Pleasurable Safer Sex: Sexual Interaction Guidelines

The Cautious Lover by Nicolas Tassaert, c. 1860

Pleasurable Safer Sex:

Sexual (& Sensual) Interaction Guidelines

Sheri, The Queen of Safer Sex and Good Condom Fairy Says, “JUST BECAUSE IT’S SEXY, DOESN’T MAKE IT SAFE!”

Talking about sex with a potential partner usually isn’t easy. Most of us have never seen good communication about sex modeled in our lives. We don’t see it on our screens, whether we’re watching sitcoms, mainstream movies or porn.

Why is it So Hard? (And Not in a Good Way)

We may think of sex as a scarce commodity that we need to  grab quickly before the opportunity evaporates. Or, perhaps we think that discussing a possible sexual encounter will ruin the moment, dissipating the  magic and deflating the erotic energy. Sometimes we’re conflicted and confused as our lusty desires war with internalized sexual shame. Often we’re uncomfortable with the limited vocabulary of sex and just plain inexperienced with talking about what we want or don’t want. Maybe we just don’t know what we want!

And finally, the ultimate challenge: arousal makes our thinking brains go off-line, leading to the classic inability to have enough blood flow for our heads and our genitals. I like to say that sex makes us stupid. There’s nothing personal here, it’s just how we’re wired.

The thing is, great communication about sex is what makes for really great, pleasurable, mutually satisfying and hot sex!

So, here’s a short guide to helping you navigate the tumultuous waters of erotic communication without capsizing or running aground so your sexual sailing is smooth and pleasurable.

Start with Yourself

Check in with yourself before engaging in sensual and sexual activities with someone else. Be honest and take as much time as you need to be clear about what you want to do or not do.  You need to start by checking in with yourself. This is not a one-time decision. This is an ongoing practice! Keep checking in as you go.

The Pre-Pre-Sex Talk: Communicate Clearly and Honestly

So easy to say but here it is: Communicate with your potential partners. Be honest, clear and overt. Use your ‘courage muscles’, take a deep breath and just do it.

Honor Boundaries

Make agreements about the boundaries for your erotic interactions and then honor them.
Honor prior agreements with others. Tell the complete truth about your agreements.
Discuss expectations, intentions and commitments before engaging in behaviors.
Be responsible and respectful to yourself and to others. Play nice.
Don’t assume permission, ASK! This, too, is an ongoing practice!

The Pre-Sex Talk

If you’re all in agreement about wanting to play erotically, have a Pre-Sex Talk.
If you can’t talk about it, don’t do it. Remember, sex makes you stupid, so be smart and have this conversation before you’re highly aroused.
Already aroused? Take a break, calm down until your brain goes back on-line and then talk.

Want to reduce health risks?

Consider staying in the shallow end of the pool–that is, playing in the safer realm of sensual activities. There’s a lot of fun to be had without contact of your genitals and the surrounding skin, or sharing sexual fluids and the accompanying risks of disease. You can still have a great and erotic time. It’s better to be careful then sorry!

The Pre-Sex Talk

This conversation includes:

  • Who are you currently being sexual and/or intimate with? Discuss current partner status and agreements.
  • History of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Testing history including HIV, as well as other sexually transmitted infections.
  • What intimate sensual or sexual activities will you engage in together, now?What kinds of pleasure do you enjoy giving and receiving?
  • What are your boundaries? At what points do you want to check in again?
  • What safer sex or risk reduction practices will you use?
  • Contraception, if applicable.
  • Anything else that needs to be talked about?

Sheri, The Sovereign of Safer Sex Says, YOU CAN STAY SAFE AND HAVE FUN!!!!”


Women’s Health Magazine Gets It Wrong about Women & UTIs

4693614248_97a6977e6d_bIt’s not fair to women to put out an article about women’s health that mixes correct and incorrect information. Let me set the record straight about what they got right and what they got disastrously wrong and what they just don’t understand.

True: UTI’s are common in women and often related to sexual intercourse.

To start with, it’s important to understand that there’s a difference between irritation from too much friction and an infection caused by bad bacteria.

If irritation is the issue then applying frequent and generous lubricant will help reduce friction. Especially if you’re using condoms, and going at it a lot, than lubricants are your friend.

Even more important: make sure the woman is totally and thoroughly aroused prior to penetration. Most people are confused about what constitutes full female arousal and readiness for penetration. For most women that can take 30 – 45 minutes of getting turned on. Without having all of your erogenous tissue fully engorged, you are prone to irritation and significantly less pleasure. Ladies, don’t allow “premature penetration!”

Back to the mistakes in the article. Here’s another place they’re completely wrong: “When you have sex, bacteria from the vagina can get rubbed into the urethra, where it travels up to the bladder.” Nope, it’s not vaginal bacteria that are the problem. It’s almost always bacteria from the anus that cause urinary infections.

Since it’s anal invaders that are the source of urinary infections, the best prevention is excellent sexual hygiene, meaning that nothing that touches in or around the butt should go in or around the vulva and vagina. (At least not until it’s been thoroughly washed with soap and water.)

While the frequency of the sex is an factor in UTI’s it’s not the amount of sex per se that’s the problem. It’s friction, inflammation and un-friendly bacteria. More sexual activity provides more chances for butt bacteria will get tracked into the vaginal and urethral areas. In addition, irritated and inflamed tissue is more susceptible to infection. That’s a bad combination.

They got this right: “taking cranberry extract on a regular basis can help. Cranberry actually keeps the bacteria from sticking to the wall of the bladder.” That is true! Using cranberry extract capsules is a great strategy for prevention and can also nip an impending infection in the bud (if you catch it super early.)

This is totally wrong: “Your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic that you can take each time you have sex, which will deliver a high level of antibodies to the urine (though not to your blood stream, so you won’t get a yeast infection).” So very wrong. When you take antibiotics, you deliver antibiotics to your whole body via your blood stream. While antibiotics will kill the bad bacteria in your urinary system, they can also kill the good bacteria in your vagina and lead to yeast infections.

The take-away: Make sure that the women’s body is really ready for penetration by taking as much time as she needs to be completely ready. And ready doesn’t just mean wet—that’s an sign of early arousal. For a woman to be totally turned on means that she’s deeply into her state of arousal and that her whole erectile network (her circuit of connected erectile tissue structures) is engorged.

Use extra lube.

Practice careful sexual hygiene.

Have as much sex as you want.

photo CC-BY Graham