Lesbian Safe Sex: Why You Should and Must Care – It’s a tricky truth that not a lot of us are prepared to grapple with: too many lesbians are blasé about safe sex. While as a community they are typically at low risk of HIV infection, lesbians are just as vulnerable to certain other STDs as any other women.
So what is ‘safe sex’ as it applies to lesbians? It’s mostly about doing everything you can to reduce the risk of STI infection. Lesbians should make sure that infected fluids, such as vaginal fluids or blood, don’t intrude into their bodies during sex.
Precautions include using a new condom for each partner and not sharing sex toys. Touching, hugging, massage and masturbation are thought to be lower-risk activities. That being said, crabs and herpes can be passed on through mere skin contact.
Make sure you get yourself tested regularly and demand as much from your partner. While she is at low risk from contracting an STD from another woman, she may well have caught something from a man. According to a recent study, 85% of women who have sexual relations with women reported also sleeping with men.
Some people – lesbians included – use drugs intravenously and are therefore at risk of STDs such as AIDS. Other research has shown that injecting higher incidence of HIV among women who have sexual intercourse with women, as compared to heterosexual drug users.
Lesbians should also be cautious about using sperm donors lest they end up being infected in that way.
There isn’t typically a high risk of catching HIV through oral sex but you are more susceptible if your partner has sores or cuts in her mouth or if your partner is having her period or has sores on her genitals. Best to use a ‘dental dam’ (a piece of cling-film or latex) to prevent menstrual blood or vaginal fluid getting into your mouth.