Lesbians Can’t Catch STIs… Right?

Wrong!

One of the most common myths surrounding lesbian sex is that you can’t catch sexually transmitted infections – or STIs for short. If only this were true! If you are a sexually active person, you can catch an STI, regardless of your gender, sexual orientation or race (if only the world was this inclusive.)

STIs can be transmitted in lots of different ways, many of which do not require any penis activity. A sexual health survey carried out by LGBT charity Stonewall way back in 2008 revealed that half of the lesbian and bisexual women who had been for a sexual health screening had an STI – and a quarter of those had only had sex with women in the last five years.

In short, women can still catch – and pass on – STIs such as herpes, genital warts, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and HIV. If you want to know more about these, check out our handy STI Index!

Here are some handy tips for staying safe against unwanted STI’s:

  • Always get tested before and after meeting a new sexual partner – some STIs can take up to to a month for symptoms to fully show, and some are symptomless, so don’t leave it to chance.
  • Keep your sex toys clean. Each toy has to be cleaned, dried and stored in safe and uncontaminated area between use. Clean your sex toys after every use and (this includes between you and your partner.
  • Use a new condom for different partners
  • Use a new condom between penetration or when you’re using different orifices (body openings)
  • If you/your partner have any cuts or sores in your mouth/lips then use dental dams
  • Dental dams are little thin and soft plastic squares that act as a barrier. They cover the vaginal opening and anus so you can perform safe (but still fun and pleasurable) oral sex
  • Always wash your hands and keep your fingernails clipped and clean.
  • It’s a good idea to wear latex gloves and use plenty of lube for vaginal and anal fisting

Remember the most important thing is to have fun, experiment, and enjoy yourself. All we ask is that you quickly give yourself a 101 on sexual health so you can keep yourself fit, healthy and STI free!

If you’re worried, or are showing any symptoms go and visit your local GP or Sexual Health clinic and they’ll be on hand to help.

If you want more help or advise you can go visit the NHS website or The Brook Centre

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