There are a number of myths around sex and safety. These include:
Drinking and drugs are fun and don’t pose any risk.
In the haze of being under the influence, this may seem true. But in fact substance use is related to impairment of judgement, a decrease in inhibitions, an increase in sexual risk-taking, an increase in number of sexual partners, an increase in ‘sexidents’ (sexual accidents) such as premature ejaculation, and an increase in odds of engaging in unprotected sex.
STIs are contracted only through unprotected sex and a high partner turnover.
Although largely true, the danger lies in the fact that certain STIs are transmitted via any physical contact and it could just involve ONE partner.
Condoms do not work.
It is clear through research that condoms prevent HIV transmission very well if they are used correctly and consistently every time you have sex.
Condoms break a lot, so what’s the point?
Less than 2 percent of condoms break when they are used correctly, which means no oil lubricants, no doubling of condoms and no expired condoms.
HIV can get through the condoms.
If intact, HIV cannot get through latex or polyurethane condoms.
Condoms mean less pleasure.
Condoms can be part of foreplay and can be used to spice up sex. Using a water-based lube – a drop inside the tip of the condom – can greatly increase sensation. Be careful not to use too much inside the condom as this may cause it to slip off.
Condoms are too big, too small and/or uncomfortable.
Condoms come in a variety of styles and sizes, flavours and textures. Some are lubricated and others un-lubricated. It is possible to find the right condom for you. You might want to practice using the condom before you actually need to use it – to determine which one you like and which fits properly.
If you masturbate, it means you are lonely and perverted.
Most experts agree that masturbation can be a very positive experience. Masturbation is a risk-free way to learn about your body and what feels good to you.
I would know if I had an STI.
This would be great if only it were true. Unfortunately, not only are many STIs asymptomatic (meaning no visible signs are present), it is impossible to be tested for everything and have an up-to-date indication of your health status. There are several common STIs for which there are either no commercial tests, or for which the tests are only accurate during an outbreak.
Withdrawal is enough to reduce my risks.
Unfortunately, without the concurrent use of a condom, this is not a good strategy. If you are the active partner (the top), blood from your partner’s anus can still enter into your urethra or get into tiny lesions or tears on your cock’s head. If you are the passive partner (the bottom), there is no guarantee that your partner won’t cum in you. Withdrawal before orgasm is very difficult to time perfectly!