When you hear the phrase ‘safe sex’, what do you think of? What you probably don’t picture is passion, fire and spontaneity – all the things that make sex so exciting and irresistible.
But here’s the truth: having ‘safe sex’ means you don’t need to stress about the worrying after effects of HIV, STIs or unplanned pregnancy. Instead, you can sit back and enjoy the ride…
The good news is that contraceptives are becoming more widely available, easier to use, longer acting and increasingly affordable. STI screening and HIV testing are quick and easy. With a prick of the finger and faster than you can say pap smear, you can be tested for all things sexually-transmitted. Got something? Get treated early. All clear? Get on with getting it on. Remember, that while STIs are manageable to varying degrees, prevention is still a safer, less stressful and more hassle-free bet.
Whether you’re a carefree singleton or happily committed you deserve to enjoy the peace of mind offered by contraceptives and a clean bill of sexual health.
1. Get tested
If you’re unsure of your HIV status, it’s probably been weighing on your mind. It doesn’t have to. Simply head to your nearest Marie Stopes centre and get tested for HIV plus any other STIs you might be concerned about. If you’re a woman, have a pap smear. One can detect any abnormal cells on the cervix which can signal HPV and be warning signs for cervical cancer. All of these tests take just a few minutes, and will give you a reliable overview of your sexual health. If you’re clear, we’ll advise on how to keep it that way, and if you’re not, we’ll help you to get on top of your health and keep your partner(s) safe too.
2. Get contraception
A wider range of contraceptives are available than ever before in South Africa, including super convenient long-acting methods like the IUD or ‘loop’ and the new contraceptive implant. Some have hormones, others don’t. This means that there’s a contraceptive to suit your lifestyle, your body, and your budget and our nurses will help you find it. Our team is knowledgeable and understanding and there’s nothing they haven’t heard before. No question is too awkward and everything you talk about is kept completely confidential. Welcome to a judge-free zone.
3. Get condoms
They say two minds are better than one, well the same goes for contraceptive protection. Using your chosen contraceptive in combination with either a male or female condom makes sure you’re protected against pregnancy and STIs and HIV. If it’s a one-time, wild night out thing, let your hookup know that you’re the no-glove, no-love type… hangovers are bad enough already. If your partnered and he or she doesn’t like to use condoms, find out why. You’re already bumping uglies a little convo should be easy, right? Perhaps she doesn’t like the texture? Maybe he doesn’t like the fit? That just means you two haven’t found the right brand, style, or model (ie. check out more about the female condom here) or it could be the fault of friction. In that case we have three words for you: lube, lube and LUBE.
4. Get it on!
With the fear of pregnancy, HIV and STIs removed, you’ll be free to enjoy yourselves– the perfect recipe for spicier, sexier sex!
How to have fun sex, starting today
For information about contraceptives and safe sex contact your nearest Marie Stopes centre or call our Client Services centre on 0800 11 77 85. We can help with an appointment for a contraceptive consultation or book you and your partner for his and hers (or hers and hers or his and his) HIV and STI tests. Whoever you are, and whatever sex you’re having, Marie Stopes can help make it safer and sexier. Promise.