LTASEX: Where Your Sex Questions Get Answered

Jerome and LTASEX is creating practical sex advice, podcasts, videos and more!

Jerome and LTASEX is creating practical sex advice, podcasts, videos and more!

Looking for specific sex info you can actually use? Meet one of the most dynamic sex advice blogs on the internet.

LTASEX.com offers real sex advice that takes pride in being easily accessible and inclusive of people diversity. Created by Jerome Stuart Nichols, who identifies as a black gay poly man, the driving force behind this work acknowledges and celebrates people’s differences in entertaining ways.

It is an ever-growing resource of real, practical sex advice because the writers themselves actually experience the desires, curiosities and questions they talk about. From LGBQ, straight, polyamorous, monogamous, trans, BSM, black, white…you name it, this is a blog that truly embodies diversity.

That is why Lucky Bloke and SaferSex.Education recommend LTASEX as part of your sex know-how.

LTASEX includes hundreds of body positive, sex positive articles on useful things like STI testing, anal sex, oral sex, dating advice, sex toys, body image, consent, the anatomy- you know, things they should have talked about it sex ed class, but never did.

You can watch and listen to over 50 snappy and fun podcasts and videos. There is personalized sex-coaching. And if you can’t find the answers you are looking for, Jerome is readily available to answer you one-on-one. LTASEX also has a growing directory of sex positive professionals of color.  A first of its kind!

Help the world by donating one dollar per month for useful sex education. Learn more at the Patreon Campaign here.

Amazingly, this entire trove of sexy, useful advice is operated by just three people. The majority of funding comes straight from the creator’s day job. This is not a profit-making blog. It’s a labor of love that’s revolutionizing the way sex is taught and talked about. But in order to keep it afloat, LTASEX depends on very modest donations. As little as one dollar per month through their Patreon Campaign will make a huge difference for LTASEX, and sexual health at large.

Here is the Jerome with four reasons to support LTASEX.

condom ad condoms too tight

What Sexual Activities Put You at Risk of STIs?

Photographer: Alex Louis Engival

Photographer: Alex Louis Engival

Most sex educators and medical professionals use the term “safer” instead of “safe” sex because certain risks do not completely go away when engaging in sexual activities. No matter our age, race, economic status, sexuality, gender, relationship type, married or single, all of us are at risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The most effective way to guarantee zero exposure of STIs to yourself and others is to never have sex with anyone! Now, if abstinence is not an ideal choice for you, other things to consider are the different intimate contacts that reduce the risks of exposure.

Here is a list, provided on Scarleteen, of sexual activities in which there are zero or very low risks.

  • Kissing or making out (does pose an oral herpes risk)
  • General body stroking (“feeling up”) or massage without genital contact
  • Dry sex (with both partners clothed)/clothed tribbing or frottage
  • Mutual masturbation or solo masturbation
  • Receptive anal intercourse where the insertive partner is using a sanitized sex toy/dildo, not a penis
  • Sex toy play where toys are not being shared and are cleaned properly before use
  • Phone sex or cybersex
  • Sharing fantasies and/or role playing (within the context of the activities above)

Safer sex practices, such as using protective barriers like condoms, dams and gloves, as well as being tested regularly, all reduce risks.

It’s important to know which sexual activities put you at risk of transmitting or contracting different infections. Here is a list provided by The STD Project of all the STIs you could be exposed to.

The highest risk activities are listed first; activities with the lowest risk are last.

Vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse or vaginal intercourse with a condom that has been used for anal sex:

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV/Vaginitis)
Chancroid
Chlamydia
Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
Gonorrhea (‘The Clap’)
Hepatitis (A, B & C)
Herpes Simplex
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Human Papillomavirus (HPV, Warts)
Intestinal Parasites
Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV)
Molluscum Contagiosum
Mononucleosis (‘Mono’)
Mycoplasma Genitalium
Nongonococcal Urethritis (NGU)
Pubic Lice
Scabies
Syphilis
Trichomoniasis

Oral sex (going down, eating out, blow job, giving head, rimming):

Chlamydia
Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
Gonorrhea
Hepatitis
Herpes Simplex
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Human Papillomavirus (HPV, Warts)
Intestinal Parasites
Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV)
Molluscum Contagiosum
Mononucleosis (‘Mono’)
Mycoplasma Genitalium
Nongonococcal Urethritis (NGU)
Pubic Lice
Syphilis

