5 Best Practices for Preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Posted in   Sexual Health, The MamaSutra   on  March 29, 2018 by  Lanae minutes remaining

Preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections. It’s no secret that passion and emotions can overtake the wisest of us at times. You’re in the moment.
The making out feels good. The touching, undressing…

Next thing you know…

Not so fast!

April is Sexually Transmitted Infection Awareness Month so I put together this post for you.

We’re grown-ups now. That means we should have level heads and exercise wisdom, intelligence, and caution in those heated situations. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are the real deal. And you have the power to lessen the chances of ever reaching your junk.

As a mom of two teens, I refuse to do anything reckless that can potentially impact my presence in their lives.
Whether you’re a parent or not, I’m sure you can relate. I don’t think you would willingly jump off a bridge. So, if you’re gettin’ down (and dirty) and you’re not fluid-bonded (def’n: An agreement between partners in a relationship to practice unprotected sexual intercourse), why play the lottery with your health?

Before engaging in sexual intercourse, or, any type of oral and anal pleasure, it’s important to take precautionary steps to avoid contracting an STI.

Quick Fact

Most STIs are completely preventable. It’s often a lack of education or a lapse in judgment that gets people in a bind. But I’m here to help you get it right.

By the end of this post, you’ll know the 5 best practices for staying STI-free. My goal is to provide you with educational tools that will empower you to:

•Practice safer sex habits
•Make wise decisions when it comes to your sexual health
•Know your STI status

But here’s the absolute best part.
Not only will you be taking care of your sexual health. You’ll be protecting your overall health as well.

Sound good?
Let’s dive in.

#1 Know Your Base Line

Do you know your STI status? If not, don’t feel embarrassed. Many people aren’t clear about their status.

This generally has a lot to do with fear and society’s stigmas. But knowing your status is the first step in practicing good sexual health.

Make an Appointment to Get Tested

If you don’t currently have a physician, I recommend visiting a local clinic.

Check out this quick and easy clinic locator.

Hopefully, your test results will be just fine. But even if they aren’t… many STIs are treatable with antibiotics. Make sure to follow the recommendations of your physician. The key here is if you are sexually active and dating, get tested regularly.

Getting Back to the Basics

Providing a comprehensive sex education is where I’ll always start. And sometimes it’s good to get an overview of the basics. But feel free to follow whatever pace works for you.

If you got the basics covered, skim through until you find the more pertinent information you’re seeking. Otherwise… Here’s my brief definition of STIs.

What is a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)?

In simplest terms, a sexually transmitted infection is a parasite, bacteria, or virus that spreads through skin-to-skin contact or oral, anal, or genital contact.

Testing and early detection is hella important. According to the CDC, rates of infection have increased year over year for the past three years up to 2016. Taking proper precautionary steps can drastically reduce this statistic. I’d hate for anyone to get an STI out of carelessness.

Symptoms and Signs of STIs

Symptoms associated with STIs vary. Some STIs don’t show symptoms so you could have an infection and not know it. Quite often, people may not experience any symptoms. But when they do, common symptoms include:

  • Flu-like feelings and tiredness
  • Itching or burning around the genitals
  • Pain or burning when urinating
  • Fever

You can review a detailed list of STIs and symptoms here:

BeforePlay.org Handy Page to Read Up on STI’s

It’s important for you and your partner to get tested often and practice safe sex methods.

#2 Don’t Fall for the B~llsh*t

“I’m afraid that men won’t find me desirable. What if they don’t want to have sex with me anymore?”

This is what a divorced friend of mine shared with me.

It’s no secret that I’m part of the Happy Divorcee Club too. It has its perks. But divorce can also be a b*tch.

You see, divorce can send you on an emotional rollercoaster ride. Sometimes doubt kicks in. Next thing you know you’re asking ridiculous questions like:

•Am I still attractive?
•Is there someone else out there for me?
•Will someone wants me ever again? Like, really WANT me?

Seriously though, this isn’t just for anyone post-divorce. This applies to everyone who may be experiencing such insecurities. It’s just one example of when you’re most vulnerable to make a sexy slip-up.
Let me help you steer the ship in a different direction.

Engaging in sex while you’re emotionally vulnerable can lead to:

•Additional emotional turmoil
•Letting your guard down with the wrong person
•Neglecting to ask about your partner’s STI status
•Having sex without protection

Now I’ll tell you what I told my friend.
“Trust me. Men will still want to f*ck you.”
I’m not being crass. This is just honesty.

And I’m not leaving you out men. The same applies to you. I trust you’ll have no trouble finding another sexual partner.
The fact that people are more than happy to sleep with someone who’s vulnerable is both a blessing and a curse.


Confidence Booster

Let’s say you just left a hellish relationship. Being reminded that you’re sexy and desirable can send your confidence through the roof.


May Throw Caution to the Wind

This can lead to adverse decision-making, which ultimately, puts you in jeopardy.

Never allow your desire for companionship and sexual intimacy to supersede logic. It’s okay to play. Hey, I’ll be on the front row to cheer you on. But please make sure you’re taking the appropriate safety measures first.

#3 Only Consider Sexual Intimacy with Someone Who’s Earned the Privilege of Sleeping with You


I’m not the sex police barging in to tell you whether you should have casual sex or not. Sometimes a brief fling or one-night-stand might be just what you need. I get that.

This has more to do with determining if an individual is someone you feel comfortable giving it up with. What I’m about to say may seem cliché. But it’s quite true…

Engaging in Emotional and Sexual Intimacy is a Huge Step

There’s a process that should occur before sex happens. Don’t worry. This process doesn’t have to be lengthy. But there are a few things you should be sure of before making that move.

Lemme share the rest of the advice I gave my friend.

Preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections. “Protect yourself! Get tested right away and DEMAND they use condoms etc. No test: no play. Be smart cuz your kids need you. You don’t need the hassle of an STI just getting in the market.
You’ll attract decent men instead of douchebags if you put that upfront.
For real.
Ones who respect you for protecting them and you.”

Suffice to say, you should sense your partner is:


Having sex with someone who makes you feel safe and secure is half the battle when it comes to safe sex practices. And if someone gives you any sh*t for asking about test results? My mindset nowadays is they are NOT someone I’d want to f*ck.
This is why carefully choosing your sexual partner is crucial.

#4 Know Your Partner’s STI Status

This one became a deal-breaker for me. The person you choose to have sex with should value you enough that he or she wants to protect you. Preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections.

You may be thinking, “C’mon. I know this stuff already.” But knowing is different from doing or experiencing. Stay with me and read this with a “what can I learn from this” attitude.

This conversation shouldn’t feel awkward or tense. Perhaps you’d like to bring it up over a glass of wine. Keeping it light; yet, serious tends to work best.

But don’t just take my word for it. Check out what zefrank has to say about Question Night. You might need to watch it twice because it’s heavy. And remarkable.

Ask a lot of questions. STI ones are really key.

Red Flags That Something’s Off

If your partner depicts one, or all, of the following behaviors… Consider heading for the nearest exit:

•Abuse of trust (Such as… “Baby, you don’t trust me?”)

There’s a saying… When you sleep with someone, you’re sleeping with all the people they’ve slept with too. This phrase is a shame AF, yet people say stuff like this all the time. A partner who is vigilant with their sexual health will assure you that they’re being mindful of your sexual health as well. Preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections.

#5 Use Protection

You probably expected me to open the post with this one. But the truth is… Using protection is only half of the equation.

Many people neglect to use condoms because they don’t truly understand the risks of unprotected sex, I mean besides the risk of creating a baby. As a Board-Certified Sexologist, I try to lead with comprehensive education before proceeding. Here we go:

What are the Increased Risk Factors for Getting STIs?

•Multiple sexual partners
•A partner who has or had multiple sexual partners
•Engaging in sex with someone who has an STI

Fact Check

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention‘s Fact Sheet, they estimate 20 million new infections occur every year in the United States. That’s why it’s always best to get tested and be proactive by using condoms.

Condoms Save and Protect

A lot of guys and couples, in general, complain about using condoms. Typical complaints include:

  • “I can’t feel anything with a condom on”
  • “It just feels better without it”
  • Allergens to latex
  • Interruption to the spontaneity during sex

All of which are valid concerns. But a few alternatives may help to lessen, or, even eliminate such issues.

So let’s tackle two main complaints:
The condom doesn’t feel like it fits his dick the right way.
He’s not able to feel enough sensation when engaging in intercourse.
This is where using the right type of condom is essential. I recommend exploring:

condom fit guide for S, M, L penises
The Toilet Paper Roll Test as a Size Guide.

The Condom Review

and Lucky Bloke.

These are excellent resources for finding the right condom fit, style, and material. They even sell condom sampler packs. That way you can take several styles for a test drive to make the best determination.

Coordinate the brightly colored condoms with the holidays. Stock up on Reds, Whites, and Blues for the Fourth. Orange and Black for Halloween. You get the idea (and they’re great for being able to see if the condom has any holes!).

For those who say condoms ruin the mood, I say, Bish, you haven’t tried putting one on your partner with your mouth! That keeps a Lil’ soldier at attention. Add a tiny drop of water-based lube in the reservoir tip (or any lube that is compatible with your condom). Put the reservoir tip gently between your tongue and top teeth, then use your lips (and your hand) to work the condom down the shaft. You’re welcome!

Female Condoms are Powerful Too

In recent years, insertable condoms called “Female Condoms” have become more popular. But many people still aren’t fully aware of its functionality.

Click here if you want an in-depth explanation.

But here’s the cliff notes version.

Female condoms are an alternative to standard condoms (the one that goes on the penis). They provide roughly the same amount of protection from STIs and pregnancy.

Instead of placing the condom on the penis, the female condom is a soft, plastic pouch that goes inside the vagina. But don’t use both types of condoms together – it is NOT double protection. The friction will break them.

Female Condoms Empower Women to Control Their Sexual Health

For those vulva owners who don’t want to rely on their partner to be responsible, the female condom gives you the power to protect yourself. One huge benefit? You can insert it well before you even start to get busy. There goes the spontaneity excuse.

Dental Dams are also your friend

It shocks me to some extent that heterosexuals aren’t aware of these gems. Lots of lesbians already know about these super-thin latex sheets. How do you use one? You place it on the vulva or anus before oral stimulation. You can even get them in flavors! Strawberry is the bomb.

Wrapping it Up

As you can see, Preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are avoidable as long as you’re proactive. You just have to be wise during your decision-making process. And always remember to practice safe sex habits. Now let’s do a quick recap of those 5 best practices for preventing STIs.

•Know your baseline
•Don’t fall for the BS
•Only consider sexual intimacy with someone who deserves the privilege of sleeping with you
•Know your partner’s STI status
•Use Protection

I believe that everyone deserves to enjoy happy and healthy sex life.
If you gained any value from this post, please share with your family and friends. Preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections.


The MamaSutra



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About the Author Lanae

Dr. Lanae St.John is a Diplomate of the American Board of Sexology and certified sex coach with a background in sexology and a passion for helping people improve their sexual health and relationships. She is the author of "Read Me: A Parental Primer for "The Talk"" and the upcoming "You Are the One: How stopping the search and looking inside will lead you to your romantic destiny," and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest research and trends in the field. Dr. St.John aims to share her knowledge and expertise in a relatable and approachable way through her blog on themamasutra.com.

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