morning-after pill. The woman might have beliefs against the pill or not have the money to buy a pill or is in alternative medication that prevents the pill, etc.
This conversation can be a great way to prevent future conflict and disagreements when the time comes to choose a birth control method.There is no sex that is 100% safe since all forms of sexual contact carry some sort of risk. One way to ensure more healthy sexual habits is by having hard conversations about sexual risk and responsibility. Click To Tweet
Make sure the vagina is well lubricated
Condoms can tear or rip if you or your partner are not properly lubricated but foreplay almost always takes care of this. However, foreplay can take longer than usual or vary from one partner to another.
This can be caused by many different reasons or you could both be in too much of a rush for adequate foreplay but still want to have sex.
Lubricants also prevent skin tearing during sex, which can increase the transmission or contraction of STIs.
Make sure you use water-based lubricants because other alternatives can increase the risk of a condom tearing.
There are many alternative products and it is advised to consult with your health care provider to check what works best for you without any side effects.Condoms can tear or rip if you or your partner are not properly lubricated but foreplay almost always takes care of this. However, foreplay can take longer than usual or vary from one partner to another. Click To Tweet
Other options besides lubricants:
- Spend more time on physical foreplay
- Ask her what she likes
- Pay attention to her reactions and focus more on what works
- Use texts, gifts, calls, etc as ways to get her on before you meet
Always use protection for all kinds of sex
Condoms can be sexy and pleasurable or a complete turn off depending on how you use them. They are the only birth control methods that also prevent sexually transmitted infections like HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
You can only get pregnant from vaginal sex but can contract an STI from vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
If your partner does not want to use a male condom, you can use a female condom. Some natural condoms, often made from lambskin, can prevent pregnancy, but they do not protect against HIV or other STIs.
Practice safe sex through monogamy
Being part of an exclusive one-partner relationship can prevent contracting STI’s as long as you are both STI free and have agreed to stay committed and faithful to each other.
This is only effective if you both remain monogamous.Being part of an exclusive one-partner relationship can prevent contracting STI’s as long as you are both STI free and have agreed to stay committed and faithful to each other. Click To Tweet
In Conclusion: Men and Safe Sex
There is no sex that is 100% safe since all forms of sexual contact carry some sort of risk. One way to ensure more healthy sexual habits is by having hard conversations about sexual risk and responsibility.
However, based on the wrong cultural and social prescription of safe sex as a woman’s responsibility, is time for more men to find ways of breaking this myth.
Both partners share the responsibility to ensure safe sex and correct contraception to prevent both unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Reference and Further Reading on Safe Sex:
- Influence of sex and gender-role on safe-sex behaviors
- Women Don’t Like How Condoms Feel Any More Than Men Do
- Sexual Responsibility, Fatherhood and Discourses of Masculinity among Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Young Men in Ireland
- Safe Sexual Advice for Everyone
- Double-standards in reporting of risk and responsibility for sexual health: a qualitative content analysis of negatively toned UK newsprint articles
- It’s Your (Sex) Life: Your Guide to Safe and Responsible Sex
- Safer Sex Guidelines for Teen
- The Understudied Female Sexual Predator
- NISVS 2010 Summary Report – Sexual Violence by any Perpetrator
- A Woman’s Guide to Safe Sex Basics