Manual sex (hand job, fingering):

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV/Vaginitis)
Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
Herpes Simplex
Human Papillomavirus (HPV, Warts)
Molluscum Contagiosum
Mononucleosis (‘Mono’)
Pubic Lice
Scabies
Syphilis

Kissing- when no open cuts or sores outside/inside the mouth are present:

Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
Herpes Simplex
Mononucleosis (‘Mono’)

The original list is published at The STD Project

1533882_446848112083407_2051712922_n THE STD PROJECT is a multi-award-winning independent website and progressive movement eradicating STD stigma by facilitating and encouraging awareness, education, and acceptance through story-telling and resource recommendations. Fearlessly led by Founder, Jenelle Marie, The STD Project is committed to modern-day sexual health and prevention by advocating for conscientious and informed decisions. Find them on twitter @theSTDProject

scarleteenSCARLETEEN is an independent, grassroots sexuality education and support organization and website. Founded in 1998, Scarleteen.com is visited by around three-quarters of a million diverse people each month worldwide, most between the ages of 15 and 25. It is the highest-ranked website for sex education and sexuality advice online and has held that rank through the majority of its tenure.
Find Scarleteen on twitter @Scarleteen

Call for Guest Contributors!

call for contributorsWould you like to be a guest writer for SaferSex.Education? Are you an expert in the field of sexual health?  Does your work contribute to a better informed, sex-positive world?

We are seeking accurate, entertaining, informative articles on the topics of safer sex practices and sexual well-being. We accept both syndicated content and original guest posts.

SaferSex.Education (SS.Ed) is an online resource that collects and shares content by well-known sex educators and sex-positive advocates. Our expert contributors include award-winning writers and experts such as Heather Corinna, Elle Chase, Megan Andelloux, Kate McCombs, and many more!

We publish accurate, up-to-date features to improve and support safer sex practices and sexual well-being. Articles are organized under five main categories: 1) barrier methods (i.e. condoms, sex dams); 2) birth control; 3) STI/STD testing/prevention; 4) body image and pleasure; 5) sexual safety conversations (with partners, teens, parents, etcetera).

We publish content that not only offers the “how-tos” on safer sex, but also challenges the shame and stigma attached to safer practices. Generally, our content speaks to audiences 18 years old+, and we have a special section dedicated to sex and aging. We are inclusive of people’s diversity and seek content that supports sexual minorities.

Guidelines

You can pitch us your idea or write a post and send it in. Which ever works for you.

Posts must be at least 500 words. There is no maximum word limit. We’ll feature your article with your byline, bio and link to your website and Twitter. We will also promote your article/s through frequent rotation on our social media channels.

Our primary purpose is to inform, not promote. We understand that guest posting is important for raising your online visibility, and that’s fine. But please don’t submit a puff piece that is loaded with obvious self-promotion.

If you feel like you’d be a perfect fit, please send us a link to your writing or submit samples to our editor, Lara@LuckyBloke.com, and we’ll be in touch.

 

How To Choose the Best Condoms for You (and Your Partner)!

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When it comes to condom information, how do you know which are the best condoms? There exists thousands of variation that explain the same, step-by-step instructions of how to open a condom package, put it on, and dispose of the condom.

Unfortunately, very few people learn anything else beyond that. This short-sighted approach allows for condom myths, like the idea that one-size-fits-all, to flourish.

Melissa White, CEO of Lucky Bloke, is here to set straight our condom shopping habits. Don’t miss the informative video at the end for some tricks and tips on how to find the correct condom size.

This article is meant to help you to navigate the modern day condom market with all its varied and specialized forms. Here are some main points to take away:

  • Finding the right fit is imperative to pleasure and safety.
  • Simply buying the cheapest, most accessible condoms is not effective for everyone or every couple.
  • Condom technology advancements have been centered around enhancing pleasure for years.
    Not all condoms are made equal!
  • Experiment with condom samplers and variety packs to find the best condoms.
  • The best condoms should feel snug and secure, never baggy or painfully tight.
  • Use the handy toilet paper roll trick to determine your size (see video).

