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Live Your Best Sex Life: Sexual Health and the FYI on STIs

Live Your Best Sex Life: Sexual Health and the FYI on STIs

One thing that can hinder your sex life is a sexual health scare. It can feel uncomfortable talking about when we are… well, uncomfortable, but protecting our sexual health and wellbeing is an important practice which many neglect. So let us lift the lid a little on sexual health for you, to get the conversation going.

STI SHAME 

In life, STIs happen. In fact last year there were over 450,000 new STI diagnoses in the UK. Some can be serious, but the majority, if caught in time, can be solved with a course of antibiotics and a good reminder to be safe in the sack. Unfortunately this comes with a lot of stigma and shame. Whilst we totally understand why you might not shout it from the rooftops that you have chlamydia, we need to shed the stigma so it doesn’t prevent people getting tested in the first place. 

Getting tested regularly, even if you display no symptoms and feel confident you aren’t at risk is a great habit to get into to. Dropping into a clinic isn’t a shady thing to do that makes you look promiscuous, it simply means you are taking care of yourself and taking control of your sexual wellbeing. Think of it like a yearly check-up, you would go to the dentist once a year to take care of your teeth, so go to a clinic to take care of your sexual-self.

CARE ABOUT CONDOMS 

No the rattling of a condom packet and the awkward struggle to pop it on isn’t the sexiest thing in the world, but do you know what is a lot less sexy? The rattling of an antibiotics packet. A bit of a bleak statement but equally not a million miles off of the reality for some. The bare facts speak for themselves, wrapping up is about 98% effective at preventing an unwanted pregnancy and is one of the few contraceptive methods which helps protect against unwanted STIs (like any STIs were wanted). 

Sadly condoms have long been conflated with ‘ruining the mood’ or labelled as an ‘erection killer’ meaning many will skip this important step, or much worse convince their partner the sex will be better without the addition of this STI saviour. 

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If you are in a long term and exclusive relationship and have other means of contraception then a conversation about leaving condoms out of the equation is a valid option, otherwise no-one is worth putting your sexual health at risk and a decent person would respect that boundary too. 

I’m not going to ignore the fact that condoms can sometimes be a pain, but there are ways you can make their involvement a little less distracting. Try making putting on the condom as part of the foreplay and take control of the situation – there is nothing sexier than a woman who knows what they want, and we want safe sex, please. Other options could be the female condom which can be put in a few hours before ‘go time’. This means you can get right down to it, but there are mixed reviews about its sexy and comfort levels – whatever works for you ladies. 

Sexual health too often falls far too low on the list of concerns for many, but just as you would brush your teeth, wear your glasses or get a jab before you go on holiday – it should be a priority to take the necessary steps to protect your sexual health. This includes regular STI clinic appointments, checking your chests, using protection and staying informed. Lets keep the sexy in sex and leave the STIs at the door whilst we continue to live our best sex lives. 

Have you had a sexual health screening this year?

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