We talk a lot about contraception here at Gurl. And it’s for a very simple reason. We want you girls to be safe and healthy when it comes to your sex lives.
Most of the time, we talk about condoms and the pill. Why? Well, those are the two most common forms of contraception girls have at their fingertips. Not to mention they are both pretty darn reliable.
But there are a lot of other methods out there that can help you stay safe while having great sex. But, since they are not often addressed, you probably have a lot of questions about them. Hey, you may not even know certain types of contraception exist!
Do you know what a dental dam is? How about finger condoms? If you don’t, don’t worry! We are about to explain it all to you!
Here’s 5 of your questions about alternative contraception, complete with answers. Attention, girls! Strange sex ed is now in session.
Dental Dam Dilemma
“I’ve never actually seen dental dams in stores. Where can I find them?” — Lily
Let me give the newbies a little lesson on dental dams. A dental dam is a barrier most often used in oral sex that is performed on a vagina or anus. They help block the exchange of fluids to prevent things like STDs and STIs from spreading between partners. So, you’re probably saying, “Wow! These seem pretty useful! I’ll take 10!”
Well, as Lily has found, it ain’t that easy. Dental dams are an illusive beast. Seriously, they are super hard to find in any generic wellness store! Condoms are everywhere, but dental dams are a totally not. The best places to get your hands on some dams? Check your local reproductive health non-profit, like Planned Parenthood, or shop online at a reputable sex shop, if you are old enough. Can’t do either of those things? Then, buy condoms and cut them into dental dams yourself. Here’s a super nifty tutorial that actually works! Get a little DIY with it and have (safe) fun!
Condoms Go On Your…Fingers?
“I’ve seen finger condoms at the pharmacy, but I don’t know why someone would need them? They look weird! What are they actually for?” — Kana
Finger condoms may seem kind of weird at first. Your fingers aren’t usually something that we are told to protect when it comes to sex. That being said, finger condoms are actually a smart decision for people who need or want to be super cautious when it comes to sex. Some STIs can be spread through cuts on the hands (though it isn’t super common), and finger condoms will just add another layer of protection from all of that. So, if your partner has an STI or STD, talk it out and see if this is an extra precaution you want to take!
Some people use sterile gloves for this reason, too. In the case of gloves and finger condoms, you’ll find that lube sticks better to latex than your actual hand, which may be useful if you need a little help down there during sex. I’ve also heard of some femme girls who have sex with girls wearing gloves or finger condoms during sex so they can still have long, manicured fingernails while being sexually active with a partner. You go, femme girls! All that being said, finger condoms and gloves are an option you might want to explore, depending on your situation. So look into it!
Sex, Sperm, Spermicide, Oh My!
“My boyfriend and I had sex the day after my period, and the condom broke. He was nowhere near finished, so he put on another condom and we continued having sex. The second condom had spermicide lube on it, so wouldn’t that kill any pre-cum from the first condom?” — Maria
Good question, Maria! Spermicide is something lots of people aren’t informed about, so let’s get chatting! When using spermicides, it’s really important to insert the product into your vagina before any fluids come anywhere near your downstairs area. Spermicide functions by stopping sperm from swimming, meaning they can’t reach your egg. But this blockage can only happen before sperm is inside of you.
This means, if your boyfriend’s pre-cum was inside of you, the spermicide really wouldn’t give you a ton of help. The spermicide just didn’t have the right amount of time to do a fool-proof job. With big-deal sex stuff like this, we want to be extra careful. For the future, know that spermicides are most effective when used with some other form of birth control. So think of them as extra insurance on a more reliable form, like condoms or the pill. For now, I would look into Plan B, just to make sure you are pregnancy free like you want to be! Which brings me to…
Plan B Problems
“I’m really confused about Plan B. What does it do, and where do you even get it from?” — Taylor
Plan B is your go-to for those times when you make a mistake. Maybe the condom breaks. Maybe you have been spotty with your birth control. Maybe something else unexpected happened and you are suddenly wondering, “Could what just happened make me pregnant?” That’s when you turn to a little pill called Plan B. If you take the pill within 24 hours after your “Oops!” moment, it can reduce your risk of becoming pregnant by 95 percent!
But Plan B is just that. The follow-up plan for when Plan A (i.e. condoms or birth control) gets a little faulty. It is not meant to be taken consistently and does have minor side effects, like dizziness and nausea. Plan B can be purchased at any pharmacy without an ID. Note: The packaging does say it’s intended for people 17 and older, but younger girls can purchase the pill. It’s just a good idea to consult a doctor before taking it. You’ll probably end up paying around 40 bucks in the end. But in a pinch, it’s a great option to have!
“My boyfriend and I use the pull-out method. He can tell when he’s close to orgasm, and will withdraw and finish himself off. However, we have had more than a few close calls where he almost finished inside of me. Is this an okay form on contraception? We are really careful with it!” — Anonymous
Hi Gurl reader!
I’m just going to cut to the chase here: The pull-out method is not something to rely on for contraception! Ever. At all. I actually refuse to name it as a method of contraception because it is totally not! The pull-out method is super unreliable because even if your boyfriend removes his penis from your vagina before he finishes, he is still releasing fluids inside of you during sex. Fluids like pre-cum also have sperm present, meaning pregnancy can happen even if you “perfect” the pull-out.
As you have already come to know (pun actually intended), relying on your BF to know when he’s going to finish isn’t a good decision. Even if the pull-out method worked in some other space and time different from our own! My advice? Use a condom or, if you’re looking for that skin-to-skin contact, start on some birth control. Your health and pregnancy-free status is worth it! Good luck!
What other alternative contraception or protection do you have questions about? Let’s chat about it in the comments below!