BY MELISSA WHITE

You might not know about some of the more recent advances in condom technology. These days, if you aren’t making the connection between condoms and pleasure, you are likely simply wearing the wrong one.

Out-dated and erroneous beliefs such as “condoms are one-size-fits-all” and “all condoms are created equal” have gone unchallenged for far too long. It’s time to bust those widespread condom myths once and for all.

Few people are taught that condom quality and condom fit are as essential to condoms as they are to any other intimate apparel.

What Condom Size Do You Need? How Do You Determine Your Partner’s Condom Size?

So it comes as no surprise that many couples through repeated, uncomfortable experiences have come to view condoms as, at best, a necessary evil. This, in turn, leads many to select simply the cheapest condoms available.

Why not just pick up a free handful at the local club or bar or buy those on clearance — they’re all the same, right? Wrong. So very wrong!

By using a well-fitting premium quality condom instead, you are making a surprisingly affordable and highly valuable investment toward greatly increasing your potential safer sex pleasure — not to mention your safety.

Once you wrap your mind around this and experience the difference, you’ll be opening up a whole new world of opportunities for highly pleasurable safer sex.

Internationally, the condom world is continually innovating. Nonetheless, you’re not likely to have heard of some of the best condoms currently on the market.

You can now explore the very thinnest condoms available from Japan; a tasty line of vegan flavored condoms from Australia; condoms that vary from glow-in- the-dark to ribbed and studded from North America; as well as, the very best from all over Europe.

An exciting non-latex condom (stronger and more sensitive than any latex predecessor) has hit the market and is poised to set the bar for pleasure most thought impossible when wearing a condom.

And of course, there are also condoms that enhance pleasure and performance through the use of arousal or desensitizing lubricants.

Lucky Bloke carries a carefully curated selection of the very best condoms from around the world, offering the opportunity for condom users to experience and explore condoms they might otherwise never have easy access to, and allowing them to discover condoms that can take safer sex to a higher level.

Best of all, at Lucky Bloke, as well as theCondomReview.com, you can simply buy single condoms and try out a couple different varieties, without having to purchase entire boxes of unfamiliar new condoms.

Realizing that you never have to sacrifice pleasure for safety again will certainly improve your own sex life. And while that may be good enough for you, getting savvy about safer sex also has far-reaching global benefits.

As condom users discover they can have a dramatically improved safer sex, it leads to more consistent condom use. And when you think about the implications, it is clear that this kind of shift can have a huge positive impact on public health, easily saving thousands of lives.

The time for better, safer sex has arrived. If you don’t love your condom, now’s the time to stop settling for a mediocre, outdated experience. Empower yourself with this information and find a condom that you and your partner will truly enjoy.

Read the full article on the Huffington Post.

Unsure what size

7 Condoms that even a Condom Skeptic would Love

Photo credit: Onyana Rose

Photo credit: Onyana Rose

These Sexy Condoms Will Completely Revolutionize Your Time In Bed! Guaranteed. 

Are you someone who hates condoms or has a partner that struggles with condom use? You’re not alone. In her Global Condom Review, Melissa White, CEO of Lucky Bloke, found that most people are unaware that condoms come in different sizes and shapes. Hence, many are wearing the wrong condom.

She argues that condom pleasure boils down to knowing what size you need and experimenting with different types and shapes.

Basically, if you dislike condoms it’s because you haven’t found the right one yet.

In this article, Melissa White recommends seven top-selling boutique condoms based on condom size needs. Take her advise and everything you thought you knew about condoms will improve.

This article was originally published on Your Tango.

BY MELISSA WHITE | LuckyBloke.com

Sure, contraception gets a bad rap. And, sometimes quite deservedly so.

However, to date, Lucky Bloke has matched over 45,000 happy condom users (in 28 countries) with a condom they love.

Isn’t it time that you and your partner launch over condom mediocrity and spend your future days (and nights) in condom nirvana?! Yes, with a little savvy and a few tips you’ll be there in no time.

Do you know what size condom you need? This is the first step to condom bliss.
And this handy trick will help you determine your partner’s condom size in no time. No measuring tape required.

