I agree that safer sex standards are personal, but that doesn't mean they must be private. It is up to every individual to set and uphold their own unique standards. However, I hope my friends and lovers come to their standards based on the newest information about safer sex, which is constantly being updated as health research and testing technology advance. That is why I feel this should be an ongoing open conversation in the community.
Following are some of my own safer standards to help you evaluate your own general practices:
- I talk about sexual histories with my partners before sexual contact. (I ask my partners how sexually active they are, who they are fluid bonded with, if they have any STI's or what recent exposure they may have had.)
- I visually examine my own and partners yoni and lingam before engaging in sex.
- I use condoms for penetrative sex. (I merge with the barrier, seeing it as a blessing and don't let anyone give me grief about it.)
- I use gloves and dental dams for non regular partners such as clients or participants at play parties. (Gloves and dams can be sexy!)
- I use organic lube with all latex barriers. (Condoms tend to dry the yoni and sex without lube can leave micro tears in soft tissue.)
- If unsafe sex, or an outbreak occurs I communicate clearly and fully with all my partners and ask that they do the same. (This is often also a deep personal growth opportunity, why did this show up? and what can we do differently next time?
- If I am fluid bonded with a partner, we agree to follow the same safe sex practices with other partners.
- I intend to get tested every six months, and a pap smear approx every couple years.
- I ask all partners with whom I have an ongoing sexual relationship to get tested every six months as well.
- I practice compassion, forgiveness and sensitivity when discussing safer sex. I am not perfect at this topic, and this can be very ego-confronting conversation.
For all STD's other than HIV I use.......San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency....Office of Public Health at 3851 Rosecrans St. S.D. 92110 (near Old Town) Only $15 cash or check only , STD clinic 619-692-8550 or HIV only: phone:619-296-2120 M,T,W,TH 7:30am to 4pm (they often close before 4pm) To test for syph gon, herpes, hiv chlamidia. takes about ten days, must come back in person for results.
** (they do HIV/Aids testing here also however it is the "common/older" form of testing that tests for HIV "antibodies" which can take 3-6 months to build up in your system....so that still leaves you with a 3-6 month "window".....meaning that any exposure that you might have had to HIV/Aids in the 3-6 months prior to the test will not show up on the test results. Therefore it only tells you what your status "was" 3-6 months ago. So if you've had no ("0") sexual partners in the last 3-6 months you're O.K......otherwise you really don't know.
2) For HIV/Aids......the UCSD Medical Center (Anti Viral Research Center) "Early Test" clinic in Hillcrest (just 5 min. from the County clinic) 220 Dickinson San Diego, Ca. 92103. website https://theearlytest.ucsd.edu/ This clinic is by appointment only. call for info and appointments 619-543-8080
This test is "free" and looks for the actual "Virus" in your body and therefore has a window of "only 7 days." (Yet it takes 2 weeks to get your results back)......a far more secure option! I highly recommend it. This type of test is also offered on a "Walk-In" basis at the San Diego Gay & Lesbian Center at 3909 Centre St. San Diego, Ca. 92103. Phone 619-692-2077. See below.
3)There is also AVRC (UCSD Antiviral Research Center) 220 Dickinson Street, Suite A San Diego, CA
NEW: Advance appointments available for morning by calling 619-543-8080
4) The Family Health Centers of San Diego’s Gay Men’s Health Clinic
3544 30th St San Diego, CA 92104 MAP
I look forward to hearing about your safer sex standards and/or any information that could further this conversation. Blessings, KD