Sexually transmitted infections: Lesbians and Bi-women

To get the bad news over with, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be spread through woman-to-woman sex. You are less likely to catch some of them than are gay men or heterosexuals, but others are less fussy and some seem to prefer hot lesbian action. The good news is that there is a person who can protect you from these nasties—you. With a bit of self-awareness and common sense, you can significantly reduce your chances of catching one of these annoying wee beasties.

The one golden rule for safer sex is to avoid exchanging body fluids of any kind. A dental dam can be used as protection during oral sex and rimming (oral-anal contact)—a little bit of lube on the recipient’s side will prevent chafing. If you can get hold of dams, it’s possible to cut open a condom as an emergency option. It’s tricky, messy, and they’re not a good shape, but if there’s nothing else, it’ll do. Using a dam is particularly important if you want to go down on someone during their period.

If you want to share toys, put a condom over them. Remove the condom and replace it with a fresh one before using the toy on another person.

A finger cot or gloves provide protection in case of chafing or sores on the hands and fingers. Keep your nails well-trimmed to reduce the odds of damaging the latex or vinyl.

Basic personal hygiene can prevent many ills—a bath or shower is a wonderful prelude to sex but don’t brush your teeth immediately beforehand as it can encourage bleeding. Check that any mouthwashes are free of aspirin which can also make your gums bleed.

Alcohol and other intoxicants can be fun, and help you pick up the courage to talk to the gorgeous babe in the corner, but they can also cloud your judgement and people are less likely to practise safer sex when under the influence. Like most good things, they’re most fun if indulged in moderately.

See your GP or visit a GUM clinic for tests if you have any suspicious symptoms. Such symptoms include: any change in your vaginal discharge; pain during sex or while pissing; sores around your genitals or mouth; bleeding (‘spotting’) at unusual times of the month or between your periods.

And last but by no means least, partners need to be honest with each other. You don’t need to give each other the third degree about each other’s sexual past, but if you think you’ve been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection, or have exposed your partner to an STI, then you owe it to that other person to communicate that, so the appropriate medical treatment can be obtained, and to abstain from sexual activity until the condition has been cleared up.

The upshot of all this is that it’s easier to prevent an STI from happening than it is to treat it once it does. So play safe, be happy, and stay healthy!