Next read up on these seven condoms –all have something special to offer and each are worth a test drive:

1. Okamoto | 004

Okamoto (the leading brand in Japan, as well as the makers of Crown and Beyond Seven), continue to rock the condom world with stellar advances in latex technology. While, Japanese condoms are known for their ability to be ultrathin without compromising on strength and durability, the Okamoto 004 (Zero Zero Four) pushes all pleasure boundaries. It’s rumored to be the very thinnest latex condom available in the US. Until we are shown otherwise, we absolutely agree!

Because of the classic shaft this condom works best for the 50% of men who require a standard sized condom.

2. Unique Pull Condoms

Aptly named, their innovation is guaranteed to be nominated for the Pleasure Hall of Fame. When using UNIQUE PULL for the first time, many say they have to check to see if the condom was in place because they really could not feel it during sex. The thinner the condom, the greater the pleasure. Made from high-tech synthetic polyethylene resin, odorless, non-latex condom UNIQUE is 3x stronger AND 3x thinner than conventional (latex) condoms.

This condom works best for both men who require a standard sized condom, as well as men who need a larger condom.

3. SKYN | Intense Feel

Last year, when the good people at Lifestyles told us (on the down-low) they were going to introduce this new masterpiece in condom innovation: SKYN Intense Real Feel, it was hard not to shout about it from the rooftops. A bit dramatic you think? Well then, you’ve likely never tried a polyisoprene* condom. New condom materials (read: non-latex condoms) are the next direction for increased safer sex pleasure. And mind you, you don’t need a latex sensitivity to begin enjoying polyisoprene condoms.

SKYN Intense Real Feel is what happens when LifeStyles takes their already fantastic non-latex condom, SKYN, and adds a wave pattern of texture — Intensely deep studs on the areas along the condom that (studies have shown) maximize stimulation and pleasure.

*Polyisoprene — a scientifically formulated non-latex material that offers the strength of latex while delivering ultimate sensitivity — provides a softer, more natural feel than latex. While polyisoprene condoms are ideal for people with latex allergies or latex sensitivities, many couples prefer them to latex condoms altogether.

This condom works best for both men who require a standard sized condom. If your man needs a larger condom, try SKYN Large.

4. ONE | Tantric Pleasures

Ah, Tantric Pleasures. Of course, you want a condom that’s interesting, that feels great inside and out. Meet ONE’s answer: Tantric Pleasures, the first condom in the world created with tattoo-inspired texture for increased pleasure and an easy-rolling flared shape for added comfort. Pleasure shape meets pleasure texture. Pleasure, indeed. There are 3 separate designs: Maori, Tribal, & Titan.

When choosing ONE you’re helping people in need, as a portion of every purchase supports HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment efforts in Africa.

This condom works best for both men who require a standard sized condom, as well as men who need a slightly larger condom.

5. GLYDE | Slimfit Strawberry

When creating the tastiest flavored condoms (and dams) in the world, GLYDE ignored cheap chemical concoctions and sourced the highest quality food-grade natural and organic fruit and nut extracts on the planet. Combining this with a red premium secure fit condom, GLYDE Slimfit Strawberry surpasses international quality standards with ultrathin comfort and increased sensation for any connoisseur in the mood for vegan, sugar-free strawberry deliciousness. It also smells absolutely divine!

This condom works best for the 35% of men who require a tighter fit, more secure condom. If you need a standard fit, try Strawberry Ultra.

6. Durex | Performax Intense

Durex Performax Intense condoms are perfect for the couple that needs support matching both of their needs. They feature a body heat-activated, desensitizing, 5% benzocaine delay lubricant on the inside for him, which helps to delay climax and prolong sexual excitement for longer lasting enjoyment. And then, there’s ribs and studded texture on the outside to insure maximum mutual pleasure for the receiving partner. As with the original Performax, the fitted shape insures that the delay lubricant stays safely on the inside.

PERFORMANCE TIP: Gentlemen, DESENSITIZING CONDOMS are highly recommended if you require additional stamina support — you will likely be pleasantly impressed by their effectiveness. On the other hand, if you don’t truly require this type of condom, numbness and a difficulty to climax are more likely to be your experience.

This condom works best for both men who require a standard sized condom. If your man needs a tighter condom or larger condom, try Ride Rock Delay Spray.

