Safe sex is healthy sex. SafeSexID allows you and your sexual partner(s) to better assess the risks of your sexual relationships. Sex can be risky, and possibly very risky. The more encounters you have, the greater the risks become. The following is only a guideline for safe sex practices, and does NOT address the issues of contraception in order to prevent pregnancy. Barrier protection, of course, may achieve both goals.
It is important that you first open a truthful dialogue with your partner(s) regarding your sexual past, your preferences, and your decision to practice safe sex. It is important that you share your sexual histories so that you can find out about potential STIs or diseases. Some STIs are not curable; you will want to use protection to prevent receiving any incurable STIs from a partner. SafeSexID helps answer and substantiate the all-important question for all of your partners, "Have you been tested recently?" But, even with a recent test, an STI may take time to develop and the recent test may have produced a false negative. An STI may also have been acquired by just one interaction after a successful negative test. Nevertheless, SafeSexID shows a level of responsibility by your partner(s) to you, and by you to them, to practice safe sex. Everyone benefits!
Educate yourself. STIs will vary in their symptoms (some having no apparent symptoms at all) and have different modes, facility and methods of transmission. Education is key. Regular testing is one of the most important elements of practicing safe sex, a problem which SafeSexID addresses. The proper use of condoms, dental dams, lubrication, sex toys and most importantly their hygienic maintenance (the use of condoms even on your toys is recommended!) - in essence, your education on safe sex practices is primary to practicing safe sex!
Of course, minimum risk is achieved by refraining from sexual relations with a partner altogether, and refraining from taking intravenous drugs or otherwise sharing bodily fluids with a partner which may transmit an STI.
As an alternative to abstinence, sticking to sexual activities that don't spread STIs such as mutual masturbation (masturbating while with each other) - or dry sex grinding are other ways to safely get sexual pleasure and be intimate with another person. But if you're having naked genital contact and touching each other or having any kind of sex, using barriers is always preferred.
Use barrier protection for all types of sexual encounters
You can contract an STI from vaginal, anal, and oral sex, as well as genital skin-to-skin contact. For that reason, barrier protection is a must during any sexual encounter. Barriers cover parts of your genitals, protecting you and your partner from body fluids and some skin-to-skin contact, which can both spread STIs. During oral sex, using latex male condoms (natural membrane condoms will not protect against STI transmission) or dental dams can help keep you from contracting an STI, such as HIV. Male latex condoms can also prevent sharing an STI during anal sex. Both female and male condoms are good for vaginal sex, but do not use them together.
Monogamy, Limiting Your Number of Partners
Risk increases when you have even a single partner, and increases further by increasing the number of partners you have. If abstinence is not an option, the best way to prevent contracting an STI is to be part of a long-term, one-partner sexual relationship; each partner is faithful and dedicated to the other. Once you both have been tested, you may reach a point in your relationship where you decide to have sex without barrier protection. (If one of you has an STI, you will want to continue using barrier protection, even if youre monogamous, to prevent transmitting the infection.) However, this pledge of fidelity only works if both of you remain faithful to each other. If your partner begins having sexual encounters outside of your relationship, you may contract an STI when you believed that that would have been impossible.
Regular Testing and Frequency
If you are sexually active or have been in the past, it\s important you are checked regularly for STIs. Some diseases that are contracted through sexual encounters do not cause significant symptoms or signs until several weeks, months, or even years after you've contracted them. By the time you find out you have the STI, you may have unknowingly shared it with your sexual partner(s). Likewise, a partner may unknowingly share an STI with you. That's why you should be tested often. It's the only way you'll know for sure if you - and your partner who is tested with you - are STD, infection free. Your general practitioner can conduct the test. You can also visit your county's department of health or a local family planning clinic.
The more partners too, the more risk; the more risk, the more frequently you should be tested.
A Five Diamond SafeSexID does NOT indicate a large number of partners, only that your prospective partner has tested negative for a specific set of STIs within the past two months. Everyone when tested and passing all tests will qualify for a Five Diamond rating. The Diamond Rating only indicates the length of time within which the person has been tested, i.e. Five Diamond, the person has been tested and passed within the past two months. If you are only dating and following safe sex practices, a typical person may decide that annual testing is sufficient for them, and they will maintain a Two Diamond rating. Another person may not feel testing is required at all given that he or she has been abstinent. A couple may not feel testing is necessary for them because they have been in a very long-term monogamous relationship. They may feel that a One Diamond rating (no test is required but they agree to adhere to safe sex practices) is also sufficient for them.
The frequency of testing is a subjective evaluation based on your individual risk assessment. As more and more people can prove they have been recently tested, we should be able to reduce the prevalence of STIs worldwide. Just imagine! But again, it only takes one instance of transmission. Your safety should always come first. But, as the prevalence of STIs overall is reduced, risk too is reduced for everyone!