What is safer sex and how can we have it? Jems presents a Safer Sex Checklist for you to reference and expand upon. An offering for the context we’re living and loving in.
Don’t miss our Safer Sex Checklist on Instagram! Follow us on IG for more safer sex tips and guidance.
✔ GIVE YOUR ANATOMY AUTONOMY
When Jems says ‘safer,’ what do we mean?
For us, part of being safe is protecting ourselves, our feelings, and our genitals. This comes from practicing getting into a headspace where you are able to identify what you want and need, and articulate it.
Safer sex is about understanding the risks and rewards of sex. Self-knowledge, wisdom, sensuality, and information are tools that can help you practice what you need to experience what you desire.
The first step is knowing you’re worth it.
✔ CHECK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YOURSELF (AND OTHERS!)
Ask yourself what you want and set your own expectations about what you want out of a situation. Whether you’re craving quick fun or something more, take the time you need to reflect intentionally and identify your desires. Continue to check in with yourself when you’re alone and with others by asking if what you're doing aligns with what you want.
✔ IT ONLY GETS BETTER WHEN WE TALK ABOUT IT
Safer sex is an ongoing and ever-evolving, partner-to-partner process. As long as we keep it 100 with each other and recognize the necessity of continuous conversation, we’re moving in a direction that allows space for hotter and healthier sexual encounters. Minds change, it’s only natural. Stay current with yourself and your partner(s). Talk it out.
✔ USE PROTECTION TO GET CLOSER
After sharing what you need and listening to what your partner (or partners!) expresses, if you’re on the same page – it’s time.
Prophylactics like Jems condoms protect against unwanted pregnancy, transmission of STI/STDs, and unwanted bacteria. To reduce risk further, multiple forms of protection are recommended. PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a daily medication that can reduce your chances of getting HIV. Birth control methods such as the pill, IUDs, and hormonal implants protect against unwanted pregnancy.
A combination of these approaches is the best way to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves and those we rub up on. And don’t forget lube! Which not only feels amazing, lube keeps things smooth, preventing tears in your c*ndoms and microabrasions on your skin.
Ask your doctor or local sexual health clinic about how to access safer sex prescriptions such as PrEP and birth control. In the United States, FOLX Health can help you get PrEP from the comfort of your home.
✔ KEEP THE GOOD TIMES GOING AND GET TESTED
Even if you’ve been playing protected, prioritize knowing your status. Every six months or anytime you think you may have been at risk, test yourself and actively let people know—that level of transparency will encourage them to do it frequently too! Bonus tip: make a cute date out of it!
Testing is simple and most sexually transmitted infections (STDs) are easy to treat. The sooner you catch and treat an infection, the better for your health and the health of others.
Note that some STDs have no symptoms, so even if you’re not feeling off, it’s important to get tested regularly.
If cost and/or privacy are a concern, search “free” “anonymous” “STD testing” + your city. Many areas offer free to low-cost private testing.
At home testing is also a thing! To DIY your STD testing, learn more here.
✔ PUT IT ON REPEAT
Taking steps to have safer sex is about giving ourselves greater agency, relaxation and pleasure.
The more we practice, the more these steps become second nature, the more we can experience the best of what sex has to offer.
Put it on repeat and enjoy the ride.
Follow Jems on Instagram for more safer sex tips and guidance.