If you have any questions, feel free to ask on my ask site: http://fyseq.tumblr.com/ask, though check out http://fuckyeahsexeducation.tumblr.com/FAQ!
What STD myths do teens need busted?
What do teens need to know about STDs?
The Great American Condom Campaign
It’s that time again!
The Great American Condom Campaign is a youth-led grassroots movement to make the U.S. a sexually healthy nation. Each year, GACC members give out 1,000,000 Trojan Brand condoms on college campuses across the United States, educate their peers about sexual health, and organize to improve the policies that affect young people’s health and lives.
Applications will close on December 31st, 2013. All successful Spring Semester 2014 SafeSite applicants will be notified by January 22nd, 2014.
The program is for college students in the United States between the ages of 18 and 29. If you are a college/university staff member who is interested in purchasing discounted condoms, please visit trojanprofessional.com.
A reminder, inspired by a female friend who just went to OutFest and was given 36 condoms and 1 (offhanded) dental dam
Sexually transmitted diseases/infections are not a “Males Only” problem.
Female-bodied persons CAN and DO get them from other female-bodied persons.
It is widely known that STDs/STIs are passed from penis to mouth, penis to anus, and penis to vagina, as well as the importance of condoms. But did you know that they are not limited to blood bourne pathogens such as AIDS (to which yes, lesbian sex has a far lower likelihood of transmission, though it’s not unheard-of)? Did you know they can include things like yeast infections or genital warts that are completely touch-transmittable but still very, very nasty? Did you know that they can also be transmitted:
- Vulva to mouth
- Mouth to vulva
- Mouth to anus
- Anus to mouth
- Anus to vulva
- Vulva to anus
- Fingers to vulva
- Fingers to anus
- Fingers to mouth
- Toy to anus
- Toy to vulva
- Toy to mouth
- Vulva to vulva
The ONLY guaranteed method of barrier-free sex without risk of STI/STD transmission is if both partners are completely virgins OR both partners have been tested for EVERYTHING and INCLUDING the six month wait and re-test and have had no partners in the mean time. Which, y’know, is great for you if that’s your thing, but if it’s not, you need to know how to take steps to be safe. Dental dams and gloves are your FRIENDS, and can be incredibly sexy if used well.
AIDs and pregnancy are not the only bad things that can be lurking in the happy parts doing happy things.
Be safe, sane, and consensual…use protection. Whoever you are.
Bolded part untrue! You can also get STIs/STDs if you obtained an STI through childbirth (like HIV), or if you obtained it through nonsexual means (Herpes, in the form of cold sores). Also regular tests do not test for Herpes or HPV and there is no way to completely accurately test for herpes or HPV unless there are symptoms like a herpes sore, genital herpes, an atypical pap smear, or cancer. You can go YEARS without any symptoms from both, and you can pass them without any symptoms. Some forms of HPV are completely asymptomatic.
Also, use of the words “female” and “male” is inaccurate as not only do condoms protect both the partner with the penis and the partner with the vagina and dental dams protect both the person with the vagina/anus and whoever is performing oral but not all people with penises identify as male and not all people with vaginas identify as female.
Also I really hate the word “sane” being used with consensual and safe, because the word sane is ableist.
Your Pap Came Back Abnormal … Now What?
If you have a pap test come back abnormal, keep these two things in mind: 1) Don’t panic. 2) Don’t ignore it. Cervical dysplasia is treatable and it does not necessarily mean you have or will get cancer. The keyword there is “treatable,” meaning you must see your provider for treatment to avoid detrimental effects to your health!
Freefall: The Web Series - About Going to College
Our Planned Parenthood is lucky and proud to have an in-house teen/young adult theater group, The SOURCE Theatre, to provide peer education throughout our community. Our latest project has been to produce a web series about some of the challenges young people face when they go to college - including binge drinking, sexual assault, STDs, homesickness, and more.
The “Freefall” website includes resources for the issues addressed in the episodes. We plan to beef up the content this fall.
There are 5 webisodes of 4 to ~10 minutes each; we hope you’ll watch … and share.
Quick note because I’m not going to be able to fall asleep until I get this off my chest
Having an STA blog is something I take very seriously. To me, it requires compassion, patience and understanding. Every person that asks me something is asking for a reason. Many are scared, vulnerable and trying to figure out how to deal with a diagnosis that is so frowned upon and socially stigmatized. Being diagnosed with an STD can be very lonely. It carries a lot of dumb socialized blame and shame that many other afflictions do not. I know that when I was first diagnosed I was absolutely terrified and I just wanted to know that things would be okay and that someone was there to listen. This is why I sometimes take a bit longer to answer things in my inbox. I want to give the most compassionate, educated, understanding answer I can. I just want to show whoever is on the other side of the monitor that they aren’t alone, they aren’t a leper and that everything will be okay.
