The concern about safer sex is often extensively discussed, but is usually geared towards male-female sexual intercourse only. It is quite unfortunate that sex education hardly addresses safer sex for men who have intercourse with men. Moreover, there may be a lot of misconceptions about guy on guy sex and what it really involves. A lot of people are aware that certain sexual behaviours are unsafe, but they have minimal to no idea on how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections and diseases. What is safer sex, anyway? It is anything that a person does to lower his/her risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection.
One important way to attain more pleasure with reduced risk is by keeping one’s partner’s body fluids out of the body, often by way of the mouth or anus. Blood, ejaculate, pre-ejaculate and discharge from sores caused by sexually transmitted infections are the bodily fluids one must be most cautious about. Sores and growths caused by sexually transmitted infections must not be touched at all costs; these can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact (examples are herpes and HPV --the virus that causes genital and anal warts). It is also all about prevention: it would be wise to get checked for infections on a regular basis, and seek proper treatment when you have sexually transmitted infection.
On the other hand, sex play such as body rubbing ("dry humping"), deep kissing, mutual masturbation and erotic massage has the least risk of infections. Okay, time to move on to more serious stuff: Oral sex. It is the oral stimulation of the penis; otherwise known as fellatio, and is most commonly called blowjob (BJ). Out of the three: fellatio, vaginal intercourse and anal sex—fellatio is certainly the least risky. There is equal risk for a guy who gives oral stimulation and for those at the receiving end for infections like gonorrhoea, hepatitis B, herpes, syphilis and although quite rare, HIV and Chlamydia.
In order to avoid these, some guys refrain from doing fellatio to ejaculation. Others use unlubricated, flavoured condoms which are commonly preferred for a safer oral sex. Rimming, or analingus, is the oral stimulation of the anus. This is even riskier, since it can put both partners at high risk for hepatitis, herpes, HPV and parasites. Having a barrier between the mouth and anus can prevent these infections. Examples of these barriers are Glyde dams, plastic wrap or cut-open condoms placed over the anus. Another high-risk sexual activity is unprotected anal intercourse. Just like unprotected vaginal intercourse, it can result to many sexually transmitted infections such as Chlamydia, gonorrhoea, hepatitis, herpes, HIV and syphilis.
The risk of contracting these infections can be lessened through the proper use of female condoms, which a lot of guys prefer to use when engaging in anal intercourse with other guys. It is very important to use lubricants during anal sex, since the anus does not usually produce enough lubricant for comfortable intercourse. The risk of tearing anal tissue and condom break can also be reduced with the use of lube. Female condoms may be the preferred choice, because any kind of lubricant can be used. If using regular latex condoms, water-based lubricants such as K-Y jelly, or silicone-based lubricants must be used.
Oil-based lubricants like petroleum jelly and mineral oils can damage latex, and therefore must be avoided. Safer sex is always possible with guy on guy sex. Having the knowledge on how to protect oneself and your partner is essential. Sex doesn’t only become safer, but more enjoyable as well.