Q. Are there any other methods besides condoms to have safer sex?
Joan Garrity says: Great question. The best method for truly safer sex is to have sex only with someone who only has sex with you, assuming neither of you has had sex with anyone else in the past. It also requires taking the big risk of trusting your partner with you health and your life.
In addition to condoms – both the kind that go on a penis (the “male” condom) and the kind that can go in the vagina or anus (the so-called “female” or “receptive” condom) – dental dams can be used to make oral/genital/anal contact safer. (Read our Choosing and Using Condoms FAQ for more information).
People can also have wonderful fun and much safer sex by using fingers and sex toys. As long as fingers and toys don’t transmit one partner’s body fluids to the other partner, these are safe alternatives to intercourse. If you use a toy or your fingers/hand on a partner, make sure to wash that area clean of body fluids before touching yourself. There are also other kinds of sexy, safer, sensual fun like massage, body rubbing with clothes on, and mutual masturbation.