Last Updated on July 29, 2021 by Nancy Carteron, MD, FACR
This guest post was written by Ms. Blue of MetAnotherFrog.com.
Now, before I get into the ins and outs of how yours truly, a sex-lovin’ singleton, approaches the issue of safer se, I think I need to give you all a bit of insight into what I learned about sex and STIs years before I ever seriously considered getting naked and horizontal with anyone.
I am the only child of a nurse.
A woman, who, in addition to being a germaphobe of the highest order, was also pretty open when it came to teaching me about sex – at least from a biological standpoint. (By the age of five, I could give anyone who asked an earful about sperm, ovum, and zygotes. True story!)
So, when the HIV/AIDS epidemic hit in the early 80s, my mother who saw firsthand how the disease ravaged the bodies of relatively young and healthy men (way back then AIDS was a gay man’s disease), was all over me. There was no way her child was going to catch “that killer virus” and she made sure I knew what I had to do to protect myself. Throughout my teenage years any sage advice she’d dole out about dealing with boys included the phrase:
Safer Sex = “No AIDS and no babies.”
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To her credit, the many hours she spent pounding that message into my head played a key part in my eventually deciding to get involved in the efforts to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and how it was spread.
At the tender age of 17, I became a volunteer at Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black CAP), a local organization that focused on educating the Black community about HIV/AIDS and the negative impact on that population. It was while volunteering for Black CAP that I really came to understand the devastation the disease caused…
I met men, women and children living with the disease, their lives forever changed.
I was weighed down by the heaviness of the grief of those mourning loved ones gone too soon more times than I care to remember.
I was confronted with my own fears of contracting the disease each and every time I met someone who had been infected by the virus.
Of course, as one would expect, all of the above greatly impacted my approach to sex, which brings me right back to the main point of this post:
How do I, a single girl on the prowl, incorporate safer sex?
At 21, when I finally decided to give up my v-card, I was prepared.
Long before I dropped my panties, I sat my boyfriend at the time down for a very open and clear discussion about his sexual history, and what we’d do to prevent pregnancy and be safe. (What can I say? That ‘No AIDS, no babies’ thing really worked.)
So, my first time out I was all nonoxynol-9 lubed up as he slid (or more correctly, rammed, because like I said, it was my first time; and breaking the seal on my lady flower wasn’t easy, poor guy) his condom-sheathed man parts inside me.
Directly after the ‘big event’, I remember feeling relieved.
Partly because the long-awaited day had finally come and gone, but also because I was secure in the knowledge that I had made my first foray into sex as safely as I could.
Well, a lot of years have passed and since that time I’ve had many partners; experience has diminished some of my paranoia about contracting an STD, and I’ve learned a whole lot about what I really enjoy sexually. For the most part – I’d say 95% of the time – I’ve continued to play it safe with my bed-mates by discussing sexual history and frequency of STD testing as well as using condoms during intercourse.
Of course, because I’m human, I slip up once in a while (there goes that 5%). Not so much with penetrative sex, but more so with oral – my most favorite-est thing.
As much as I know HPV (which – horror of horrors – I recently realized I’ve never been tested for. Trust me, I’m working on it), chlamydia, herpes and syphilis can all be transmitted via oral sex relatively easily, I have to admit that over the course of the nearly 20 years I’ve been sexually active, I’ve put a few hard, stiff ones in my mouth without using a condom or asking the penis owner in question enough about his sexual history to properly gauge the risk.
I suck, I know (pardon the pun).
That said, since one of my biggest fears is passing on an STD to someone else, when I do slip up (or sometimes, just because a long time, say a year, has passed without my being tested), here’s what I do: I suffer through a sexless period before getting tested for HIV and a host of other STDs as soon as I can.
Luckily, as of June of this year (that’s when I last got tested), despite my dropping the ball on occasion, I’m still STD free.
Here’s hoping (you can’t see me, but I’m over here with my fingers and toes crossed) that despite any safer sex missteps I’m bound to make in the future, I’ll be able to say that for the rest of my days.
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This guest post was written by Ms. Blue of MetAnotherFrog.com. Ms. Blue is one third of the trio of writers behind the funny, intelligent, sex positive, informative, non-judgmental and boundary-pushing site, MetAnotherFrog.com. You can also find Ms. Blue on Twitter and Facebook.
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