Recently, and mostly within the United States, the use of the term safer sex rather than safe sex has gained greater use by health workers, with the realization the grounds that risk of transmission of sexually-transmitted infections in various sexual activities is a continuum rather than a simple dichotomy between risky and safe. However, in most other countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia, the term safe sex is still mainly used by sex educators. Because these terms are virtually synonymous with each other, they will be used interchangeably throughout this article.
Focus on AIDS
Much attention has focused on controlling HIV, which causes AIDS, through the use of condoms, but each STI presents a different predicament. However, sex educators recommend that some form of barrier protection as a harm reduction measure should be used for all sexual activities which might potentially result in the exchange of body fluids.
Safe sex precautions
(also see unsafe_sex_practices)
Sexual abstinence, while it virtually eliminates the risk of STIs or pregnancy, is technically not a method of pursuing “safer sex”. Solitary masturbation (including so-called “phone sex” and “cybersex”) is also completely safe.
Controlling social factors
Communicating with your partner. Being assertive in saying what you want and don't want. This includes discussing beforehand what is acceptable and what is not to avoid “heat of passion” decisions
This condom is inserted into the vagina prior to intercourse. It is also sometimes used for anal sex. Dental dam. A sheet of latex (originally used for dentistry) for protection when engaging in oral sex. It is typically used as a barrier between the mouth and the vagina during cunnilingus or between the mouth and the anus during anilingus. A piece of plastic wrap (such as Saran™ wrap) may also be used as a dental dam; Saran™ wrap has been tested by the FDA and CDC and found effective in preventing the transmission of virus-sized particles, although “microwave-safe” wrap may be ineffective. Latex condoms may also be cut to form an improvised dental dam. Medical gloves. Gloves made out of latex, vinyl, nitrile, or polyurethane may be used as dental dams during oral sex, or to protect the hands during mutual masturbation. Hands may have invisible cuts on them that may admit pathogens that are found in semen or vaginal fluid. Although the risk of infection in this manner is thought to be low, some people use gloves as an extra precaution. Gloves also make mutual masturbation more comfortable by preventing sharp fingernails from accidentally scratching the genitalia. Another way to avoid contact with blood and semen is outercourse (non-penetrative sex), or forms of penetration that do not involve a penis, such as the use of dildos (when cleaned or covered with condoms).
Note that most methods of contraception (birth control) other than the barrier methods mentioned above are not effective at preventing the spread of STIs.
The spermicide Nonoxynol-9 has been claimed to reduce the likelihood of STI transmission. However a recent study by the World Health Organisation~ http://www.who.int/en/ has shown that Nonoxynol-9 is an irritant and can produce tiny tears in mucous membranes, which may increase the risk of transmission by offering pathogens more easy points of entry into the system. As a result condoms with a Nonoxynol-9 lubricant are not to be promoted. However it is better to use a condom with Nonoxynol-9 than no condom at all.
Coitus interruptus (or “pulling out”), in which the penis is removed from the vagina, anus, or mouth before ejaculation, is not safe sex and can result in STI transmission or pregnancy. This is because of the formation of pre-ejaculate, a fluid (which may contain sperm) that oozes from the urethra before actual ejaculation. In addition, open sores on either partner can permit transmission Also see unsafe sex practices, Facts were current at time of publishing.
This article on “safe sexual practices” incorporates some text from Wikipedia. article by MissBonnie © Collarncuffs.com