8 Tips for Safer, Smarter Hook Ups

Image from Bedsider

Image from Bedsider

If you’re getting it on and the getting is good, here are some ways to keep it safe.

Hooking up or “picking up” is suppose to be a fun way to explore your sexuality. And there is no shame in experiencing pleasure for pleasure sake. But as with any exploration, there is a set of basic rules that can keep you safe- both emotionally and physically.

We’re sex-positive here, so we figure if you decide hooking up is the thing for you we want to provide you with ways to do it safely and keep a smile on your face.

Here are Besider’s 8 Tips for Safer, Smarter Hook Ups.

In summary:

  • Before you hook up, get tested and know your status
  • Think and plan ahead about birth control and STI protection methods. Come prepared with more than one condom and/or sex dam
  • Always meet in public first
  • Know your boundaries and be able to communicate them clearly
  • Have an exit strategy in place in case things don’t feel right

This article was originally published on Bedsider.

BY BEDSIDER | Bedsider.org

Your friend wants to set you up on a blind date. Or you get a notification on your phone that you’ve got a match. Or you’re getting ready to go out, and that cute someone you’ve been talking to might be there. All situations that could potentially lead to fun; all situations that could potentially lead to sex. If a hookup might be in your future, here are some things to consider before, during, and after getting it on.

1. (STI) status update

Before you hook up, know your status for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Getting tested is a solid move because some STIs don’t show any symptoms, so you might not know if you have one—and leaving an STI untreated can lead to more serious problems. Here’s an extensive list of places to get tested for free, based on your location. If you use Tinder, you can take advantage of a new locator feature to find free places to get tested.

2. Birth control on lock

If you don’t want to become pregnant but you might have sex, make sure you are using a method of birth control that works for you. Some methods are more party-ready than others, so if drinking is part of the plan, consider methods that don’t require action right as things get steamy. And while you’re thinking ahead, toss some condoms in your bag for extra protection. (More on that in tip 6.)

3. Short and sweet, with a backup plan

Meeting someone new and not sure what to expect? It might be best to suggest date ideas that don’t require a long time commitment. Meet up for a drink or walk your dog together, and maybe have a suggestion in mind for a follow-up activity if things go well. On the flip side, if you’re really feeling the need to remove yourself from the situation, you can always text a friend to call you with an ‘emergency.’

4. Set your boundaries

Hooking up can mean sooo many different things. Think about what you are down for before you meet up with someone—if sex isn’t in the game plan, there are still plenty of ways to heat things up. Be direct about what you’re into and what you want. Communicating openly with your partner can help make your boundaries clear. (Bonus: It can also make sex hotter.)

A crucial note: if anything sexual happens that you or your partner don’t consent to, that is sexual assault. Here’s more information about sexual assault and what to do if it happens to you.

5. Sharing is (not always) caring

Yep, we’re talking STIs again. If you decide to take things up a notch, now is the time to whip out one of those bad boys you stuck in your bag earlier. Condoms are the only form of birth control that protect against STIs, so it’s worth rolling on a rubber even if you’re using another birth control method.

Remember you’ll need to use a condom or dental dam for any kind of sex—oral, anal, or vaginal—to make sure you’re covered against all STIs. Flavored condoms can be a great way to make safer oral sex more fun (and you can cut them in half to convert them into dental dams).

6. Safe travels

There are so many safety apps out there—some rely on friends to remotely track your journey while others automatically call the police if you are unable to interact with the app. But if you are feeling really sketchy about the trip, the best thing to do is spring for a ride.

7. Whoops

The condom broke. You forgot your pill. If there is a chance that a little swimmer has foiled your best intentions, that’s what emergency contraception (EC) is for. Most EC options work best if you use them ASAP, so it might be a good idea to buy some to have around before you need it. Or use our locator to find EC near you.

8. For next time…

It’s never a bad idea to stop and take stock. If your hookup was 10/10-would-do-again but you’re not looking for a relationship, continue to celebrate your no-strings-attached life. If the chemistry from last night has kept you thinking, maybe it’s worth reaching out to that person again. If this was one in a series of hookups that have left you feeling ‘ehhh,’ it may be time to evaluate whether what you’re doing is still working for you.

