Practising safe sex

Safe sex is any activity where there is no exchange of sexual fluids.

Safe sex can include:

  • not having sex
  • massage, hugging and touching
  • masturbation
  • kissing
  • rubbing against each other
  • fantasy
  • fingering
  • using a condom and lube every time you have sex.

Safe sex can:

  • prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • prevent pregnancy
  • prevent HIV.

Reasons to practice safe sex

You can’t tell from the way people look, dress or behave if they have an STI.
 
Anyone who has had sex without a condom could be infected.
 
In the Northern Territory, young people aged 15 to 24 have really high rates of STIs, particularly chlamydia.
 
Some people with an STI often don’t know they are infected because they have no signs or symptoms.

Practicing safe sex also means you won't have an unplanned pregnancy.

Alcohol, drugs and STIs

Using alcohol and drugs can affect your ability to make safe decisions.

Mixing sex with alcohol or other drugs increases your chance of unintended pregnancy and catching a sexually transmitted infection (STI). 

This is because if you have sex when you are drunk or on drugs you are much less likely to be thinking clearly enough to use condoms or to use them correctly.

Some people think that being high or drunk makes it easier to be sexual. Using alcohol and drugs usually lower people's inhibitions. 

The reality is drugs and alcohol can make you feel bullet proof and can put you in some very risky situations.

Risks of mixing sex and substances

You may be:

  • unable to detect danger
  • less able to defend yourself
  • makes it hard to communicate sexual limits
  • less likely to use condoms or practice safe sex
  • trust people you don't know 
  • unable to think clearly
  • more vulnerable to sexual assault.

Contact

For more information contact the Centre for Disease Control's Clinic 34.

Last updated: 27 June 2017