7. FC2 | Female (“internal”) Condom

The FC2 Condom offers an advantage for women who want to ensure birth control and protection from STDs. The internal condom is a strong, thin and flexible nitrile sheath inserted into (just going to get medical here) the vagina prior to sex. It has a flexible polyurethane ring on one end, a soft nitrile ring on the other and is absolutely latex-free. It is pre-lubricated with a slick silicone-based lubricant, but additional lubricant can be used as well.

The female condom can be used no matter how your man is endowed. The female condom offers a fantastic advantage for couples where a partner has a latex sensitivity. This is the only non-latex condom option for guys requiring a smaller condom (we like to call this a “tighter” or more “tailored” fit).

No matter the size, many men find the female condom more liberating. It is still “there” yet, he does not feel the same restriction, as when he is wearing the protection. Give it a try if you are (or he is) a traditional condom hater.

Once you’ve made it to the end of this list, if you’d appreciate personalized attention, Lucky Bloke offers an absolutely free Condom Concierge Service, via email. Contact us at getlucky@luckybloke.com and Lucky Bloke will assist you in identifying the condoms and lube that are right for you. (No purchase necessary!)

Unsure what size

I’m Trans. Do I Need Birth Control?

Image from Bedsider

Image from Bedsider

All pregnancies require 4 things to get going: a uterus, an egg, a sperm, and for the egg and sperm to come together.  

Just like cis-gendered people, not all trans people use birth control to prevent pregnancy. There are important things to consider before waging your chances of getting pregnant. As Juno Obedin-Malvier, MD, explains, pregnancy depends on “what equipment you’ve got, what you’re doing with it, who you’re doing it with (and what they’ve got), and whether pregnancy is a goal or not”.

Here are important points about the possibilities of getting pregnant for trans people:

  • Testosterone isn’t both control. For many trans men, taking testosterone may halt the menstrual cycle. However, testosterone doesn’t complete end egg production from the ovaries and some trans men have gotten pregnant even without a period.
  • Birth control methods available for cis-women are equally effective for trans men.
  • Likewise, estrogen is not birth control. Trans women who take estrogen and have a penis and testicles can still get their partner(s) pregnant.
  • Condoms are a great option for trans women. Plus they are the only form of protection that helps prevent STIs and pregnancy.
  • There are many health care providers that specialize in the trans community. Check out the resources at the bottom of this article.

This article by Juno Obedin-Maliver was originally published at Bedsider.

BY BEDSIDER | Bedsider.org

Do trans people need to use birth control? Well, it all depends. It depends on what equipment you’ve got, what you’re doing with it, who you’re doing it with (and what they’ve got), and whether pregnancy is a goal or not.

For any readers who aren’t familiar with the terminology, here’s a primer. Briefly, being transgender (“trans” for short) is about living in a gender that is different than the sex you were born with. Being cisgender is about having that sex and gender line up. Whether one needs birth control depends on what sex you were born with and what sex your partner was born with.

Transgender folks and cisgender folks come in all shapes and sizes. But everyone—no matter whether they identify as a transgender man, transgender woman, man, woman, or another identity—is born with only one set of gametes (if any). Gametes are the cells from two different people that come together to make a baby. For humans, gametes come in two types: the sperm type and the egg type. And all pregnancies require at least four things to get going: a uterus, an egg, sperm, and for the egg and sperm to come together.

Trans men

(FTM, or folks who were assigned female sex at birth and identify on the male gender spectrum)
For those guys who were born with a uterus and ovaries (where eggs are made), if you still have those parts, you can get pregnant. So, if you’re doing someone who has a sperm delivery system (a penis and testicles) you have to think about the possibility that you could get pregnant.

Many, but not all, trans men use testosterone (T). For most, that stops the monthly visit from Aunt Flo. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get pregnant. Some trans men have gotten pregnant even when they weren’t having their periods and were still taking testosterone. How is that possible? Well, testosterone doesn’t completely stop egg production, so some guys will still release eggs even on T and even without a period. In other words, T isn’t good birth control.

So if getting pregnant isn’t in your plan, what are your options? All the methods that cisgender women may consider are also good options for trans guys. You should talk about them with your health care provider, who can help you tailor the method to your needs. If you want to get pregnant, you should also talk with your provider because there are things you can do to make sure you’re as healthy as possible before you do.