Be generous to yourself, make the choices that feel right, and remember that your choices shouldn’t define you. If you take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally, you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way, whether it’s embracing your single status, reveling in romance, or anything in between.

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 to React when Your Hookup Says They’re on PrEP

hookup prep

Image from LTASex.com

The amount of people using pre-exposure prophylaxis (known as PrEP) in the US is increasing. A growing proportion of users are men.

PrEP is an antiretroviral medication to prevent HIV infection. A single pill taken once daily is highly effective at preventing HIV. PrEP prevents the virus from copying itself in your body after you’ve been exposed.

Since more and more people are choosing PrEP to take care of their sexual health, this means there is a greater chance that you will meet someone or hook up with someone who adheres to the drug. It’s important to know how best to react. Rather then freak out and cast stigma over him/her as a slutty HIV carrier, consider the following.

As Jerome Stuart Nichols, founder of LTASex, points out, a person who is using PrEP regularly is taking action and responsibility for their sexual health. Wouldn’t you rather share the bedroom with someone who is aware and takes charge of their sexual well being? Think about it.

It’s safer to have sex with someone who knows their status and manages it than with someone who doesn’t. It’s also a good sign that they are great in bed!

Here are five ways to react when your hookup tells you they are on PrEP.

This article was reprinted with permission from LTASex.com. View the original article here.

BY JEROME STUART NICHOLS | LTASEX.com

Like many other people in the last couple of years, I started taking PrEP — the daily pill that lowers one’s risk of getting HIV. Since it’s a new drug, I’ve been keeping up with the news and controversy surrounding it, and there’s been a lot. Perhaps most troubling to me, though, is the rise of PrEP haters. So, I thought I’d give everyone a handy guide on how to react when your hookup tells you they’re on PrEP.

Call them a slut:

As in, “You big slut, good for you!” I’m so proud of you. It’s important to let people know you appreciate their expert slutting skills. It takes one intelligent and thoughtful slut to seek out PrEP as a way to prevent both of you from contracting HIV. There are plenty of people who won’t even look into it because of fear or misconceptions about it. So this person probably has a take-charge attitude, which can be very important in the bedroom.

Freak out:

Feel free to freak the hell out, because this is so freaking awesome! You’ve wound up in bed with someone who’s thought about the sexual risks they’re taking, which means they’re probably going to be super thoughtful and great in bed. Or, you know, you could play it cool. You might not want to seem too excited about this fantastic development.

Ask a bunch of invasive questions:

I mean, you’re in the presence of someone who obviously knows a little something about life. If you’re not exactly sure about what PrEP is, how it works or why it’s so freaking cool, this is the perfect time to get some answers. Plus, you’ll get to know them better and get a sense of how smart they really are, which will help you make a better decision about what kind of sex you want to have. If nothing else, you’ll spend some time getting comfortable with one another, which definitely will make for better sex.

Don’t use a condom:

Or do use one, whatever. You don’t have to change your plans because they’ve told you this good news. If you wanted to use condoms before, now you’ve got an extra layer of protection. If you weren’t going to use condoms, then you’ve still got that extra layer of protection. Even if they’re total fakers and not a part of the cool kids PrEP club, you’re still taking the risks you’re comfortable with.

Make sure to save their number (or favorite them on your app):

If the sex was good, you’ll be able to call them back and get more of it. If the sex was wack, you’ll know who’s texting when they hit you up at 2 a.m. six months later.

Also, since there are many STIs other than HIV, and, you know, shit happens, you’ll be able to notify them if something comes up on your end … or penis or vagina or throat. This isn’t really PrEP specific, just good hookup technique from one proud slut to another.

Go home and take a long hot shower.

I mean after all that hot and sweaty sex, you’re bound to need a shower, right?

condom ad condoms too loose

jerome stuart nicholsJEROME STUART NICHOLS is the creator of LTASEX.com and a generally awesome dude. With LTASEX and his musings around the web, he seeks to help people get the most out of their sex, love and life. Through blogs, podcasts and videos he offers unique perspective, advice on living and loving in the real world. When he’s not saving the world from a life more ordinary, he enjoys cuddles, video games, narcissism, fried chicken, managing his anxiety, crochet, and gardening. Follow him @NotJeromeStuart