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Lesbian Safe Sex: How Much Do You Know?

Is safer sex a priority in your life?
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For a long time, it’s been said that lesbians (and bisexual women in same-sex relationships) don’t need to practice safer sex, because women can’t give women STDs. Maybe you heard it from friends, or girlfriends, or maybe even your doctor. Maybe you thought you heard it somewhere, and just took it to be the truth. Whatever your personal situation might be, I have an important announcement for you.


Fact: Women can give other women sexually transmitted diseases.

In fact, it’s estimated that one in every four women who has sex with other women has had a sexually transmitted disease at some point in time, even in cases where the woman had only had sex with other women. I think a good portion of the reason these numbers are so high is because so many people (mistakenly) think that they don’t need to use protection.

Unprotected oral sex in particular has been linked to mouth cancer, HIV, and a number of other infections – which should be enough to make you want to be a little safer. Even if you have only ever been with women and only ever intend to be with women, safer sex should be an important part of your sex life. Take pride in your health!


Fact: The only 100%-guaranteed way to not contract an STD is to be abstinent.

We would like to think that it would extend to monogamous partners who have only been with each other since the most recent time they tested negative for STDs before their first time). Practically, this would depend on whether both partners were faithful, and it would depend upon both partners agreeing to be tested. Truthfully, in order for the testing process to be 100% accurate, it would have had to be over a year since your last sexual contact – and most people just don’t wait that long.

But thankfully, practicing safer sex correctly isn’t as difficult as you might think, and it generally has a very high success rate. It’s worth it to learn how to incorporate it into your routine, and to know how to bring it up to your current partner(s) as well. Here at KitschMix, we strongly advise that you get tested regularly anyway, just as a precaution – things can happen at any time, and it’s easier to treat if you can catch it early. (Of course, you should also get tested anytime there’s a specific concern – it’s always better to be safe than sorry.)


Fact: Dental dams don’t have to be complicated.

It never fails – almost any time I talk with someone about safer lesbian sex, there’s always going to be that one comment: “But I don’t even know where to get a dental dam.” Some say they don’t know how to use one, so it’s easier to not bother. Or they don’t know where they’d buy them, and they definitely don’t want the embarrassment of asking a store employee… Or, for that matter, taking it through the register.

But the truth is that lesbians have an advantage here (especially the crafty ones). Dental dams are so easy to make yourself, and to use – and you don’t even have to talk to a store associate. As long as neither you or your partner is allergic to latex, you can pick up a box of gloves at most stores. (Preferably not the powdered kind… trust me on this one. Powdered gloves will take longer to prepare.)

Once you’ve got your gloves, you’re going to want to cut the palm section out of it. You’ll only need one, but you can always cut them up in advance, as long as you wash them before you use them. (Debris pushed into the vagina or into the clitoral hood can cause a different sort of infection, and should be avoided if possible.) Now you should have at least one square of latex, about the size of the palm of your hands. Next comes the fun part!


Fact: If you can make a peace sign with your fingers, you can use a dental dam.

Do me a favor and try it really quick. Think of whichever hand you won’t be penetrating or touching your partner with, and make a V. If you’ll compare that V with the palm of your opposite hand, you should find that they’re about the same size – but with plenty of extra space at the top, which is right where your mouth will be.

When your partner is ready to get to business, you’re going to place your little square of latex over whichever area you’re going to be focusing on. (Make sure you use different dams for the vagina and the anus, if you will be performing oral sex on both.) Then, use your peace sign to hold down the top corners, and get to work!

(And if you’re worried about it reducing the sensitivity in the area, let me tell you: Some people have a really extreme latex fetish. It does change the sensation, but it changes it in a way that feels good on its own. Particularly if your partner enjoys being teased, as many women do, adding a barrier method can help to prolong the time it takes to climax – which we all know provides a stronger orgasm.)


Fact: Lesbians can use condoms, too.

If you want to add a little flavor, or if you want to penetrate your partner, condoms are a simple and inexpensive way to spice things up. If you’re concerned with the humiliation of buying condoms at your local store, though, the Internet is here to save the day. In most places, you can buy condoms online and have them sent to you discretely. These places may also have dental dams, sex toys, and even educational material on improving your overall sexual health.

Please take note that you shouldn’t use flavored condoms for penetrative sex, as some flavorings have the potential to cause painful yeast infections. It’s also important that you use a different condom for penetrating different partners, as well as for vaginal and anal play. This may seem like a complicated process, but trust us – it’s worth it.

For those who aren’t embarrassed to buy their condoms at the local store (or who have someone willing to pick them up for you), there are a lot of options, and many of them are specifically designed to increase the satisfaction of the woman receiving in this scenario.

If you’re interested in playing around with some different textures, sensations, and colors, condoms are by far the easiest option. (Plus, if you cut them into rectangles, they also make perfect dental dams for oral play – consider using the flavored ones this way.)


Fact: Safer sex doesn’t have to be boring.

Make a game out of it with your partner! The idea of respecting your body and your partner’s body should never feel boring or like it’s a waste of time. Find a way to have fun with the new additions, and make a date out of getting tested together. Sure, it might seem like getting tested is admitting guilt, but the truth is it’s an important part of taking care of your body. Getting tested doesn’t mean you have a disease, it means you want to keep yourself safe.

If you have not already done so, and you are sexually active (by any definition), please don’t hesitate to get tested and start practicing safer sex. It’s never too late to care – don’t wait until it’s too late to make a difference.


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Author

Barbara is a 26-year-old lesbian living in California with her partner (and their “fur babies” – an adorably chubby puppy named Porkchop and a ball python named Ru). In the spare time she pretends to have, she enjoys horror movies, music of all varieties, reading, and complaining about the weather.

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