Non-penetrative sex A range of sex acts, sometimes called "outercourse", can be enjoyed with significantly reduced risks of infection or pregnancy.
President Bill Clinton 's surgeon general, Joycelyn Elders , tried to encourage the use of these practices among young people, but her position encountered opposition from a number of outlets, including the White House itself, and resulted in her being fired by President Clinton in December However, non-penetrative sex may not protect against infections that can be transmitted skin-to-skin such as herpes and genital warts.
Sexual activity using these devices is called protected sex. How to put on a male condom Condoms cover the penis during sexual activity. They are most frequently made of latex , and can also be made out of synthetic materials including polyurethane. Female condoms are inserted into the vagina prior to intercourse. A dental dam originally used in dentistry is a sheet of latex used for protection when engaging in oral sex.
It is typically used as a barrier between the mouth and the vulva during cunnilingus or between the mouth and the anus during anal—oral sex. Medical gloves made out of latex, vinyl, nitrile , or polyurethane may be used as a makeshift dental dam during oral sex, or to protect the hands during sexual stimulation, such as masturbation. Hands may have invisible cuts on them that may admit pathogens or contaminate the other body part or partner. Another way to protect against pathogen transmission is the use of protected or properly cleaned dildos and other sex toys.
If a sex toy is to be used in more than one orifice or partner, a condom can be used over it and changed when the toy is moved. When latex barriers are used, oil-based lubrication can break down the structure of the latex and remove the protection it provides.
Condoms male or female are used to protect against STIs, and used with other forms of contraception to improve contraceptive effectiveness. For example, simultaneously using both the male condom and spermicide applied separately, not pre-lubricated is believed to reduce perfect-use pregnancy rates to those seen among implant users.
Studies of latex condom performance during use reported breakage and slippage rates varying from 1. Because the cost of female condoms is higher than male condoms, there have been studies carried out with the aim of detecting whether they can be reused.
Research has shown that structural integrity of polyurethane female condoms is not damaged during up to five uses if it is disinfected with water and household bleach. However, regardless of this study, specialists still recommend that female condoms be used only once and then discarded. Pre-exposure prophylaxis Pre-exposure prophylaxis is the use of prescription drugs by people who do not have HIV as a strategy for the prevention of HIV infection.
It is an optional treatment which may be taken by people who are HIV negative, but who have substantial, higher-than-average risk of contracting an HIV infection. The Centers for Disease Control says that "PrEP is a powerful HIV prevention tool and can be combined with condoms and other prevention methods to provide even greater protection than when used alone.
But to be most effective people who use PrEP must take the drug every day and see their health care provider for follow-up every 3 months. Contrary to medical best practice, PrEP is sometimes used by those who do not wish to use condoms or who intend to have condomless sex.
There are social groups which both support and oppose the use of PrEP. Other precautions[ edit ] Acknowledging that it is usually impossible to have entirely risk-free sex with another person, proponents of safe sex recommend that some of the following methods be used to minimize the risks of STI transmission and unwanted pregnancy. Immunization against various viral infections that can be transmitted sexually.
The most common vaccines are HPV vaccine , which protects against the most common types of human papillomavirus that cause cervical cancer , and the Hepatitis B vaccine. Immunization before initiation of sexual activity increases effectiveness. Male circumcision and HIV: Some research has suggested that male circumcision can reduce the risk of HIV infection in some countries.
Cuba implemented a program of mandatory testing and quarantine early in the AIDS epidemic. However, many monogamous people have been infected with sexually transmitted diseases by partners who are sexually unfaithful , have used injection drugs, or were infected by previous sexual partners; the same risks apply to polyfidelitous people, who face higher risks depending on how many people are in the polyfidelitous group.
For those who are not monogamous, reducing the number of one's sexual partners, particularly anonymous sexual partners, may also reduce one's potential exposure to STIs.
Similarly, one may restrict one's sexual contact to a community of trusted individuals—this is the approach taken by some pornographic actors and other non-monogamous people.
When selecting a sexual partner, some characteristics can increase the risks for contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Before initiating sexual activities, partners may discuss what activities they will and will not engage in, and what precautions they will take.
This can reduce the chance of risky decisions being made "in the heat of passion". If a person is sexually active with a number of partners, regular sexual health check-ups by a doctor, and on noticing unusual symptoms seeking prompt medical advice; HIV and other infectious agents can be either asymptomatic or involve nonspecific symptoms which on their own can be misdiagnosed.
During each act of anal intercourse , the risk of the receptive partner acquiring HIV from HIV seropositive partners not using condoms is about 1 in Among people using condoms, the receptive partner's risk declines to 1 in , a four- to fivefold reduction. The grant information states: Is it possible to develop a product without this stigma, or better, one that is felt to enhance pleasure?
