7 Dangerous Things You’re Doing During “Safe” Sex

The importance of safe sex has been engraved into the brains of generations of teens and young adults. If we weren’t hearing it in sex-ed (if your school had good sex-ed that wasn’t abstinence-only), then we were finding out about its importance in Very Special Episodes of our favorite TV shows or being reminded in songs. Yes, songs; a Spice Girls song for “2 Become 1” has a line that goes, “Be a little bit wiser baby, put it on, put it on.” So, yeah, safe sex propaganda left and right, and that’s good! Normalization of safe sex leads to nothing but good things. With that said, this only goes so far. Many people learn the basics of safe sex and then, eventually decide that it’s cool to improvise.

Let’s be real, we all know people who seem to have pretty fast and loose definitions of safe sex. Maybe they largely think safe sex is about avoiding pregnancy, so they have happily have anal sex as if STDs don’t exist. Or, there are those guys who whine about how awful condoms are and swear that they’re good at pulling out because they’ve never gotten someone pregnant before…which isn’t quite as reassuring as they think. For a better understanding of this, check out these seven dangerous ways you’re having safe sex; while sex always comes with a risk, let’s not let common sense exit the building.


Relying On The Pull Out Method Even When The Pull Out Game Is Weak AF

This is shocking, but the pull out method--when your partner penetrates you without a condom and withdraws from the vagina just become ejaculating--is 96 percent effective. When this news broke, dudes who were probably convinced that they're pull out champs likely rejoiced, feeling vindicated in their preferred method of preventing pregnancy. But here's the deal: It's really easy for someone to perform the pull out method incorrectly, especially if you're dealing with someone who is a teen or young adult and frankly doesn't have a lot of sexual experience or a good grasp of their self control. So when a guy who ejaculates after a few pumps claims to be the pull out king...that's not someone you should blindly trust.

American Pie

Thinking You're In The Clear Just Because You Take Birth Control Or Have An IUD

When used properly, birth control methods like birth control pills and IUDs have an effectiveness rate hovering northward of 98 percent. But just because they'll prevent pregnancy, doesn't mean they'll prevent you from all the other nasty things that can come along with sex. That's why regardless of how regularly you take your pill or how much you love your IUD, when you're having sex with a new partner, you need to make sure you're using a condom so that your chances of contracting an STD is drastically reduced. I once had a roommate who had to break things off with a guy she was hooking up with because he didn't see the problem with him going condom-free since she had an IUD. She had to remind him that they weren't exclusive and that STDs were, you know, a thing that exists. Don't be like that dude, please. Better safe than sorry.

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Not Getting Tested For STDs Regularly

So, you're taking birth control, you make sure you always have sex with a condom, you're doing everything right, right? Well, almost. Your only mistake here is not getting tested for STDs on the regular. Just because someone wears a condom, that doesn't mean that they can't pass on an STD to you. Herpes, for example, can be passed along with a condom. "But they'd know if they had an STD! And I'd be able to, like, see it." Uh, think again. Sure, those photos of STDs that you were forced to look at in health class might have exposed you to gruesome clusters of red cysts and pus, but there are STDs out there that are a lot harder to detect and are virtually invisible. Not everyone displays symptoms the same way, so you could have sex with someone who doesn't even know that they have an STD! So please, whether you're hooking up with different people pretty regularly or you just met someone, getting tested for STDs is the smart thing to do.

My Mad Fat Diary

Unintentionally Compromising Your Condom's Effectiveness

I recently wrote a post about why having sex in the water isn't so great, and one of the reasons that really stuck out to me was this: Water sex can degrade the quality of your condom, especially if your condom isn't pre-lubed or if it is coated with a water-based lube. The water in a pool (or a tub, or any other body of water) reduces the vagina's natural lubricant and will wash away any water-based lubrication on a condom, leading to an increased risk of friction, which can lead to a condom breaking. Yeah, uh, just because some pool sex scene you watched in a movie or a prono looked hot, doesn't mean you should give it a go if it risks putting your protection in danger.

Romeo + Juliet

Wearing The Wrong Condom Size

A lot of people, frankly, overestimate how big their penises are. That leads them to buy condoms that are the wrong size! The right thing to do if this happens is to just suck it up and size down. But someone having too much pride (or being too cheap) can lead to them using a condom that doesn't fit properly anyway. Don't...let this happen! If you must, watch your partner put on their condom and see if it fits too loosely (or, too snugly). An ill fitting condom can slip off or break, which can increase risk of pregnancy or STDs. Your partner can have the best of intentions, but they're literally not having safe sex if the condom they're using doesn't fit.

iStock.com

Having Sex When You Think You're Least Likely To Get Pregnant

The popularity of menstrual cycle trackers has lead many to have a better understanding of their bodies, which is great. I sure as hell didn't know when I was most fertile until my period tracker let me know! While this could be useful information for folks trying to get pregnant, it can also be misused for people who are hoping to find the best time of the month to have unprotected sex, because then the chance of pregnancy will be incredibly low. The most infertile time of the month is just before and during your period, and while your chances of getting pregnant are low, why risk it? Don't rely on a calendar to determine the best time time to have risky sex, especially considering the fact that sperm can live in the vagina for up to five days. Wrap it up, guys.

Ginger Snaps

Having Reckless Anal Sex

Okay, so anal sex doesn't lead to pregnancy, but that doesn't mean that it's always a safe method of getting it on. Again, STDs exist, and they can be spread via anal. And even if you wear a condom, you need to be safe when you're messing with the butt. To be blunt, never switch it up between vaginal penetration and anal penetration in one sex session. You're spreading bacteria like crazy and that'll lead to one hell of a vaginal infection.

Broad City

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