What is HIV?

Living with HIV

Sexually transmitted infections

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Sex between men

Safe sex

What is a safe sexual relationship?

A safe sexual relationship means love, care and respect for yourself and your partner. You are in a safe sexual relationship if you and your partner know about each other whether the other one has been tested for sexually transmitted infections and when were they last tested. If you want to be in a safe sexual relationship, then be open with your partner about using protection and also about what each of you likes about sex. Knowing what your partner enjoys and what intrigues them and what they are willing to try will give you a sense of security but also offer greater satisfaction with your sex life.

What is safe sex?

Above all, safe sex is sensible and safe behaviour. Infections may spread during sexual intercourse when you are exposed to your partner’s semen or vaginal fluids, skin and mucous membranes, saliva or blood. Safe sex means sex whereby the partners do not put each other at risk for sexually transmitted infections.

In addition to preventing infections safe sex also helps avoid unwanted pregnancy. Safe sex keeps you healthy and makes the sex better.

  • Use protection during vaginal, oral and anal sex.
  • If you are sexually active, get tested regularly and ask your partner to do the same.
  • Avoid alcohol and narcotic drugs during sex because this may lower your judgement and sense of responsibility.

100% safe is only abstinence but since most people are sexually active at some point in their lives, this option is out of the question.

Safe sex is not boring

Safe sex does not just mean sex with a condom. Various sexual activities, such as kissing, caressing, masturbation and more, are safe without a condom. Fantasising together or taking showers together may prove extremely fun and masturbation with hands may give great pleasure. Through sexual activities you will get to know your body and your partner’s body better and you will find new ways for sexual satisfaction without having to be afraid of diseases or unwanted pregnancy. Safe sex may even improve your sex life by building trust between you and your partner.

You can get safe sexual pleasure from:

  • masturbation;
  • fantasising and watching porn movies together;
  • hugging, massaging and kissing;
  • taking showers together;
  • caressing each other’s bodies;
  • passionate kissing with tongue;
  • giving each other sexual pleasure with hands (fingering, fisting);
  • oral sex with a condom or safety membrane film;
  • vaginal sex with a condom and lubricant;
  • anal sex with a condom and lubricant.

Safe oral sex

Oral sex without protection is not safe. Infections such as HIV, syphilis, herpes and chlamydia may be transmitted through oral sex.

If you are giving your partner oral sex without using any protection, then their bodily fluids (vaginal fluid, blood, menstrual blood, pre-seminal fluid, semen) may end up on the mucous membrane in your mouth. The mucous membrane is very delicate and there are almost always small sores that you are not aware of yourself. Infected bodily fluids may very easily get into the blood circulation through these sores.

If you are the one receiving oral sex, you have to be careful just the same. If your partner has herpes blisters on their lips, the virus may spread to your genitals. There is no cure for herpes. In a moment of heat your partner may become very passionate and bite you (by accident). In that case diseases may spread through sores on the mucous membrane of the vagina.

Don’t brush your teeth or floss immediately before giving oral sex because you may hurt the mucous membrane in your mouth, making it possible for infections to make their way into your blood circulation. Use mouth wash instead.


When giving oral sex to a man use flavoured lubricated condoms or use non-lubricated condoms and add flavoured lubricant of your choice.

When giving oral sex to a woman (oral vaginal sex) or oral anal sex to your partner be sure to use safety membrane film.