September 20, 2021

Tips for Taking Care of Your Community's Sexual Health

Ash Team

As members of a community, we are responsible for taking care of our own health and each other's. As the pandemic has taught us, our actions, such as wearing a mask in public and getting vaccinated, play a crucial role in mitigating health risks for those around us as well as ourselves. When it comes to sexual health, overarching stigma around the topic makes it difficult to get accurate information surrounding how to take care of ourselves sexually. That's why we compiled some tips for safer sex that you can use for yourself and for your community. The easiest way to break down stigma is to start talking, educating, and enabling good healthcare practices, so read on to learn more!

Get tested frequently & regularly

STIs tend to be asymptomatic, leaving you unaware of them unless you are regularly tested. Being tested every 3 months keeps you aware and healthy, but also your partner(s) as well. One way of decreasing barriers to doing this is to enable remote testing on a large scale with Ash. Start a conversation with us and we'll get you set up in no time.

Use barrier methods

Male condoms aren’t the only barrier method that can make sex safer. Female condoms, dental dams and spermicide are other methods that can be used to prevent pregnancy and STIs. They are important for not just anal and vaginal sex, but oral too!

Don’t brush your teeth immediately before or after oral sex

Brushing can cause gum irritation or small cuts that can increase your chances of STI exposure. Use mouthwash instead if you need to freshen up.

If you decide to engage in anal play, don’t switch back to vaginal/oral without cleaning first

Before transitioning from anal to vaginal/oral sex, make sure to switch out your barrier method and clean the areas on contact to prevent STI spread between the different areas.

Use lubrication

Lube helps reduce friction and prevent injury during sex. It also prevents tearing of barrier methods and the skin. Use lube to not only have safer sex, but to increase pleasure!

Communicate with sexual partners about STI status and testing

Communication is key! Discuss with sexual partner(s) about their STI status, the last time they have been tested and their usual sex safe practices.

Clean sex toys

Whether you’re using them for masturbation or during sex, its essential to clean your sex toys. This includes when switching between orifices, partners and at the end of every use. Most toys can be thoroughly washed with soap and warm water to reduce STI transmission and increase cleanliness. 

Engage in activities that don’t involve intimate touching with others

Solo masturbation, mutual masturbation, talking dirty, and phone sex are all great no-risk options to engage sexually.

Be aware of your options if mishaps happen

In the instance that a condom breaks, or something else goes wrong, know there are options that can assist in preventing pregnancy and HIV/STIs. Emergency contraceptive, such as Plan B, can prevent pregnancy. PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis) is an option if you think that you have been exposed to HIV, utilizing a drug that can prevent infection with 72 hours of exposure.

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