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Safe Summer Sex
by Mel September 7th 2010, 03:21 AM

Article featured in Avatar - Volume 4, Issue 1 (July 2010).

Safe Summer Sex
By Rie

It's almost summer fling time! We all know of summer flings and many of us have had them. Maybe it's all caused by the heat, or we're all intoxicated by “summer fever”. Just like Danny and Sandy in Grease, a little bit of summer lovin' never did any harm, right? It's the perfect time of year to get out and about meeting new people. Whether you plan on having sex or just making friends, it's worth remembering to stay safe under the sun. A summer fling can give you wonderful memories, but it can also leave you heartbroken. All summer flings have to come to an end, whether the autumn blues put out the spark, or life gets in the way.

When the sun comes up, people tend to strip down. While sex may seem tempting surrounded by the sounds of the surf, the sand, and the heat, it's worth remembering that you don't know your summer fling's sexual history. Safe sex means actively preventing the risk of unplanned pregnancy and catching a sexually transmitted infection. Remember that you can have a sexually transmitted infection and show no signs, but still pass it onto partners. There is always a risk of catching a sexually transmitted disease if you are engaging in any form of sexual activity. As a general rule you should use a condom or a dental dam for any type of sex, even oral sex, especially if you don't know your partner's past history. Some people say that if you're not mature enough to buy condoms, you're not mature enough to have sex.

It's worth remembering that sex on the beach, while tempting, can be painful. Best use a blanket to avoid getting sand in the vagina or openings in the penis, which can be extremely painful. Sand can tear the condom, leaving you at risk of infections and upping the risk of pregnancy. Wiping the sand out with a wet-wipe and urinating can help remove sand from the urethra. Sex in the sea, pool, or even a hot tub introduces bacteria from the water into the vagina. This leaves you at risk of getting urinary tract infections and other such infections. If you're using a condom, there's a chance of the condom falling off, because of the water. If you're using spermicidal gel, remember that it can be washed out. There is still a risk of pregnancy from sex in water. Take note if you plan on having sex out in the open that it takes thirty minutes for sunscreen to start working.

Oral sex is generally less risky when it comes to getting or passing on an infection; however, some sexually transmitted illnesses can still be passed on by oral sex. To put it simply;: unprotected oral sex puts you at risk for numerous sexually transmitted diseases. Don't get semen or blood in your mouth, and be sure to avoid oral sex altogether if you have mouth ulcers, bleeding gums, or cold sores. Don't brush your teeth immediately before having oral sex as this can cause small tears and bleeding in your gums. Keep your nails short if you plan on putting your fingers inside another person to prevent rips and tears, and be sure to thoroughly clean your nails before putting them near your mouth. Try using flavoured condoms for oral sex involving a penis, lip gloss, lip stick and other oil based products will damage the condom. For oral–vaginal and anal sex use a dental dam. If you have had your fingers in someone else's vagina, it's a good idea to wash your hands using hot water and anti-bacterial soap before touching your eyes or another persons body. If you're going to be engaging in anal fisting, exposing yourself to any blood, or just want to be extra safe, try using latex 'examination gloves' (the type doctors use).

Vaginal intercourse is risky when it comes to sexually transmitted illnesses and unwanted pregnancy. The single most effective thing to do when having sexual intercourse is to use a condom. Men should experiment with different condoms as all condoms are not the same. To prevent tears and unwanted pregnancy it's important to ensure the condom is on correctly and is the right size. To put a condom on correctly you must pinch the tip of the condom as you unroll it all the way down to prevent air bubbles. It's important to hold the base of the condom while withdrawing so it doesn't slip off. Sperm can live for up to five days if it is kept in a warm moist area, such as the cervix of a women. It is a myth that oxygen kills sperm. If you choose to use sex toys be sure not to share them. Clean them thoroughly before and after use, and use a condom.

Anal sex is a higher risk activity, because the tissue of the anus and rectum can be damaged easily. Anal sex without a condom is very risky behaviour. Couples must ensure that the anal area is clean and the bowel is empty. Whether penetration occurs using fingers or a penis a condom is the best way to avoid sexually transmitted infections is to use a condom, and to wash after continuing to avoid bacteria transferring from the rectum to the vagina. Since the rectum can easily be damaged it is recommended to use plenty of lubrication. Condoms will also prevent pregnancy from oral sex.

Whether you're looking for a summer fling, casual sex, or a long term relationship, make sure you keep healthy and enjoy the heat of the summer.
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