Practicing safe sex is a controversial issue that has been highlighted by both the media and medical professionals to an increasing level in recent years. However, many people are unaware of the various benefits that are associated with practicing safe sex and are even unsure what the term ‘safe sex’ actually means. Here is an explanation of what this means as well as an overview of some of the benefits.
The term safe sex refers to using contraception to avoid the risks associated with unsafe sex. The best choice of contraception for avoiding both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections is a barrier method of contraception, such as the condom.
Reduces risk of contracting an STI
One of the greatest risks that you take when practicing unsafe sex is that you may catch a sexually transmitted infection (STI). These may also be referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STD). By using a condom you are dramatically reducing the risk of catching one of these infections. Examples of infections and diseases that can be passed on through sexual intercourse include chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, hepatitis and HIV. According to the American Sexual Health Association more than half of all people in the US will have an STI/ STD at some time in their life.
Cuts risk of passing on an STI
It is not only you that could catch an STI. There are some STI’s, including chlamydia and HIV, that you may initially be unaware that you are infected with. If you choose not to practice safe sex then you could unwittingly infect your sexual partner.
Pregnancy less likely
A further benefit of practicing safe sex is avoiding an unwanted pregnancy. An unwanted pregnancy has many repercussions that can last a lifetime. These include physical, emotional and financial implications for both you and your partner, not to mention the child, if you choose to continue with the pregnancy.
Beyond the benefits of avoiding STI’s and pregnancy there are also emotional benefits to practicing safe sex. You will have respect for yourself and your sexual partner is also more likely to have respect for you. By reducing the risks involved in unsafe sex you will also experience fewer negative emotions, such as stress, worry, self-loathing and fear.
Although some people argue that using barrier contraception reduces the pleasure of sex, this is unlikely to be the case. In fact, using contraception and practicing safe sex can actually increase the pleasure you experience during sexual encounters. This is because it will reduce the likelihood of you being stressed and worried during sex when you are concerned about the risks of getting pregnant and contracting a sexually transmitted infection.
Practicing safe sex involves using contraception, preferably condoms. There are many benefits to practicing safe sex. These include reducing the risk of contracting or passing on an STI, cutting the risk of an unwanted pregnancy, emotional benefits and the benefit of being more likely to find your sexual experience pleasurable.