As we prepare ourselves for a summer of freedom we know that many people will be looking to become more sexually active but are you ready for sex that is safe and healthy? This summer is predicted to be the raunchiest one ever but does that mean it will be the summer of STIs too? With the chances of increased sexual encounters, experts believe that it could result in an increase in the spread of sexually transmitted infections. Statistics show that 50% of sexually active people under the age of 25 will contract an STI at some point. Just when you think life is getting back to normal, there is one more thing to worry about. With our top tips, you can be prepared for a safe and sexy summer of love.
Whilst talking may not be the first thing on your mind, If you are intending on having sex with a new partner, it’s important to have a conversation about COVID so that you can weigh up the risks together. If either of you has any COVID symptoms (we should all know what these are by now) or have recently received a positive test result then do not have sex. Follow the government guidance with regards to isolating to keep everyone safe.
Even if you have been fully vaccinated, although the risks of becoming seriously ill or transmitting it to other people are lowered, you must err on the side of caution and follow local public health guidelines.
Many STIs can be present with causing any symptoms so it is a good idea to get checked even if you feel absolutely fine. STIs that are left untreated can affect your overall health in the long run. Lockdowns may have prevented you from getting a check up for a while so now is a good time to book an appointment. Getting checked is easy and free. You can find your nearest sexual health centre here.
The easiest way to provide protection for both you and your partner from sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies is by using condoms, and using them correctly and consistently.
You may be wavering a little about using condoms especially if you are worried about how they will feel, fit and how well they will work. However, there is a huge choice of condoms available now and they come in all different sizes and thicknesses to suit your own specific requirements. We stock a fantastic variety from leading brands such as Pasante, Durex and Mates and you can browse our full range of Condoms here.
You may want to consider using lube with condoms. Lube helps to make sex more pleasurable and safer. Sexual lubricants can reduce the risk of trauma to the skin and help to prevent condoms from tearing or breaking. It is important to remember that you should only use water-based lube with condoms.
Now is the time to consider your contraceptive options. There are many types to choose from and it’s a good idea to seek advice from your local GP or sexual health clinic. Whilst oral contraceptives and long-active reversible methods such as the implant and IUDs can prevent unplanned pregnancies, they do not offer protection from sexually transmitted infections and HIV.
Sex should be fun, pleasurable and consensual for both partners. Talk about the things you are comfortable with and your likes and dislikes before you get started. Sexual consent means freely agreeing to sexual activity. If you want to stop you can withdraw consent at any point during sex. If you are having any doubts about whether someone is consenting to something the solution is easy, just ask them and remember, no means no.
The intake of drugs and alcohol can often lead to unprotected sex. They can also cause people to make decisions without thinking, prevent them from communicating well and therefore establishing consent can become an issue. If you think that you may end up having sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol it is a good idea to be prepared before you venture on a night out.
So before you head out on your summer adventures and get swept up in the moment, follow our tips, shop our Sexual Health range and be prepared for a safe and healthy summer.