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Anal Sex is HIGH RISK
Having unprotected anal sex is a high risk activity for HIV and almost every sexually transmitted infection.You can reduce the risks during anal sex if you:
• always use a condom• use extra condom-friendly lube• never share anal toys without a fresh condom
If you've had unprotected anal sex, you should get tested regularly.
Burst Condoms are HIGH RISK
A burst condom puts both partners at risk of sexually transmitted infections.Reduce the risk of a condom bursting by:
• making sure it's properly unrolled• squeezing the air out of the 'teat' before putting it on• keeping your fingernails short and smooth• using extra lube suitable for use with condoms• never using oils, oil-based lubricants, or oily foodstuffs during sex
Group Sex is HIGH RISK
Having sex with lots of partners increases the risk of catching HIV or a sexually transmitted infection.You can reduce the risks if everyone:
• always uses a condom• uses condom-friendly lube• gets tested regularly• never shares toys without a fresh condom
Masturbation is MEDIUM RISK
When practised between partners, masturbation is a medium risk activity, but is a no-risk activity if you do it alone.If you masturbate by touching or being touched by a partner, you can reduce the risks by:
• being careful not to spill any semen• using plenty of condom-friendly lubrication• avoiding touching the eyes, mouth, nose or any broken skin after ejaculation.
Oral Sex is MEDIUM RISK
Oral sex is low risk for HIV but higher risk for some STIs. It can be lower risk if you use a condom.Receptive oral sex with ejaculation in the mouth (giving oral sex) represents the highest exposure risk, especially if the insertive partner is HIV positive.Oral anal sex (rimming) is low risk.The risks from oral sex can be reduced if you:
• always use a fresh condom• avoid oral sex if there are any signs of infection• avoid oral sex if the person giving it has any cuts or sores in their mouth
Phone and Online Sex are Low RISK
As there is no physical contact during phone or online sex there is no risk of sexually transmitted infections to either partner.However, there are other risks:
• someone may make your sexually explicit chat, pictures or video public• your real life relationships could be put in jeopardy if you have phone or online sex with someone other than your regular partner• sexual predators could use information from your sex chat to find you in the real world.
Using Sex Toys is MEDIUM RISK
Using sex toys is a medium-risk activity for most sexually transmitted infections if you share them with a partner. There's no risk if you use them alone.The health risks from using sex toys can be reduced if you:
• always cover the toy with a fresh condom before use• change condoms before swapping toys with a partner• use plenty of condom-friendly lubrication• only use well-made toys displaying the European safety CE mark
Enemas or 'Douches' are HIGH RISK
Flushing out (douching) your anus with water before sex can irritate the lining so it gets infected more easily. This means that you are at a higher risk of infections, especially HIV
Long Sessions are HIGH RISK
The rougher the sex, and the longer the session, the more chance condoms will split and your penis or anus will get sore and bleed. This makes it easier for HIV to get into the bloodstream.Change condoms every 30 minutes and use plenty of condom-friendly lube during rough sex
Fisting and Fingering are LOW RISK
There’s more risk if you are penetrated after being fingered because of bleeding inside the anus. Watch out for cuts or rashes on the hand.The health risks from fisting and fingering can be reduced if you:
• file finger nails, remove jewellery and use latex gloves with plenty of lube to reduce the risk of tearing the anal lining• leave fisting or fingering until after sex, as there’s less chance of bleeding in the anus
Watersports are LOW RISK
Infectious levels of HIV have never been found in urine, so ‘water sports’ are pretty safe, unless there is a significant amount of blood in your urine that gets into broken skin.
Scat is MEDIUM RISK
Scat involves playing with faeces (shit), smearing it on your or his body, and sometimes eating it. It can also mean just getting off on seeing another guy dump his load.Men can like scat because it provokes such a strong negative reaction in others. Lovers of scat might get a kick from stepping over what for most people is the line between what's OK and what's too extreme.There is no evidence that HIV transmission has occurred from contact with faeces but blood can occasionally be present in faeces. There is a high risk of transmitting other infections such as hepatitis A (very high risk) and hepatitis C as well as intestinal parasites.This information was taken from Terrence Higgins Trust’s ‘Hardcell’ website
Cruising + Cottaging are HIGH RISK
Meeting strangers for sex in public (cruising) is risky. Unless you know someone’s status, you could catch HIV. Learn more about how to stay safe.Things to think about:
• Be prepared - always carry condoms and lubricant• Know where you are - know the area and how to get out• Be aware - drink/drugs can affect your judgement• Trust your gut instincts - if it doesn't feel right don't do it• Be discreet - keep a low profile and out of public view• Belongings - never carry valuables or lots of cash in your wallet
Is it legal?Being in a cruising area is not illegal neither is carrying condoms, lubricant nor health leaflets. However, if you are caught engaging in sex or displaying yourself in an indecent way there can be a serious consequences as this is illegal.The Police are aware of the sensitivities surrounding cruising areas and do not actively patrol or intervene, unless there is a report of a serious crime happening.
How do I report a crime?If you or have been a victim of or a witness to a crime please report it, this can go a long way to making things safer out there for you and others. You can report a crime anonymously in various ways by following the instructions in the Reporting Crime tab of Stay Safe.
Bondage is MEDIUM RISK
Bondage is getting your kicks from being restrained or restraining others (with rope, handcuffs etc).Bondage is part of the wider scene of BDSM - Bondage, Domination & Submission and Sadomasochism.If you don’t have sex during bondage (penetrative or otherwise) there is virtually no risk of STIs. There are, of course, risks in other ways such as getting yourself hurt, or bruised.If you are using a sex toy, make sure you use a new condom on the toy before using it. Lots of water-based lube is a good idea too! Make sure the condom is changed each time there is a new toy, or the toy is used on someone else.If your restrainer has penetrative sex with you, make sure he also wears a condom and uses water-based lube. Sometimes, in the bondage scenario, you may not feel able to ask questions or ask them to do something for your own protection. It is a good idea to chat through your limitations (how far you want to go with bondage) before any bondage, and to agree “safe words” to indicate when you want to stop.If bareback sex happens, this increases the risk of bondage to “high” as there is more chance of you getting an STI or HIV. The risk of transmitting HIV, and other viruses, is high if there is any blood-to-blood contact.
This information was taken from Terrence Higgins Trust’s ‘Hardcell’ website
Rimming is LOW RISK
Oral-anal sex or “rimming” is low risk.If you've got a normally functioning immune system, then rimming poses little health risk but if you have cuts in your mouth or in and around your anus (arse) then there can be a risk of infections spreading.With and without cuts, rimming can pass on sexually transmitted infections (such as gonorrhoea), herpes and also hepatitis A, gut infections and parasites.The risks from rimming can be reduced if you:
• use a barrier between the mouth and anus like an opened condom or a dental dam• avoid oral-anal contact if there are any bowel symptoms like diarrhoea• avoid oral-anal contact if the person giving it has any cuts or sores in or on the mouth
Alcohol & Drugs are HIGH RISK
Drugs and/or alcohol can impair your judgment when it comes to sex, from who you have sex with, what sort of sex you have and how safely you do it.Knowing what drugs can do to you and what the side effects are can help you make a more informed choice about taking drugs.Crew 2000’s website provides information on commonly used drugs on the scene while websites like Know the Score provide general information.Chemsex means sex while using certain drugs such as methamphetamine, mephedrone and GHB/GBL. Chemsex is very high risk.For more information see our Chemsex tab in Stay Safe or visit THTs Friday/Monday website
Phone + Online Sex
Fisting + Fingering
Cruising + Cottaging
Alcohol + Drugs