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Lesbian safe sex: You’re at risk more than you know

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Lesbian safe sex: You’re at risk more than you know

Lesbian safe sex: You’re at risk more than you know

It’s baffling how the sexual health of a woman who has sex with women (WSW) is not taken seriously. It’s like everyone assumes that unsafe sex only happens when a man is involved. In truth, a woman in a sexual relationship with another woman can contract sexually related diseases and everyone must be informed about lesbian safe sex for prevention.

Why lesbian safe sex is rarely discussed

From sex education to healthcare, WSW sexual health has taken a back seat. Most probably, it’s because, in both contexts, sex has always been framed as simply a way to make babies. If that’s the case, the idea of gay and lesbian sex has no place in them.

In sex education, the conclusive matter of safe sex for women is pregnancy prevention (contraception). This means that sex between women is entirely left out and lesbian safe sex isn’t discussed.

In healthcare, many medical practitioners lack training and cultural sensitivity to women who have sex with women. Well, we can even say that they themselves have no idea how women have sex with women and so have no clue about issues regarding lesbian sexual health.

Women, gay or straight, are not one to talk about their sexual activities openly and honestly. This is because of the many social and cultural standards that pin women to certain sexual norms in our society in general. This results in women avoiding discussions about their sexual orientation and practices for fear of being frowned upon and discriminated.

As a result, lesbians are more often than not anxious to go to a doctor to consult about sexual health or ask friends and families how to have safer sex with women. Therefore, most of the time, women have no access to valid information on how to practice lesbian safe sex and are left to research about it online.

HIV and STI risk for lesbians

It’s not about whether or not lesbians or WSW are at lesser risk than their heterosexual counterparts. It’s about acknowledging that there is a significant risk of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), and other health disparities for lesbians.

Whichever gender, as long as you have sex, you’re at risk. Even if you have a clean sexual history and go for regular checkups, as long as you have sex, you’re at risk. This is because of two foremost reasons:

  • HIV and other STIs are passed on from person to person and you and/or your partner may have engaged in at-risk sexual and social behaviors that place them at high risk (e.g. unprotected sex with women and/or men, increased number of sexual partners, use of injection drugs, etc.)
  • HIV and other STIs are transmitted in many different ways

Lesbian sex is not risk-free because HIV and STIs can be transmitted between women through any sexual practices where skin contact and fluids exchange happen. This includes fingering/fisting, oral sex, and sharing sex toys.

Tips on how to practice lesbian safe sex

On point, sex is safer if you aren’t exposed to bodily fluids and blood that transmit HIV and other STIs. There are lesbian safe sex practices you may follow to protect you.

  • Get tested regularly. Prioritize your sexual health and don’t let fear stop you from seeking medical advice.
  • Communicate with your sexual partners. Talk about your status, sexual history, and even your concerns.
  • Wash up before getting down and dirty. Wash your hands and clean your mouth before and after sex. Clean your genitalia before and after sex.
  • Inspect for cuts, wounds, and sores. Avoid sexual activities like fingering or oral sex if you or your partner has cuts, wounds, or sores on your hands or in or around the mouth.
  • When fingering or fisting, use plenty of lube and you may also use latex gloves.
  • For safe oral sex (cunnilingus and analingus), use barrier protection like a dental dam or condom. Also, avoid oral sex when your partner is menstruating.
  • When sharing sex toys, wash them before and after use and use a new condom every time sex toys are shared.

We can’t stress this enough—GET TESTED—especially if you are sexually active. Don’t rely on self-diagnosis and NEVER self-medicate. In case you test positive for an STI, talk to your healthcare provider about your treatment options. Remember, it’s not the end of the world for you and your sex life.

Prevention is always better than cure. Practicing lesbian safe sex is still the best way to lessen your risk of getting any sexually related diseases.

 


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