With the stigma attached to sexually transmitted infections, talking about safe sex can be tricky. But it’s important to protect yourself and your lovers.
With the freedom to enjoy more sex with more partners, we need to be responsible and accept the biological realities of sex.
Safe Sex Tips for Trans Admirers and Trans Lovers
Reacquaint yourself with STIs, their symptoms, and treatment.
It’s been a long time since high school health class and you probably forget most of it.
Too many sexually active folks wait for symptoms before seeking information. But lots of infections don’t have symptoms, even though they can be spread or cause harm down the road to reproduction or even cancer.
Maybe you use a condom every time. But condoms aren’t the only strategy, and they only partially protect from viruses like HPV or herpes.
Assume every sexual partner has one or more STIs, including HIV.
This is not about creating stigma, but about accepting the democracy of disease. While some communities are more likely to have certain infections, anyone can have anything.
We are in the middle of an STI epidemic. More Americans have more STDs than ever before in history. The Center for Disease Control reports millions of cases combined of chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea.
While most cases of these infections can be treated, some strains of infections are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotic treatment. For some STIs there is no cure.
By changing how we have safe sex from assuming everyone is healthy to practicing safe sex every time, with everyone, we can turn the tables back.
Transgender women are uniquely at risk.
Nineteen percent of transgender women around the world have HIV, as opposed to one percent of the general population. Trans women are up to 49 times more likely to contract HIV than other communities, according to Avert, an HIV advocacy organization.
There are unique reasons for this tragedy: it’s easier to transmit the virus through anal sex than oral or vaginal; transgender bodies are more vulnerable to infection when healing from various surgeries; trans women have historically poor access to health care; far too many trans women globally have been subject to forced sexual slavery and cannot control what happens to their bodies; sexual violence against transgender women is rampant; transgender women in men’s prisons experience frequent rape; marginalization of transgender women in many parts of the world means many have no chance for employment outside of the sex trade.
Show your trans dates you care by insisting on safe sex.
Condoms are nonnegotiable, but the bare minimum.
Think positively about safe sex. Don’t complain about the minor inconvenience or minuscule unpleasantness of condoms, and use them for everything, including oral.
Urinate before and after any kind of sex, and shower as well, to help remove viruses and germs before they infect you.
Exercise regularly, and eat lots of fish, liver, and greens, and avoid junk food and excess booze, as healthy bodies can easily resist many germs.
Be open to creative sex—using hands or sex toys, mutual masturbation, dirty talk, touching without penetration, and avoiding sex temporarily if you are ill or have been exposed to someone with an infection.
Help your transgender dates access healthcare and allies, so they can remain or get healthy. Be aware of your HIV status and hers, and take your medications as assigned.
Sex is a human right.
Sex is an important part of health and a human need. If you are ill, or she is, be imaginative together to find ways to enjoy sexual expression that don’t endanger your health.
How do you keep your sex safe?