Tips for Healthy Gay Sex

gay couple

Sex is full of risks, and some sex acts are more risky than others. We’ll show you how you can reduce your risks for contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) while enjoying a healthy sex life.

Anal sex
Whether you’re topping or bottoming, anal sex is a high-risk activity for contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Using condoms: When used effectively, latex or polyisoprene condoms are the best way to prevent the spread of HIV and other STIs. Avoid oil-based lubricants and only wear one condom at a time to prevent them from tearing. Be sure to check the expiration date on your condom! Do not use an expired condom!

Use plenty of lube, perhaps more than you think. Lube prevents tears from occurring on the head of your penis or the inside of your butt.

Pull out of there. We don’t recommend barebacking (having anal sex without a condom), but if you find yourself shagging without a condom, pulling out can reduce the risk of exposure to HIV for the bottoming partner.

Fisting
Fisting, or handballing, is not for everyone and can be dangerous if it’s not done properly. However with a lot of patience and lubrication, fisting can be a pleasurable and safe experience for both partners.

Here’s what you need to know to enjoy yourself and reduce the risk of transmitting HIV and STIs:

• Trim and file your fingernails! Also, avoid douching and enemas before fisting as they will irritate the inside of your butt, increasing the risk of infection.

• Don’t skip the foreplay. The receiving partner should be very relaxed and aroused.

• Wearing a latex or nitrile glove will help prevent bacterial and viral infections. Generously apply lube to the entire hand and the anus, but avoid oil-based lubricants as they will erode the latex gloves causing the gloves (or anything made of latex) to break.

• Go slow, i.e. one finger at a time, when entering the anus and ball the hand into a fist when fully inserted. Add lube as necessary – you can never have too much.

• Listen to your body! If you’re the receiving partner and you experience extreme discomfort or if there’s excessive bleeding, it means you might have a tear inside your ass. Relax and tell your partner to pull out -- but slowly! In the short term, you might not be able to control your bowels, but don’t worry -- your expanded anal walls will eventually return to normal size.

• Wash those hands before and after fisting a partner.

Rimming
Rimming, or licking a partner’s anus, is very low-risk for transmitting HIV. However, it is still a high risk activity for transmitting Hepatitis A and B, parasites and other bacteria to the partner who is doing the rimming.

Put a barrier between your partner’s anus and your mouth to keep yourself safe. You can use a dental dam, cut a condom down the middle or use plastic wrap!

Oral sex: what's your risk?

Oral sex is a very low risk activity for HIV. In fact, medical researchers disagree about whether you can even get HIV by giving or receiving a blow job.

Giving Head: The risk of contracting HIV by giving a blow job is very, very low. The mouth and saliva in the mouth are the body's first line of defense against microorganisms. Saliva is very efficient at killing the millions of viruses and bacteria that enter the mouth each day. But, if you've had recent oral surgery, or have very bad bleeding gums, it would be best if you didn’t get HIV infected body fluids into your mouth. This will increase your risk of getting HIV substantially. And remember that HIV is not the only STI you can get by giving oral sex. Gonorrhea of the throat can be a nasty illness. So are syphilis, herpes, genital warts and several other infections that are easily transmitted by giving head.

Getting Head: The risk of getting HIV from receiving a blow job is practically non-existent. Live HIV is not present in saliva, and because of this, getting HIV from getting a blow job is not a recognized possibility. However, gonorrhea and syphilis are two diseases that are known to spread from someone's mouth to someone else's genitals. Condoms can provide protection during oral sex.

Toys
Dildos, butt plugs, anal beads, flesh lights or vegetables – whatever you’re into, sex toys have the potential to transmit HIV when they’re shared during sex.

Here are some simple steps to reduce your risk of contracting HIV, STIs and other infections when using sex toys:

• Strap a condom on your dildo and other sex toys. Change the condom between sex partners.

• Using lube is a great idea to prevent tears on the inside lining of rectum or the head of the penis, but don’t mix silicone lube with silicone sex toys UNLESS you use a condom as the lube and the toy will interact causing degradation.

• If you improvise with household objects, make sure nothing will splinter or break!

• Save yourself a trip to the emergency room and use insertables with flared ends to prevent objects getting lost inside your butt.

• Use sex toys made of medical grade silicone. MInneapolis-based Smitten Kitten hosts BadVibes.org which assists people in understanding which sex toys are toxic, inferior, or environmentally hazardous.

• Clean toys thoroughly before and after use. Easily sterilize silicone sex toys by boiling them in water for 5 minutes.

• Make sure everyone involved is vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B.

• Don’t douche. Having sex after douching can increase the risk of HIV transmission, as it can cause tears and irritations inside which make it easier for the virus to enter the bloodstream.