How do you prevent this?
Prevention is Better than Cure.
Admit it, we all enjoy sex. However, we also want to avoid contracting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI). To totally abstain from sexual activities is not easy for a vast majority of men, while having unprotected sex poses a big risk of getting infected with STI. This articleaims to inform and dispel some myths about what protection against STIs can and cannot achieve.
How about condoms?
Condoms offer good protection against a number of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV. However, they may not be fully effective against some of the other more common STIs such as genital warts. Condoms used for anal sex should never be of the ultra-thin type and you should take care to buy the correct size (neither too small nor too large). Also, check that they haven't passed the expiry date. Finally, make sure on top of using a a condom you also have to use a water-based lubricant - this will minimise the risk of injury of the anal tract as well as the penis and hence reduce the risk of exposure to STI.
It is also recommended to use condoms for oral sex. While the risk of infection with HIV is very low, it is certainly possible to catch other STIs if you do not use any protection. In any case, you should make sure that your partner does not discharge semen into your mouth or that you do not swallow the semen.
But I trust my partner. Isn't that enough?
Trust, together with openness, is indispensable for effective protection. You should be as open and honest with your partner as you expect him to be with you. However, it may take a long time to achieve that level of trust which is why the use of condoms is still strongly suggested even with long-term partners.
Also, while your partner may be honest with you, it is possible that he is unaware of being infected with STI as he cannot see any visible signs in the early stages. .
What if I don't cum inside him?
It is a common misconception that STIs can only be transmitted through contact with infected sperm. In fact, many STIs are present in pre-cum or they may even live on the skin cells of the penis or anus. Therefore, simple skin contact may be enough to catch STI.
How about masturbation?
Masturbation is a possible way to manage sexual desire which carries no risk of STI infections. However, this is not true for mutual masturbation with your partner. While this is often deemed safe - and in most cases it is - there is still a risk of infecting STIs such as warts or chlamydia. You can use condoms to minimise that risk, but you should also make sure that you are not exposed to your partner's semen.
What else can I do?
You can reduce the number of partners you as this will reduce the possibility of infection. Also, make sure that both you and your partner have regular health check-ups.