Trans women

(MTF, or folks who were assigned male at birth and identify on the female gender spectrum)
For those gals who were born with a sperm delivery system (penis and testicles)—if you still have those parts and your partner has a uterus and ovaries, you can get them pregnant. Many trans women think that if they are on estrogen they can’t get another person pregnant, but that’s not true. Though it may be harder to get an erection, make sperm, and ejaculate when you are on estrogen, it’s not impossible.

So if you and your partner have the equipment to get pregnant but don’t want to be, you’ve got to think about birth control. All the things that cisgender men think about for contraception are on the table. Condoms are especially cool because they protect against both sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.

If you want to have kids and you’ve got sperm, you should talk with your health care provider—ideally before starting estrogen—about saving those spermies for a rainy, pregnancy-desiring kind of day.

Finding good care

If you want to talk to a health care provider about any of these issues and don’t already have one you trust, check out the providers on this list. If you’re in one of the following cities, you can go to a health center that specializes in care for the trans community:

Baltimore : Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Boston: The Fenway Institute

Chicago: Center for Gender, Sexuality and HIV Prevention at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, the Howard Brown Health Center

Cleveland: The PRIDE Clinic at MetroHealth Medical Center

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles LGBT Center

New York: Callen-Lorde Community Health Center

Philadelphia: The Mazzoni Center

San Francisco: Lyon-Martin Health Services, the Tom Waddell Health Center, the Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center

Washington, D.C.: Whitman-Walker Health

There are also Planned Parenthood clinics—like the ones listed here under “What health services”—that have providers who can help trans folks with general health questions, as well as birth control questions.

condom ad condoms too loose

bedsiderBEDSIDER is an online birth control support network for women operated by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy. Bedsider is totally independent (no pharmaceutical or government involvement). Honest and unbiased, Bedsider’s goal is to help women find the method of birth control that’s right for them and learn how to use it consistently and effectively, and that’s it.
Find Bedsider on twitter @Bedsider

Some Lubes are Safer for Anal Sex

Image credit: Id-iom

Image credit: Id-iom

Educators have long recommended silicone lube for anal play. However, many also insist on using more low-cost, drug store-available water-based lubricants because water-based is compatible with all types of condoms. The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health (The CSPH) reports on a pair of studies that found that silicone lubricant may actually be an all-around safer choice when it comes to anal sex.

This article is intended to illustrate the findings of these studies. Here are the main points:

  • Silicone lubricants appear to be safer for anal play than many drug-store lubricants.
  • Most of the popular water-based lubricants have low PH and high salt and/or additives in them that they can be toxic to rectal and cervical cells.
  • Lubricants that cause irritation can triple the risk of contracting STIs.
  • Silicone lubricants are less likely to carry these risks.

The following article was originally published on The CSPH website.

BY The CSPH | theCSPH.org

Finally some basic safety testing of lubricants. The International Rectal Microbicide Advocates released new study findings yesterday at the 2010 International Microbicides Conference and gave some preliminary data to prove what sex educators have been saying for a long time:

Silicone lubricants appear to be safer for anal play than most of the high profile, corner pharmacy, water based lubricants.

Here’s the basic information: Researchers identified the most commonly used sexual lubricants in a survey, then went and tested their effects on tissue and cells “in vitro”, i.e. in the lab. They found that most of the popular water based lubricants have so low of a PH and so much salt and/or additives in them that they’re actually toxic to rectal and cervical cells as well as to the healthy bacteria that keep a vagina clean and happy. On the other hand, silicone lubricants were found to be much safer and non-toxic in these same tests.

In a separate but linked study, researchers found that individuals who used lubrication for receptive anal intercourse (though they didn’t specify which types) were at greater risk of contracting an STI than those who did not. And yes people, the analysis took into consideration variables such as HIV status, gender, sexual orientation, and condom use. Individuals who used lubricants likely to irritate rectum saw their chances of contracting an STI triple.

Combined, these studies indicate that while using some lubricants can increase ones chances of contracting an STI, Silicone based lubes most likely do not.

More silicone anyone?

condom ad condoms too tight

 

csphThe CENTER for SEXUAL PLEASURE and HEALTH (The CSPH) is designed to provide adults with a safe, physical space to learn about sexual pleasure, health, and advocacy issues. Led by highly respected founder and director, Megan Andelloux, The CSPH is a sexuality training and education organization that works to reduce sexual shame, fight misinformation, & advance the sexuality field.

