Sex should be a positive experience for everyone involved, but sadly, this isn’t always the case. It isn’t uncommon for people to find themselves in situations where they might feel uncomfortable when it comes to sex, but for one reason or another, they might not see a way out or feel as though they can speak up about this. This is why it is so important to be more mindful when it comes to your sexual encounters and to make sure that you are doing everything you can to create a safe environment for yourself and your sexual partners to enjoy this experience together. If you want to make sure you and others feel safe during sex, here are some suggestions to help you do achieve this.
This should be obvious, but it needs to be said nonetheless. Consent is the foundation of any positive, safe sexual experience, and you must always make sure you have your partner’s consent before you engage in any sexual activity with them, visa-versa. If you feel as though your partner is uncomfortable in any way, make sure to ask them in case they feel unable to vocalize it themselves. Always respect their boundaries and never cross these lines, just as you wouldn’t want someone else to cross yours.
Having honest communication about your sexual needs and interests before connecting in this way can also be beneficial. This can help you determine whether or not the person you are dating is sexually compatible with you or if you might find a better connection with someone else. It can also be a good way to get to know your partner better and to understand what they are comfortable with when it comes to sex and other intimate acts between you.
As well as making sure all of your sexual interactions are consensual, you should also be using protection. Unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections and diseases are all a risk when you are engaging in sex, particularly with a new partner whose sexual history you might not know a lot about. Condoms are the best protection against STIs and can be effective against unwanted pregnancy – although they can break. You might find that a combination of using the contraceptive pill or implant and using condoms is the most effective approach. Of course, each person will react differently to contraceptive methods, so it’s important to find one that you feel most comfortable with. Speak to your doctor for more information and advice.
It’s also important to make sure that you are getting regular sexual health checks, particularly if you do enjoy casual sex with different partners. This can help to give you better peace of mind regarding your health, but it can also allow you to keep your sexual partners informed as well. If there ever is an issue, such as genital herpes, for example, you will be able to get treatment for this sooner rather than later. While the herpes virus is for life, a doctor can offer remedies such as these aciclovir tablets or perhaps topical treatments.
Of course, consent and using protection is a part of this but also think about the headspace your sexual partner appears to be in when they come to you for sex. Do they seem upset about something or distracted? Are they under the influence of alcohol or another substance? It is important to consider how your partner might be feeling during this time, whether or not sex is truly what they want and need at this time, or if they are using it as perhaps a coping mechanism to deal with other issues. If you are concerned about their state of mind, try to have a conversation with them about this before you have any sexual contact. It might be better for them to talk things through during this time, or at the very least, it will allow you to make a more informed decision as to whether or not you think engaging in sex with them during this time is the right thing to do. Even if they seem upset by you turning down sex with them at first, they might appreciate it more later when they have had time to think about it and process what has been on their mind.
Sex can and should be enjoyed whether you are in a committed relationship or prefer casual encounters with others. While making sure you are listening to your partner’s sexual needs is a good way to make this a pleasurable experience, creating a safe environment for yourself and your partners is crucial to this. Consider the suggestions above to help you make sure you always have safe sex, both physically and emotionally, so that everyone can feel comfortable and secure during these experiences.