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Negotiating safer sex

Safer sex is about being responsible for your own health. This means taking precautions during sexual activity and using condoms (and dams) to prevent the exchange of blood, semen and vaginal fluids. Condoms and dams help reduce the risk of getting or passing on sexually transmissible infections (STIs) or HIV, as well as protecting against unplanned pregnancy. Click here for more information about dams

Some people feel uncomfortable about condoms – this can be for many reasons, they may be embarrassed, they don’t want to carry condoms, they don’t know how to use them. To find out how to use condoms click here

The more comfortable you and your partner feel about condoms, the more likely you are to have sex. The following tips may help you feel more comfortable:

  • Find a place you feel comfortable purchasing condoms from. They are available from a range of places, including pharmacies, super markets and service stations. You can also buy condoms online. Investigate different flavours and textures – this can be fun!
  • Learn how to put on and take off a condom before using them for sex. If you are male you can practise on yourself. If you are female, use a banana or your vibrator. Instructions can be found on the pack. Some advice for women – do not assume that a man will feel comfortable or confident using condoms. Learn how to use them yourself, so you can help.
  • Using a small drop of lube (about the size of a pea) onto the head of the penis BEFORE putting on the condom can make sex more pleasurable for men.

Always have condoms handy if you think there is a possibility that you might have sex. Do not assume that it is your partners responsibility – anyone can carry condoms.

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Talk about it

Talking about safer sex and condoms may not be easy, but it is a good idea to talk about them early on in the relationship. The way you bring up the topic will depend on the person and how well you know them. If you don’t want to be direct you can say something like “what do you think about condoms?” or if you are comfortable in your relationship you may say “I only have sex using condoms. Are you happy with that?” It helps if you say it at a low-key, private┬ámoment, when you are not being sexual, and with a smile on your face.

Click here to find out how to negotiate sexual activities

Condom agreement

Once you have talked with your partner and come to an agreement to use condoms – it is important to always use them when having sex – sometimes people try and ‘back out’ of agreements once they get to the moment. It may help to practice saying the statements below to reinforce your feelings if this happens, such as:

  • “I want to have safer sex to protect both of us”
  • “Let’s have fun – safely”
  • I want to enjoy sex without worrying”

Incorporating condoms into foreplay is a good way to get your partner to enjoy them. make the act of putting on the condom a fun experience – offering to put one on for┬áthem will often make them change their mind about not wanting to use one!

Always have condom close by. If none are available at the time of a sexual encounter, you may be tempted to have sex without one.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.wasexualhealthweek.com.au/sexual-health/respect/negotiating-sexual-activities/negotiating-safer-sex/