Getting The Snip: Should It be Me or My Partner?

sterilizationIf you know that you don’t want more children or feel confident that you never want any, sterilization may be the right option for you. This is permanent birth control, so the decision should never be taken lightly. As Grace Shih discusses below, women who get the operation before they turn 30 years old are more likely to regret the decision.

That said, sterilization is very safe and effective for both men and women. It is so safe, that it is the most common birth control in the United States today!

To help you make your decision, this article answers the most common questions asked about sterilization. Here are some quick facts:

  • About 23% of all couples in the United States rely on sterilization as their birth control method.
  • It is one of the most effective forms of birth control available.
  • Both tubal ligation (female sterilization) and vasectomy (male sterilization) are safe. In rare cases, complications are more likely to occur after a woman’s operation.
  • Tubal ligation cost more than double the price of a vasectomy. But most insurance plans cover sterilization.
  • Sterilization should be considered a permanent procedure. To reverse the operation is risky and sometimes doesn’t succeed.

This post by Grace Shih was originally published on Bedsider.

BY BEDSIDER | Bedsider.org

Sterilization is a big decision. Consider this info when you’re contemplating the procedure.

Done having kids or sure you never want any? If you answer yes, you might be thinking about permanent birth control, also called sterilization. Sterilization can be done for women or men. For women, it is often called “getting your tubes tied” or “tubal ligation.” For men, it is called a vasectomy. Sterilization is a very common type of birth control. In fact, in the United States, sterilization is the most common form of birth control with 23% of all couples relying on it.

If you’re thinking about sterilization, how do you decide who gets it done—you or your partner? To make this decision, you can both consider the safety, effectiveness, reversibility and cost of each method.

How safe is it?

Both sterilization methods are extremely safe. A small number of people complain after the procedure about a bit of bleeding or a minor local infection; in general, these issues are quickly resolved. Most female sterilization techniques require general anesthesia and surgery with about four stitches. Vasectomy can be done under local anesthesia through an incision so small it sometimes doesn’t even need stitches. Although serious complications are rare, they’re more likely to happen after a female sterilization operation than a vasectomy.

How effective is it?

Both types of sterilization are very effective. A large study called the Collaborative Review of Sterilization (CREST) examined failure rates for female and male sterilization and found that both methods were among the most effective methods of birth control. (There is a slim chance of pregnancy after sterilization—less than 1 in 100.) Health care providers consider both male and female sterilization among the best methods of birth control available.

How much will it cost?

This depends on your health insurance coverage and where you live. Most insurance plans should cover female sterilization with no out-of-pocket costs. If you do have to pay out of pocket, vasectomy is less expensive than female sterilization—usually about one-third as much as a tubal ligation.

Can I get it reversed?

Both vasectomy and tubal ligation should be considered permanent procedures. Having either type of sterilization reversed is expensive and sometimes doesn’t succeed. About half of couples report a successful pregnancy after reversing either type of sterilization, but it depends on lots of factors, including the type of surgery done, your age and the time since sterilization.

If you’re not really certain that you don’t want (more) kids, you can consider other methods that are safe, highly effective, and can last many years, like the implant or the IUD. Some health care providers hesitate to help young patients who request sterilization, possibly because of the research showing that women under 30 who get tubal ligations are more likely to regret the decision later. This can be frustrating, but if you’re really sure sterilization is the right choice for you, look for a provider who will respect that.

Her’s vs. His

How do you decide who gets the snip? Some women think that birth control is a woman’s responsibility or that their partner will not be interested. In the United States, female sterilization is much more common than male sterilization. However, in a study of men who received vasectomy, the most common reasons for men to choose vasectomy were its simplicity and safety. The men also felt it was time for them to take contraceptive responsibility.

So, if you are deciding whether or not to get sterilized, make sure you understand your options and discuss them with your partner! Remember, sterilization is permanent and you should be certain of your decision, whatever you choose.

condom ad condoms too tight

bedsiderBEDSIDER is an online birth control support network for women operated by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy. Bedsider is totally independent (no pharmaceutical or government involvement). Honest and unbiased, Bedsider’s goal is to help women find the method of birth control that’s right for them and learn how to use it consistently and effectively, and that’s it.
Find Bedsider on twitter @Bedsider

A Guy’s Guide to Condoms

When it comes to the condom, it will always be a friend you can depend on, especially if you use it right.

