For Teens: Smart Sex is Safe Sex

Talking about sex can save your life. Whether you speak to your partner, a sympathetic teacher or counselor, or to a doctor or other health care professional, some honest discussion before having sex can help keep you safe. Having sex, no matter how or when you have it, can result in pregnancy or disease (STDs), but there are things you can do that will protect both you and your partner.

Talk First-Sex Later

Talk first-sex later

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unwanted pregnancies happen to two people in a relationship. You need to talk about these things BEFORE the sex act. If you can't talk about sex with your partner, you shouldn't be having sex with him or her. Honest discussion belongs in an honest relationship where two people feel comfortable both in and out of bed. If you discuss things first, both of you will know what to expect. It's hard to talk when you're feeling hot and excited, so get the discussion out of the way, first.

Don't have sex out of fear

It's not smart to have sex because you think you're going to lose the relationship if you don't. Ditto for having sex because you think you'll hurt his/her feelings, or because you're embarrassed that you're a virgin. These are not good reasons for having sex. Stop and think for a minute. If you want to have sex for the wrong reasons you shouldn't have sex. Tell your partner the truth about why you've decided against having sex for now. This is how you stay truthful to yourself.

Alcohol and drugs

Having some drinks or taking drugs can help you loosen up and feel sexy and it can also make you lose your way in making good decisions about sex. Those kind of bad decisions can lead to having sex without a condom, getting pregnant, or ending up with a nasty disease. Sometimes it can even lead to date rape.

Two to Tango

It takes two to tango

It's best to use a condom and another kind of birth control. That way, you keep away diseases AND pregnancy. If your partner argues about using a condom, you should think twice about continuing the relationship. Your safety should come before his pleasure.

Carry extra condoms

Whether you're a guy or a girl, carry two condoms. It's good to be prepared, just in case one of you forgot or the condom rips when he's putting it on.

Sexless Sex

You can satisfy and be intimate with each other without actual intercourse and this can be a good way to prevent pregnancy, although STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) are still a risk with oral sex. There are dental dams that are a kind of condom for the vagina and these can prevent you from getting STDs during oral sex. You can buy them in most drugstores.

Healthy Sex

If you're thinking of having sex, or you already are, you should visit your doctor to have an exam. Girls should see a gynecologist at least once a year, and guys should be getting regular exams with a physician. The doctor can check to make sure you're healthy and make sure you get tested for STDs. These tests could save your life.

Learn more about how to keep yourself safe from STDs by chatting with others in our forum.

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