This includes the birth control pills , vasectomy , tubal ligation , periodic abstinence and all non-barrier methods of pregnancy prevention. The spermicide Nonoxynol-9 has been claimed to reduce the likelihood of STI transmission.
However, a technical report  by the World Health Organization has shown that Nonoxynol-9 is an irritant and can produce tiny tears in mucous membranes, which may increase the risk of transmission by offering pathogens more easy points of entry into the system.
They reported that Nonoxynol-9 lubricant do not have enough spermicide to increase contraceptive effectiveness cautioned they should not be promoted.
Most common hormonal methods are the oral contraceptive pill, depoprogesterone, the vaginal ring and the patch. Women with copper intrauterine device may be subject to greater risk of infection from bacterial infectious such as gonorrhea or chlamydia , although this is controversial. This is because of the formation of pre-ejaculate , a fluid that oozes from the urethra before actual ejaculation, may contain pathogens such as HIV.
Additionally, the microbes responsible for some diseases, including genital warts and syphilis , can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, even if the partners never engage in oral, vaginal, or anal sexual intercourse. Abstinence[ edit ] U. World War II anti-venereal disease poster. Sexual abstinence is sometimes promoted as a way to avoid the risks associated with sexual contact , though STIs may also be transmitted through non-sexual means, or by involuntary sex.
HIV may be transmitted through contaminated needles used in tattooing , body piercing , or injections. Medical or dental procedures using contaminated instruments can also spread HIV, while some health-care workers have acquired HIV through occupational exposure to accidental injuries with needles. Virginity pledges and sexual abstinence education programs are often promoted in lieu of contraceptives and safe-sex education programs. This may entail exposing some teenagers to increased risk of sexually transmitted infections, because about 60 percent of teenagers who pledge virginity until marriage do engage in pre-marital sex and are then one-third less likely to use contraceptives than their peers who have received more conventional sex education.
Anal sex is a higher risk activity than vaginal intercourse because the thin tissues of the anus and rectum can be easily damaged. This includes by the use of anal toys.
Condoms may be more likely to break during anal sex than during vaginal sex, increasing the risk. The anal area has many erotic nerve endings in both men and women. Because of this, many couples heterosexual or homosexual can derive pleasure from some form of 'bottom stimulation'. Apart from the STI transmission risks, other risks such as infection are high regarding anal intercourse. The main risk which individuals are exposed to when performing anal sex is the transmission of HIV ; other possible infections include Hepatitis A , B and C ; intestinal parasite infections like Giardia ; and bacterial infections such as Escherichia coli.
In order to make anal sex safer, the couple must ensure that the anal area is clean and the bowel empty and the partner on whom anal penetration occurs should be able to relax. Regardless of whether anal penetration occurs by using a finger or the penis, the condom is the best barrier method to prevent transmission of STI. Enemas should be not be used as they can increase the risk of HIV infection  and lymphogranuloma venereum proctitis.
Especially for beginners, using a condom on the finger is both a protection measure against STI and a lubricant source. Most condoms are lubricated and they allow less painful and easier penetration. Oil-based lubricants damage latex and should not be used with condoms;  water-based and silicone-based lubricants are available instead. Non-latex condoms are available for people who are allergic to latex made out of polyurethane or polyisoprene. Anal stimulation with a sex toy requires similar safety measures to anal penetration with a penis, in this case using a condom on the sex toy in a similar way.
It is important that the man washes and cleans his penis after anal intercourse if he intends to penetrate the vagina. Bacteria from the rectum are easily transferred to the vagina, which may cause vaginal and urinary tract infections. The dental dam or the plastic wrap  are effective protection means whenever anilingus is performed.
Two sex toys intended for anal use note the flared bases Putting a condom on a sex toy provides better sexual hygiene and can help to prevent transmission of infections if the sex toy is shared, provided the condom is replaced when used by a different partner.
Some sex toys are made of porous materials, and pores retain viruses and bacteria, which makes it necessary to clean sex toys thoroughly, preferably with use of cleaners specifically for sex toys. Glass is non-porous and medical grade glass sex toys more easily sterilized between uses. All sex toys have to be properly cleaned after use. The way in which a sex toy is cleaned varies on the type of material it is made of.
Some sex toys can be boiled or cleaned in a dishwasher. Most of the sex toys come with advice on the best way to clean and store them and these instructions should be carefully followed. A sex toy should regularly be checked for scratches or breaks that can be breeding ground for bacteria.
It is best if the damaged sex toy is replaced by a new undamaged one. Even more hygiene protection should be considered by pregnant women when using sex toys. Sharing any type of sex toy that may draw blood , like whips or needles, is not recommended, and is not safe.