Safer sex is all about protecting yourself and your partner from sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy. Condoms are a vital part of safer sex, but not the whole story! The more partners you have the more at risk you are of catching an infection, so you need to consider this. Only have sex with people because you want to.
There are lots of things that you can do to get sexual pleasure, alone or with your partner. You don’t need to have vaginal sex, anal sex or oral sex: but if you do always use condoms (and water based lube for anal sex) and/or dams. Some sexual behaviour put you more at risk of an infection than others. Blood, semen and vaginal fluids can carry sexually transmitted infection.
Rubbing, massaging, cuddling, light kissing, mutual masturbation have very little risk of infection.
Oral sex – you can catch infections through oral sex The risk from oral sex is reduced if you use a condom or dental dam (latex square).
Vaginal sex or Anal sex without a condom are the most common ways to catch an infection.
Rimming – using the mouth to stimulate the area around the anus, carries a risk of catching hepatitis A and B, because the virus can be present in faeces (poo).