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Introduction to 10 Ways to Make Safe Sex Fun

You know safe sex is necessary, but can it be fun, too? Add some excitement with colorful condoms, fuzzy handcuffs and new positions and locations.

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Intimacy, orgasms, genital herpes, chlamydia, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS … sex today is a complicated mix of pleasure and pain. What are we to do, if not abstain? Become wise in the ways of safe sex.

Let's be clear on one thing first. We're talking about safer sex, not safe sex, and that's an important distinction. There's no such thing as 100 percent safe sex, but there are ways to make sex safer -- safer from infections, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unplanned pregnancy.

Estimates by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that Americans are contracting 19 million new STD infections each year [source: Allen]. Some STDs such as herpes and human papillomavirus (HPV) can be passed to a partner through skin contact, not just intercourse. An ABC News "Primetime Live" poll that asked Americans about their sexual habits found that 47 percent of single adults under the age of 30 worry about becoming infected with HIV/AIDS or another STD [source: ABC News]. And as it turns out, they have cause to worry. The CDC finds that genital herpes, for example, affects about one in six Americans over the age of 14, making it one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in America [source: Allen].

If statistics like that make you feel unsexy, pay attention. Practicing safe sex doesn't have to mean sex becomes less fun or won't feel as good. It's all the pleasure and (hopefully) none of the disease. First, let's talk about one of the best ways to make sex safer: using condoms.

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