Sex, Pleasure & Risk
Sex & Pleasure:
Sex isn’t one size fits all. What may be pleasurable to you may not be the same for someone else. People have different needs when it comes to sexual behaviour and desires. Below are some common kinds of sexual activities:
- Masturbating alone (Sometimes referred to as solo-sex) or with a partner
- Oral, Penetrative Sex (e.g Penis in Vagina, Penis in Anus).
- Kissing (Making out, Snogging, etc)
- Rubbing your bodies together (e.g dry-humping)
- Using sex toys and body-safe objects.
- Cybersex (Phone sex aka “sexting”)
- Reading or watching porn
Intimacy is a process where we are truly seen, understood and connected by the ones we love. It involves closeness and reassurance that we are loved and accepted for who we are. Children develop intimacy with parents and peers. As adults, we seek closeness and connection from other adults, friends, family and partners.
There are many forms of intimacy, including emotional, Intellectual, Intellectual, Sexual, Experiential and Spiritual.
Defining sex is subjective. Some may only consider penetration as sex but in fact, this is not true for everyone. There are many types of sex which include:
- Vaginal sex (penis-in-vagina intercourse)
- Oral sex (mouth-to-genital contact)
- Anal sex (penis-in-butt intercourse)
- Fingering or hand jobs (hand-to-genital contact)
- Dry humping or genital rubbing
- Masturbation (touching yourself)
Being a sexual person carries a lot of responsibilities. Before you engage in any kind of sexual activity it is important that you are safe, comfortable and consenting (not pressured or forced). Ask what the other person feels comfortable doing and consider any risks involved – like STIs or pregnancy, including how to prevent, avoid or minimize risks.
Forms of Risk
There are various forms of risk associated with the sexual-related activity. Safe sex is having sexual contact while protecting yourself and your sexual partner against sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancy. Sexual contact that doesn’t involve the exchange of semen, vaginal fluids or blood between partners is considered to be safe sex. Unsafe sex may put you or your partner at risk of STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, Mycoplasma genitalium, HIV or hepatitis B, or may result in an unplanned pregnancy.
Learn more about sexual risk here:
How Do I Have Safer Sex?
Safe sex doesn’t have to be a bummer. Here are a few tips:
- Be prepared. Keep forms of protection readily accessible (without damaging them) so that when the time comes, it’s not a disruption.
- It’s always better to talk to your partner/s about protection and prevention in a neutral setting and not when there’s arousal to interfere with one’s judgement.
- If condoms reduce pleasure, find alternative brands that cater for this. Use a drop of two water-based lubricants inside the tip of the condom for extra feeling and sensitivity.
Learn how to effectively use condoms:
- Hormonal contraceptives like the oral contraceptive pill only provided protection for an unplanned pregnancy. They offer NO protection against STIs.
- Put your sexual health first before another’s pleasure. Make your health and safety a priority.
- Do not rely on searching for signs on someone’s body. Most STIs do not present obvious symptoms.
- Educate yourself on STI risk, prevention and treatments. Anyone who has sex is at risk.
- Be mature about STIs and reassure yourself and your partner that an STI is not a moral judgement of character, but an infection like any other. Having an STI does not mean that you are ‘dirty’ or ‘cheap’. Regrettably, we are taught to avoid STI infections but are rarely told how to deal with them. Create an environment that is judgement-free and safe to share in your relationship.
- Get tested for STIs if you are in a relationship or want to practice unmarried forms of sex. Both parties should be tested, ideally together for legitimacy and confidence reasons. Getting STI testing is a sign of respect for each other.