Let’s face it – sexual education, even in the developed world, leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe it’s about religion, maybe it’s a reluctance to tackle this complex, sensitive issue, but a lot of teens simply don’t get the advice that they need. In a perfect world all teens might remain abstinent, but that’s not the world that we live in.
With that in mind, let’s talk about safe sex. Practicing safe sex is very important for people of all ages and especially for teens who are just beginning to enter a sexually active phase of their lives. Practicing safe sex helps to protect one from diseases and heartbreak later in life. In this article we will go over five helpful safe sex tips for teens.
1. Always Use A Condom During Skin to Skin Contact
Anytime you expose your skin to the skin of your partner you are possibly setting yourself up for contracting a disease. Anytime your genitals come in contact with that of a sexual partner you should use a condom. There’s really no excuse, as condoms are readily available and it’s likely you could find one somewhere free of charge.
2. Speak to Your Partner About STDs Before Sexual Activity
A great way to practice safer sex is to make sure to have a frank and honest conversation with any current or potential sexual partners. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), which can also be called sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are something that you need to talk about. This conversation should take place before any sexual activity and you should find out any potential disease or issues the individual may have. It’s a great idea for both you and your partner to get tested before beginning a physical relationship.
3. Try to Limit Your Sexual Partners
Statistically, the more sexual partners you have the higher your chance you have of contracting a sexually transmitted disease or getting someone else or yourself pregnant at an early age. Really, this is just common sense. As a good rule of thumb, limit your sexual partners to those that you truly care about, and you’ll be in good shape physically and emotionally. Try to keep your sexual liaisons to as few partners as possible in order to reduce your risk of sexually harmful behavior.
4. Use Multiple Forms of Birth Control
Not all birth control is 100% effective. This means that every time you have sex you still have a chance of either ending up with a pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease. In order to make sex safer and avoid unwanted pregnancy be sure to use two forms of birth control if possible. For example, even if a person is on a birth control method like the pill or nuva ring it is important to also use a condom at the same time. Doing so may save you a good deal of pain and tough decisions in the future. One mistake you’ll want to avoid is using two male condoms at once – this actually makes sex less safe by greatly increasing the chance of the condom breaking.
5. Do Not Mix Sex With Drugs and Alcohol
Using intoxicants can severely diminish one’s ability to give consent to sexual behaviors and engaging in sexual activity while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is statistically more dangerous than doing so sober. As a teen, you have enough to think about just by engaging in sexual activity with your partner. There is absolutely no reason to add drugs or alcohol to the mix, and by doing so you are playing with fire. You may be open to riskier sexual behavior when you are not yourself and for this reason it is a terrible idea to engage in sex while intoxicated.
These tips should get you started on the road to having safer sex. These aren’t the only tips to help you practice safe sex but they are a start. If you have any more questions it is always best to contact your health care provider in order to get a medical opinion regarding potential or current sexual contact.