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How to have safer sex?

Safer sex is all about…

  • Consent
  • Contraception
  • Condoms
  • Checks (for STIs)

…and it starts right at the beginning of any relationship with talking.


Talk about: Consent

It’s important to talk to your partner/s about sex, and be sure that you want to have sex. This doesn’t just have to mean vaginal sex - it could be anal sex, oral sex or fingering. What’s important is that everyone in the relationship gives their consent to all sexual activity, as well as what safer sex practices are used.

Find out more about how to give and get consent below:


Talk about: Contraception

Contraception is used to prevent unplanned pregnancies. Talk to your partner/s about contraception and how you will manage this together. Your nurse or GP can also offer advice on different methods of contraception if you’re unsure about which one might be best.

Find out more about different methods of contraception below:


Talk about: Condoms

Condoms are needed for vaginal, anal and oral sex (and when using sex toys) so it helps to talk about these with your partner/s too. Condoms, both internal and external, are the only form of contraception that also protect people against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Even if you’re using other methods of contraception (like the pill), it’s important to use condoms as well.

Condoms can be sexy! People often worry that condoms will ‘kill the mood’, but in fact they can be quite sexy when included in foreplay. If your partner is the one wearing the condom, perhaps you could put it on for them, or vice versa. Talk with your partner/s about what might work for you and your relationship/s.

How to use a condom

You can find out more about condoms here:

Talk about: Getting STI Checks

Last but not least - talk with your partner/s about when you last had STI checks. Regular sexual health checks are important once you become sexually active. This is because many STIs don’t have any symptoms so you won’t know that you, or your partner/s, may be infected. It pays to get STI checks before you have sex. You could suggest to your partner/s that you go to get your checks together, that way you both feel supported.

To find out what happens in a STI check, click below:

Remember! You have the right to say no to sex with your partner/s if they won’t use condoms, contraception or get tested for STIs. In a healthy relationship, your partner/s should care about your health as well as their own.

If you are needing support, you can find help here: