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safer sex

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Have safer sex. Know what safer sex is. Encourage others to do the same.

Contraceptive use versus STI protection

Almost all forms of contraception will provide no protection against sexually transmitted infections. Birth control such as the pill, the patch, and other hormonal methods are popular examples which only reduce the risk of pregnancy, but are not safe protections against STIs.

Condom contract

A condom contract, also known as fluid bonding, is when a group of sexually engaged individuals, whether it's a couple in an open relationship, or a network of lovers, make arrangements to be able to have sex safely without protection when engaging with other people in the group. This is possible through a couple of options. Everyone in the group must first be tested for STIs, and the usually agree on requirements for regular testing. Commonly, everyone in the group will agree and trust each other to always use full protection when engaging in sexual activity with anyone outside the group. Some groups may alternatively decide not to have sex with anyone outside the group unless it is collectively approved.

Sexual health and history disclosure

Exchanging your sexual health and history information with potential partners is an excellent way each of you to figure out the level of sexual contact you're comfortable with, and set ground rules. Items you may want to mention include your most recent STD test results, any past STD diagnosis and their current status, your fertility status, used/preferred method of birth control, listing of current and past partners - including the type of contact you've had with them. How far back in your history you should go is up for debate - some say a couple years is enough, and some folks request a full lifetime history. You should always keep yours up to date and ready to go. Never be afraid to ask for one: responsibility pays off.

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