Safer sex is everything. It really is. And in the age where people are unknowingly being infected with STDs and HIV, safer sex is the only thing. To prove my point I have enlisted the help of a "sexpert" to explain how safer sex eases the mind and makes intimacy ten times more fun. Enter Dr. Rachael Ross. I call her Ross the Sex Boss in my mind because of her no holds barred, Sistah girl delivery of sexual health education. She's very blunt and direct and that's just what you need in health education. You may have seen her on the television show The Doctors giving advice about a number of health topics (she has a medical degree from Meharry Medical College). She is also a frequent panelist for the Ora Quick "Life. As We Know It" discussion series. Now she is giving advice on this Examiner's page about how to think differently about sex, protection, and how to make life more interesting in the bedroom.
Change how you define safe sex. For many years now, experts and sexual health educators have implored people to practice safe sex. Stop it! According to Dr. Rachael, there is no such thing as safe sex. "Any sexual contact with another person carries certain risk. So there is no such thing as safe sex. But there is such a thing as safer sex. Safer sex is being in a trusted monogamous and committed relationship with someone that you know does not have HIV or an alternate STD. That means you two have tested together on two separate occasions since the commitment at least three months apart. It also means using condoms consistently and correctly in all sexual settings where the above conditions haven't been met."
Change the intimacy rules. Who says that being sexy is all about looks? Being sexy is visual but it is also very mental as well. Dr. Rachael says being able to trust your partner and your circumstances amps up the intimacy. "Safer sex is the ultimate turn on and it is the best way to build intimacy and trust in a relationship. When you practice safer sex you don't have to spend the next day worrying and wondering whether you've contracted HIV, an alternate STD, or even an unplanned pregnancy. What is sexier than knowing that no matter how wild things get, that you have protected yourself? All it takes is a little preparation, planning, and an active imagination."
Open your mouth ... and speak. Once the trust has been established in a relationship, partners can let their guard down and enjoy sex to the fullest. Dr. Rachael says once you know your partner's status, fear not. "Don't be afraid of what you like and enjoy. Let your imagination run wild! And when you have a partner that you trust and know, the sky is the limit as to what you two can accomplish sexually. Let your partner know what you like and don't like, what you fantasize about, and things that you would like to try. Who knows, he/she might surprise you with some fantasies of their own."
Think outside the box of condoms. People frequently complain about how condoms disturb the flow of intimacy and increase boredom. It doesn't have to if you do it right. Better yet, try thinking about it form a different perspective. Dr. Rachael gives her take on how to approach the condom issue. "Putting a condom on doesn't have to be a drag, use your hand to manually massage him while you put it on, or get creative and apply the condom with your mouth." And what about the female condom? "The best thing about the female condom is that you can actually show up to dinner with the condom in place and ready for action! The female condom actually serves as a polyurethane protective lining of the vagina and is available at most major drug stores. It comes lubricated so do not use it with a latex condom. The female condom heats up to your body temperature and serves as a warm and inviting reservoir for your partner's penis."
Don't forget about outercourse. Remember sex is not just physical but also mental. Turning your partner on means more than just taking your clothes off. What about some other things you can do to spice it up? Dr. Rachael says try keeping it hot before you get to the bedroom. "Both you and your partner orgasm without vaginal or anal penetration, which unprotected are the riskiest forms of sexual intercourse. Just because it's hot, that doesn't mean you two have to get completely naked. You would be surprised what you can accomplish through touching, kissing, and handling. Become an outercourse expert."
Redefine intimacy in 2014 for better sex, better protection, and a better state of well being.
For more information about Dr. Rachael Ross, visit her website.
Read Candace's blog D.C. HIV/AIDS Examiner.