Safer Sex - The Basics

The first important step to practicing safer sex is getting the right information. Here are some of the basics that will help all young adults understand what to do to play safely when you choose to be sexual with another person.

Rubber Gloves

In a perfect world, none of us would need to practice barrier protection. Unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world, but one where STDs are rampaging and many are becoming drug resistant. Protecting yourself is the most responsible thing you can do when engaging in sexual activity. When experimenting with hand play (using fingers for touching external genitals or for vaginal or anal penetration), we would recommend using a magnum condom on your hand or rubber gloves. Any small cuts on your hands create an entry point for microscopic germs.


Used for performing oral sex on a man, and for any kind of penetration (vaginal or anal), condoms are your number one best way to practice barrier protection and prevent the spread of disease. The most important thing to learn about condoms is how to put them on properly. Watch the video below for instructions.

Tip: When using condoms for oral sex, try flavored condoms that are not lubricated. (Some lubricated condoms use spermicide, which tastes terrible!) You can also try using a water based lubricant that is flavored, to enhance the performing partner's experience.
Tip: Be sure to use plenty of water based lubrication for all penetration. Without it, condoms have a much greater chance of breaking from the friction, even when the condom says it's already lubricated. Water based lubes can be purchased at your local drug store.

Tip: Experiment with different sizes and brands. Average penis size is 5.5" and most men don't need magnums. (Size doesn't matter - to find out why, come to one of our presentations!) There are a wide variety of condoms available, with ribbing and pleasure enhancers for both partners. Condoms can be an asset in enhancing your sexual experience, not a deterrent.

Warning: DO NOT USE LAMBSKIN CONDOMS. They have microscopic holes that can permit fluids to pass through and are not a good idea for barrier protection or birth control.

Warning: About 30 % of the population has a latex allergy. You can tell you are latex sensitive if you get a rash after using a latex condom. If you or your partner is latex sensitive, try non-latex condoms. Made from poly urethane, these condoms are just as effective as latex ones and they won't make you itch!

Dental Dams or Saran Wrap

Designed for use during dental procedures, latex dental dams are also an effective method of barrier protection when performing oral sex on a woman. Their drawbacks are that they are hard to find (not usually next to the condoms at your local drug store) and that because of their size (about 6" x 10") they need to be held in place while using them. (And don't bother trying to steal a few you're your family dentist - the sizes they use won't help you!) Many of the ones commercially available for sex play are also flavored and colored, but the color makes them opaque, so it's hard to see what you're doing. (And if you or your partner is latex sensitive, you are out of luck - most commercially available dental dams are only available in latex.)

Tip: Try using the brand name Saran Wrap plastic wrap instead. Only this brand does not have tiny microscopic holes in the plastic, so you can use it for safer sex, because nothing will pass through from your partner to you, or the other way around. Saran Wrap is also clear so you can see what you're looking at. And the best part is that it comes in a very long roll, so you can wrap your partner up and have your hands free to, well, you get the idea! Don't dislodge the plastic by trying to incorporate manual penetration (like with fingers or toys). You will be breaking the fluid barrier and putting both of you at risk. Instead, use your hands to explore the rest of your partner's body while pleasing her orally.