“When it comes to the condom, it will always be a friend you can depend on, especially if you use it right.”

Condoms are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly and consistently. However, most people don’t use it perfectly every time. So the folks at Bedsider have created a fun two and a half minute video made specifically for young men about condoms and condom use.

We think it’s a great video because it focuses on pleasure and reviews facts about condom size (something often overlooked in sex education). And this vidoe skips the fear-based messages entirely. We know that scaring people doesn’t prevent unwanted sexual outcomes. Instead we want to educate folks into doing it safely and enjoyably!

Here is an honest and hilarious guy’s guide to condoms:

  • Condoms are the only contraceptive that protects against both STIs and accidental pregnancy.
  • With correct and consistent use, condoms are 98% effective.
  • Don’t store condoms in your wallet. See how to correctly care for condoms here.
  • Always leave room at the tip of the condom. Pinch it with your fingers to keep air from getting trapped.
  • If you don’t like the condom you used, simply try a different one. Not all condoms are made equal. There is a variety of condom sizes and types. Read this guide to finding the right condom for you.

Note: If you want to skip all the creative condom euphemisms, just skip to 0:45 seconds and get straight to the point.

This video was originally published on Bedsider.

BY BEDSIDER | Bedsider.org

Guy Nottadadi has a few key points you’ll want to hear about your best bro, the condom (a.k.a. sleave it to beaver, groin cloth, rain jacket, love glove, etc).

bedsiderBEDSIDER is an online birth control support network for women operated by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy. Bedsider is totally independent (no pharmaceutical or government involvement). Honest and unbiased, Bedsider’s goal is to help women find the method of birth control that’s right for them and learn how to use it consistently and effectively, and that’s it.
Find Bedsider on twitter @Bedsider

How Do I Bring Up Sex Toys With My Partner?

Team Sex Ed!

Team Sex Ed!

“I’d like to bring a sex toy into my relationship but I’m not sure how to bring it up with my partner.”

Looking to introduce sex toys in the bedroom? Kate and Louise over at Team Sex Ed answer this question and offer some tips and tools to make the conversation more easeful.

Many women and men are curious about sex toys but feel reluctant to talk with their partner about it for fear of offending them. One misconception is that sex toys act as replacements or make up for a partner’s inadequacies. As Kate and Louise discuss in the video below, it’s important to be prepared for this reaction. Be sensitive and stroke his or her ego a bit. As with any relationship, good communication goes a long way in solving any problem.

To start the conversation with your partner, consider these strategies:

  • Make sure you start the conversation in a relaxed and comfortable environment so it doesn’t feel rushed or pressuring.
  • Reassure your partner that the toy is not making up for any inadequacies, but simply is a fun addition to sex.
  • Go sex toy shopping together and pick one out that you both like. Kate and Louise offer recommendations for toy shops.
  • Select a toy that is proportional to your level of experience. Smaller toys are a good place to start if you are new to using sex toys.
  • Maintain a playful attitude and keep it fun. This will go a long way in nurturing your connection with your partner.
  • Check out our articles on body safe sex toys and how to safely share a dildo.

This video was originally published on the Team Sex Ed channel

BY KATE MCCOMBS & LOUISE BOURCHIER | Team Sex Ed! Kate & Louise

condom ad condoms too loose

kate_mccombsKATE MCCOMBS is a NYC-based sex educator, writer, and maker of puns. Ultimately, all of Kate’s work is about helping people feel more comfortable talking about sex. She believes that meaningful conversations + accurate information can help us create a healthier and more pleasure-filled world. Kate writes articles and teaches workshops about sexual health, pleasure, and communication.
Follow Kate on Twitter @katecom

louise bourchier 150 150LOUISE BOURCHIER, MPH is a sex educator who knows health and pleasure. She teaches workshops to adult audiences throughout Australia and New Zealand, where her mission is to facilitate access to information that allows people to experience healthy and pleasurable sex lives. She works closely with D.VICE: the toy shop for grownups and is a proud emissary of Sex Geekdom Melbourne. Follow her on Twitter @louiselabouche