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10 Ways to Make Safe Sex Fun

        Health | Sexuality

10
Use Condoms

Use a condom: the clarion call of safe sex. We've been inundated with slogans such as "No glove, no love." Condoms reduce the risk of transmitting sexually transmitted diseases, but no form of contraception can offer 100 percent protection. They reduce transmission of HIV by 85 percent and genital herpes by about 30 percent. Studies vary on how effective (or not so effective) condoms are at protecting you from syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia, but those studies do show that condoms offer some level of protection [sources: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Reinberg].

But that's when you use them consistently, from beginning to end, and not just for part of the act. Condom usage among unmarried Americans ages 15 to 44 is at about 14 percent [source: CDC]. We can do better than that, especially since so many varieties line the shelves. Choose flavored, colored, ribbed, lubricated, you name it, and it's probably out there for you, including various sizes and shapes, too. You can even cut open condoms and use them as dental dams for safe oral sex with women.

Allergic or sensitive to latex? Don't give up on condoms. Versions made from polyurethane, not latex, are available. While they're considered less effective in minimizing your risk of spreading or contracting STDs -- their comparative effectiveness is still being studied -- they are considerably better protection than no condom at all.


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