Love is in the air! Especially with Valentine's Day quickly approaching.
Whether you're single, in a relationship or just having fun with your special someone, it's important to consider your safety as well as your partner's safety while engaging in intimate acts.
Let's face it, we're all scrambling to find ways to express our love, emotionally and physically, this Valentine's Day. This can be done through gifts, acts of kindness, quality time, and let's not forget physical touch, which can lead to sexual intimacy. Sex is an intimate act that tends to take place during Valentine's Day. Why not show the one you love, how much you care by practicing safe sex and ensuring their needs are met?
Without further ado, here are NuVou's safe sex practices that will make your Valentine's Day fun, safe and enjoyable.
Consent is sexy
No matter the length of time that you and your partner have been together, it's important to respect each other's comfort and willingness to partake in sexual intimacy, especially on Valentine's Day.
Before engaging in any acts of intimacy, discuss boundaries, needs and wants with your partner. Determine what you're each comfortable with while finding a common ground on the level of intimacy you would like to explore together. Leading up to love day, check on your partner and reinforce the importance of their comfortability as well as your own for your special Valentine's Day plans. Come up with safe words, that can be used during your acts of intimacy, which can either reinforce the continuity of certain acts or halt things when you or your partner feel uncomfortable. By talking and listening to your partner's needs and wants, you show them how much you care about their safety and happiness. Take things slow, but also enjoy yourselves.
Testing is your best friend
What better way to honour yourself and your significant other this Valentine's Day, than ensuring you both have 'clean bills of lading'.
Whether you are monogamous or have multiple partners, it is recommended by healthcare professionals to get routine screenings for STIs. Playing it safe, even in low-risk situations is always for the best. Testing allows for early prevention and treatment of any possible STIs. It also allows open communication between yourself and your partner(s), building a sense of trust and respect, through the care for each other's health. It gives both parties peace of mind knowing that the person you are engaging in sexual intimacy with is taking the necessary steps to ensure your safety. Speak to your healthcare provider or a nurse practitioner about common STIs and what your options are for testing.
Protection is a must
I'm sure we've all heard the line "it feels better without it".
However, wrapping it up is the best way to protect yourself and your partner(s) from unwanted pregnancies and STIs.
When used correctly condoms are 98% effective at preventing STIs and pregnancies. Condoms come in many forms, from male to female variations. Most condoms are made of latex, however, for those who are allergic to latex, there are non-latex alternatives available to prevent any unwanted or uncomfortable reactions. Although condoms are greatly effective at reducing the risk of pregnancy and STIs, they are not 100% effective. Discuss other forms of protection with your healthcare provider, to determine what works best for you and your partner(s).
Most importantly this Valentine's Day shower your partner with love and affection. Spend time honouring each other, and building on your relationship.
We would love to hear your Valentine's Day plans in the comments. Let us know how you plan on showering your partner(s) with extra love.