STIs can be transmitted between partners through:
Since we’re still in a Pani (aka the COVID-19 Pandemic), its best to:
Have solo sex (aka masturbation)
Have sex with partner(s) that have been living with you
Have sex if you and your partner(s) have been fully vaccinated.
Sex should be pleasurable AND safe! Let’s discuss how you can make informed decisions that protect yourself and your partners—all while keeping the thrill in sex.
There are three types of STIs— bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections. Bacterial infections can be cured with antibiotics. Bacterial infections include
The “Big 4,” or the viral infections, that cannot be cured but are treatable with medication include
Lastly, parasitic infections like trichomoniasis, or “trich,” spread through small hosts called parasites. These can be cured with antibiotics.
To protect yourself and your partners from STIs during vaginal, anal, or oral sex, use condoms both correctly and consistently. To put on an external condom:
Get consent from your partner(s)
Check the expiration date
Carefully open the package and remove the condom
Once the penis is erect, place condom on the penis and hold the tip of the condom to squeeze out air
Roll condom all the way down the shaft of the penis to the base
Keep the condom on until you’re done having sex
Once you’re done, hold the rim of the condom and withdraw penis
Take off condom and throw in trash
If you’re wondering what an internal condom (sometimes called a “female condom”) is, you’re not alone. Plenty of people aren’t aware that internal condoms are “a thing.”
To protect yourself and your partners from STIs during oral sex on a vulva, use a dental dam. You may be thinking “what the heck is a dental dam?” A dental dam is a thin piece of latex that covers the vulva. The vulva is the external, visible part of the sex organs. The vagina is one of the internal sex organs (thanks Anatomy 101!).
Media often depicts safer sex as less pleasurable, and even boring. THE LIES! Safer sex is fun, pleasurable, and exciting! Here are a few tips to increase pleasure and keep sex safe:
When having pentrative sex (vaginal or anal), water-based lube helps things to go in and out smoothly. Some types of water-based lubricants are designed to create a warming sensation that is pleasurable for all partners. Avoid oil-based lube (including coconut oil or vaseline) that can damage condoms and make them less effective.
Spice things up
Try using fun games, sex toys, or flavored condoms for oral sex. Just be sure to clean sex toys after each use. If you have no idea how to clean a sex toy, don’t worry. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning sex toys of all materials, shapes, and sizes.
Talk about it
Discuss your turn-ons (and turn-offs) with your partner before, during, or after sex. While there’s no one way to talk about sex, it’s always a good idea to be honest but gentle with your partner. Try using I-statements like
“I really enjoy...” or
“I’d love spending more time on…
Not only does this build trust, but it can also set the mood.
External condoms are available on campus at
University Health Services
Office of Health Promotion
The Women's Center
Internal condoms, dental dams, and lubricants are available on campus at University Health Services and the Office of Health Promotion. For more information on safer sex for college students, visit https://www.cdc.gov/std/prevention/default.htm.
A lot has been covered but you probably have a few more questions. No worries. Let a couple of our campus Sexperts help you out. Check out their latest video where they answer some of UMBC students’ best questions about sex.