Casual relationships and “friends with benefits” can increase the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and infections (STIs). While abstinence is the only guaranteed way to prevent the spread of STDs and STIs, several steps can also protect against them in casual sexual activity. This includes regular testing, using protection during sex, being honest with partners about sexual history, using dental dams, sobriety during sex, carefully selecting partners, being truthful about your own status, and practicing safe sexual behaviors. Following these steps can reduce the risk of infection and promote a healthy relationship.
How to Safeguard Yourself Against STDs and STIs in Casual Relationships?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) can be a nightmare for anyone and have long-lasting effects on the body. With the rise of casual relationships and ‘friends with benefits,’ the risk of contracting STDs and STIs has also increased. While abstinence is the only surefire way to prevent STDs and STIs, there are still ways to protect yourself if you choose to engage in casual sexual activity. Here’s how you can prevent STDs and STIs in casual relationships:
1. Get Tested Frequently
Getting tested for STDs and STIs is the only way to know your sexual health status. It’s important to get tested frequently even if you show no symptoms. Regular testing helps in early detection and treatment, which is essential in preventing further transmission. It’s important to remember that some STDs and STIs may not show symptoms for several months, so be sure to make an appointment with a healthcare professional today.
2. Use Protection During Sexual Activity
If you’ve decided to engage in casual sexual activity, it’s important to use protection to reduce the risk of STDs and STIs. Use male or female condoms correctly every time during vaginal, anal, and oral sex with a new partner. Keep in mind that condoms alone may not be enough to prevent STDs and STIs, and that’s why it’s essential to use other forms of protection such as dental dams, which can be used during oral sex.
3. Be Honest with Your Partner
It’s important to be honest with your partner about your sexual history. If you’re unsure if you have an STD or STI, or have recently been diagnosed, it’s essential to tell your partner before engaging in sexual activity. It’s not only important for your partner’s sexual health, but it’s also essential to build trust and a healthy relationship.
4. Take Precautions During Oral Sex
Oral sex is an increasingly common activity in today’s casual relationships, and it’s important to protect yourself and your partner. Dental dams can be used as a barrier during oral sex to prevent the transmission of STDs and STIs. It’s also important to avoid sharing sex toys during oral sex, as this may increase your risk of STDs and STIs.
5. Avoid Alcohol and Drug Use During Sexual Activity
Alcohol and drug use increases the risk of STDs and STIs by affecting judgment and decision-making. When you’re under the influence, you’re more likely to make decisions that may put you at risk. It’s important to stay sober during sexual activity to make informed decisions about your sexual health.
6. Choose Your Partners Carefully
Choosing your partners carefully is an essential aspect of preventing STDs and STIs in casual relationships. It’s important to know your partner’s sexual history before engaging in sexual activity. It’s essential to always inform your partner if you’re experiencing any symptoms or have previously tested positive for an STD or STI to make an informed decision.
7. Be Honest with Yourself
If you’ve contracted an STD or STI, it’s important to be honest with yourself and your partners. Seek medical attention and inform your partner as soon as possible. While embarrassment and shame may be involved, it’s essential to protect yourself and others as STDs and STIs are contagious.
8. Practice Safe Sexual Behaviors
While STDs and STIs are a concern, risky behaviors like unprotected sex put you at higher risk of getting other sexually transmitted infections like HIV and Hepatitis B and C. Practicing safe sexual behaviors like using condoms, getting vaccinated, and talking to your partner about sexual health can go a long way in preventing STDs and STIs.
While casual relationships can be fun and exhilarating, it’s essential to protect yourself and prevent the transmission of STDs and STIs during sexual activity. Remember to get tested frequently, use protection, be honest with your partners, and practice safe sexual behavior. Taking these steps will not only protect your sexual health but also create a healthy and trusting relationship with your partner.