I always have safe sex but now I’ve got a sexually transmitted disease! How is it possible?
By safe sex people usually mean using a condom when you have intercourse and making sure you don’t get sperm or menstrual blood in your mouth. You are then protected against HIV, the virus which causes AIDS, and you will also prevent infections such as Chlamydia and gonorrhoea.
However, viruses and bacteria that cause sexually transmitted diseases can also be passed on in other ways. For example by masturbating each other or by the genitals just touching without having intercourse. Even if you always use a condom, there’s still a small risk of catching a sexually transmitted disease.
Read more on the risks of different kinds of sexual activity in Safe or unsafe?
What is a 'dental dam' and where can I get them?
A dental dam, or vaginal dam, is just a square piece of latex which you can lay over the vagina when you perform oral sex on a woman. They are called dental dams because they were first designed to be used during dental treatment, rather than for sex!
You can order real dental dams on the internet. However, it's easier just to make one using a condom, by cutting it open lengthways to make a rectangle. An even cheaper option is to use plastic wrap (cling wrap or cling film). Make sure it’s the type that doesn’t have little holes in.
Particularly when a woman has her period, you can use a dental dam to stop blood from getting in your mouth. You can also use it for oral sex involving the anus.
I had unsafe sex, but I urinated and washed my penis right away. Am I safe?
No, urinating and washing your genitals doesn’t reduce the risk you’ve run by having unprotected sex. If your partner has a sexually transmitted disease, you might have caught it. You should go to a doctor or clinic and have a check-up. And next time, use a condom.
My boyfriend wants to use the ‘withdrawal method’ of contraception. Is this safe sex?
No, it isn’t safe. Although the sperm doesn’t get in your vagina, the pre-ejaculate does. You risk catching or passing on a sexually transmitted disease, or getting pregnant.
- Sexually transmitted diseases
The pre-ejaculate (the clear liquid that comes out of the penis before the boy comes) can carry HIV (the virus which causes AIDS) or another sexually transmitted disease such as Chlamydia, gonorrhoea, genital herpes, genital warts, syphilis or trichomoniasis. If you’re on the pill, it will stop you getting pregnant but it won’t protect you from getting sexually transmitted diseases.
Withdrawal (also known as coitus interruptus) is not a very effective method of contraception. There may be sperm cells in the pre-ejaculate. More importantly, it’s easy for the man to get the timing wrong and pull out too late.
Does intercourse hurt the first time?
It doesn’t have to. If the woman is relaxed and aroused, it doesn’t hurt. If you’re very tense the vagina can stay dry or tense up. This makes it more likely that the hymen will tear and intercourse will be painful. You’re often nervous the first time, so it can easily happen. But if you both take your time, it doesn’t hurt.
What is a virgin?
A virgin is a woman or man who has never had intercourse. So the first time you do it, people say you ‘lose your virginity’. Make sure your partner knows it’s your first time, so you can take your time, and build up slowly and gently.
You can read more in the section on the hymen and virginity.
Why do I come so quickly?
Sex is very exciting, certainly the first time! Many men reach orgasm more quickly than they would like to. Don’t worry about it. When you’re more experienced and you’re more relaxed, you learn to hold back your orgasm. If you feel embarrassed, try to make light of it. Say something like, ‘Well, you really do turn me on!’ If you can laugh about it together, it won’t be such a problem.
Why don’t I have an orgasm?
Women don’t usually have orgasms during intercourse. The clitoris isn’t stimulated by the penis just going in and out of the vagina. If you want to have an orgasm, touch your clitoris yourself, or have your partner touch it. Of course, during intercourse isn’t the only time for you to have an orgasm. Your partner can also stimulate your clitoris so you have an orgasm before or after intercourse.
Can a girl get pregnant the first time?
Yes! The first time a woman has intercourse with a man she can get pregnant. Even if she’s never had a period. So always use a condom.
How do you make the first time a good experience?
See Ten tips for the first time. It’s also good if you know your own body. Have you ever masturbated? If you have, you’ll know how you like to be touched and what you find arousing. Tell your partner, and explore together what else turns you on.