This is why I get so flustered and upset when I see other STD blogs give out…sub-par advice that can negatively affect someone going through a rough time.
Having a life-long STD, whether it be herpes, HPV or HIV* does not mean that you’re a leper or that you’re sentenced to live in shame and celibacy forever. This is something that happened, it’s not something that should define you. It doesn’t makes you worth any less or have any less value. Yes, there is always a chance of transmission but as long as you use protection and take the necessary steps to prevent passing it (not having sex during an expression, etc), there is no reason you shouldn’t live a normal, happy, sexual (or non-sexual!) life. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You’re beautiful, you’re worth so much and you are not alone.
*I’m not comparing my plight with herpes to the plight of someone with HIV/AIDS. For more info, check out HIV blogs like Poz Living.
Okay, now I go to sleep.
Always so wonderful and honest, I love this.
Condoms and barriers for safe sex.
With any sexual activity that involves genital contact, barriers are important, and unless you and your partner have decided to be fluid-bound to each other, or unless you are sure that all parties are STD free and pregnancy is not a worry, it is advised that you use them any time you have contact with a partner’s genitals, whether with hand, mouth, or your own genitals. It is also recommended to use a barrier with any sex toy that is used by, or has the potential to be used by, multiple people.
Condoms, especially external condoms, are the most common and widely talked about and used form of barrier.
The external condom, as mentioned above, is the most widely discussed form of barrier. In many cases, it is the only one mentioned. It covers the penis during intercourse and catches the semen upon ejaculation. They are often made of latex, but polyurethane, polyisoprene, and lambskin condoms are available to those with latex allergies. (It is worth noting that lambskin condoms can prevent pregnancy, but are not highly effective at preventing the transmission of STDs and STIs.) External condoms are easily accessible, as they can be found at almost any store that sells cosmetics and health products (drug stores, Walmart, gas stations, etc) and there is a wide variety available, such as condoms with spermicide or without, flavored condoms, textured condoms, condoms with different kinds of lube to “enhance” the sexual experience, even glitter and glow in the dark condoms!
An external condom is effective at preventing pregnancy as well as most, if not all, STDs and STIs. The transmission of genital herpes (HSV 1 and 2) cannot be completely prevented using a condom, however, there is a lower risk of transmission while using a condom. (Effectiveness with perfect use: 98%. With typical use, 82%.)
The internal condom is fitted inside the vagina prior to intercourse and come in various sizes. They are most often made of nitrile, but polyurethane is relatively common as well. They are more expensive than external condoms and harder to find for purchase, but many say they prefer them to external condoms, especially in cases where external condoms, even larger sized ones, have been reported to be uncomfortable or too tight around the penis. There is also less variety with internal condoms than there is with external ones.
Internal condoms are slightly less effective at preventing pregnancy and STD/STI transmission, but are still highly effective with perfect use every time. Some say that transmission of HSV is less likely when using an internal condom rather than an external one, because of the larger area covered, however, there is no official research on the subject. (Effectiveness with perfect use: 95%. With typical use: 79%.)
- Dental Dams
Dental dams can be placed over the vulva or the anus before cunnilingus or anilingus to protect against oral transmission of STDs. It may seem like an obvious piece of advice, but only one side of the dental dam should come in contact with your mouth. Flipping the dental dam over exposes you to the bacteria that you were likely trying to avoid to begin with. You can use lube with a dental dam to make it more comfortable for your partner, or to make it taste a little better. If you are using a latex dam, though, be sure to use a water-based lube, because oil-based lubes can weaken the latex.
Dental dams are often made of latex, but for those with latex allergies, dental dams made of silicone are available.
If you don’t have a dental dam, you can make one out of a condom (internal or external, both work) by cutting the end/s off and cutting down the side so that you have a rectangular piece, which can then be used exactly as a dental dam. You can also use non-microwaveable Saran wrap, but be sure that it is non-microwaveable, as microwaveable Saran wrap has pores which allow it to be microwaved, but are larger, and can allow some pathogens through.
There has been debate over whether or not using medical gloves (made of latex, vinyl, nitrile, or perhaps other materials) while fingering someone, vaginally or anally, is necessary in all cases. However, it is strongly advised that one wear a glove while performing manual sex if they have any cuts or hangnails on their fingers or hand, to prevent infections and the transmission of harmful bacteria.
It is possible, however, that invisible cuts may be present on the hand and could allow pathogens to enter the bloodstream, so especially if you are unsure if your sexual partner has any blood-transmittable STD or STI, use a glove when performing manual sex at all times possible.
I love the use of the words “internal condoms” and “external condoms” the only thing I have to add is you can also make dental dams out of gloves by cutting off the fingers and down one side.