The Facts About Safety in Bed
Whether you’re in a long-term relationship or you just started seeing someone new, protecting your sexual wellness should always be at the top of your mind.
The keys to safety in the bedroom
You should think about several crucial elements when trying to maintain safety in the bedroom. Fully understanding each one will allow you and your partner to relax and enjoy the time you spend together between the sheets.
1. Establish and honor boundaries
One of the joys of getting to know your partner more intimately is the opportunity to explore things sexually. However, some activities or areas of exploration may make you or your partner feel uncomfortable, perhaps for physical or emotional reasons.
For this reason, it’s critical to set boundaries when you enter a sexual relationship with someone and honor them no matter how long the relationship lasts, whether it’s for one night or for years. These boundaries can change over time—so it’s valid to revisit them periodically—but while the element of surprise can be a fun way to spice up your sex life, be sure to use it only within the limits of the boundaries you’ve set with your partner.
Within those boundaries is the concept of sexual consent, an agreement between partners about sexual activity. This consent can also change from moment to moment and one encounter to the next.
2. Use a safe word
Safe words are a way to stop or ease the intensity of sex, which may be necessary if you and your partner tend to have spirited sex, but especially if you’re trying something new—an unfamiliar toy, a new technique or position, or an untried activity.
Talk to your partner ahead of time and come up with a mutually agreed upon safe word. The idea is that if either one of you says this word, the other partner should know that they should stop whatever it is that they’re doing. It’s common to use the “traffic light” system, where one partner can check in on the other: green means keep going, yellow means slow or pause, and red means stop completely, now.
3. Practice safe sex
Using protection, typically condoms or other barrier methods, can prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and diseases (STDs) and decrease the chance of causing an unwanted pregnancy. It’s also a good idea for you and your partner to get screened regularly for STIs, as well as other bacterial and fungal infections that you could spread to each other.
4. Use accessories safely
Trying out a new sex toy can be a great way to spice things up in the bedroom. It may go against common practice, but it’s important to read the instructions first: not all toys are built to do all things, and can pose safety risks if misused.
If you plan to incorporate any kind of lubricant into an encounter, first make sure you or your partner are not allergic to any of the ingredients, and that the substances will not interact negatively with any barrier protection methods you may be using.
Communication is the most important element for both safety and overall satisfaction in your sex life. Don’t be afraid to speak up: let your partner know what you like and what you don’t, especially if something feels wrong or painful. Make sure that if you have an infection or injury, you make your partner(s) aware.
Safety and sexual wellness
A sense of safety and security in the bedroom naturally occurs when all parties involved feel comfortable with one another and there’s an open line of communication.
Be creative and adventurous, share your thoughts with one another and try new things within your shared boundaries. But above all, take every precaution to ensure your safety while you are exploring new aspects of your sex life.
The ultimate key to maintaining a vibrant and safe sex life is cultivating trust and promoting communication.