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Whether you’re having a quick tryst or are in for some long-term lovin’, here are the essentials of good sex.

Communication Is a Turn-On

A good lover wants to know what his or her partner likes, and that he or she is enthusiastically on board. It’s sexy to hear “yes, yes, YES!” Ask if something’s okay before doing it, not while or after. You can say, “I’d like to [fill in the blank]. What would you like?” You might hear something exciting!

There are many ways to be intimate. Think about your boundaries, before you’re in the heat of the moment. Make them clear, and direct your partner to something you know you’ll enjoy. (You can move his or her hand, or whisper an alternative.)

Alcohol and other drugs can affect communication. But it’s always your responsibility to check in and get active consent from your partner. No response, a reluctant one, or being too intoxicated to know exactly what’s happening does not equal a yes.

Safer = Sexy

Nothing except abstinence is 100 percent safe, but there are many effective options for preventing STIs and pregnancy. Anyone who says using protection isn’t sexy isn’t being creative!

First, exchange health info. Keep it simple and honest. With a flirtatious smile, say something like, “I care about your body, and mine, too. Before we go further, I want to tell you [insert info]. What about you?”

It’s everyone’s responsibility to be prepared. Condoms, dental dams (which can also be made by cutting open a condom), gloves, and lube are available at most pharmacies and grocery stores, or stop by your health center.

Be creative, have fun, and communicate—so you and your partner are relaxed and truly enjoy yourselves.

Make It Safer

Safer sex can be fun, especially if you make it an enticing part of seduction. Here are some creative ideas to get you started:

  • Give your partner a massage with some dual-purpose lube. (Just make sure it doesn’t have oil, which degrades latex.) Use your slippery hands to apply your protection of choice.
  • Hand your partner a condom, wrapped in a love note.
  • Tuck some dental dams in your under things, giving your partner a glimpse.
  • Tease your partner with the tips of a glove before putting it on.
  • Make eye contact with your partner and slip a condom in his or her pocket.
  • Be flirtatious and playful while putting on protection.
  • Whisper something like, “I can’t wait until I’ve got you wrapped and ready to go.”


Get help or find out more

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health, Practice Safer Sex
https://www.womenshealth.gov/hiv-aids/preventing-hiv-infection/practice-safer-sex.cfm
Editor’s Note: This site has great information for both men and women.


Go Ask Alice!, Sexual and Reproductive Health
https://goaskalice.columbia.edu/sexual-and-reproductive-health


Planned Parenthood
https://www.plannedparenthood.org/


Williams College, Enjoying Safer Sex
https://wso.williams.edu/orgs/peerh/sex/safesex/

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