How To Initiate Safe Sex

Initiating Safe Sex In Different Relationships

Practicing safe sex can be awkward and clunky. I feel you - and I understand that it can be a tricky topic to bring up. Doing anything for the first time is going to be a little nerve-wracking. Think about your first kiss: your tongues probably stumbled around for a solid few minutes before they got into flow. The same goes for discussing safe sex practices. But it doesn't have to be hard!! In the best case scenario, having the talk up front can allow you to fully relax into the pleasure, nakedness, touch… knowing that you're keeping each other safe. And this, in my opinion, is worth overcoming those initial nerves.

As this language might be new to you - see below for a breakdown of how to initiate safe sex practices in a range of relationship styles and choices.

The Hookup

Strangely enough, sex-ed prepared many people for safe-sex practices for a one-nighter, teachers proclaimed “ALWAYS have a condom at the ready”. Preach! But the education stopped there, and did not prepare young people on how to broach the topic with someone new. Yes, it can feel really weird bringing it up, so why not soften the conversation with something like:

  • “I know we’ve just met, but can I ask you a personal question?” or
  • “I’m really attracted to you and want to ask you something…”

And if they’re curious Or if you’re already mid sesh:

  • “I’m really into this, and you - I want to be safe and I like to use (insert your preferred safe sex practice)”
  • “Before we go any further - how do you want to be safe together?”

"Before making 'the move' its really important to pulse check on where they're at"


Someone You're Dating

Ok so you’ve been on a few dates, maybe you’ve had a few flirty hands on the leg, or played footsies under the table, but you haven't done anything that would require ‘safety’. Before making ‘the move’, it’s really important to pulse check on where they’re at. You could say;

  • “I’m really into this and want to do more, but wanted to check in with you first - would like to have sex? If that’s something you’re into, I’d love for both of us to get screened for STIs.”

Or if you’re already en route for a root you could try something like;

  • “Do you want to go back to mine for a cup of tea and safe sex - I’ve got these really sexy condoms I want to try out”
  • “When we get to mine I want to show you this trick - I can turn a condom in a dental dam - and then I want to use it on you. Thoughts?”
  • “Safe sex really turns me on, how do you want to keep it safe?”

Friends with Benefits  

You and your pleasure companion may be really clear on the arrangement - no doubt you’ve exchanged a few You up?’s but how often do you check in on your safe sex practices. If you need to revisit this with your buddy, try a few of the approaches below:

  • “I really enjoyed going down on you last weekend. As we’ve agreed this is a casual thing - I’d like to start playing with protection. Keen for round two?
  • “Thinking about you in my bed and how hot it was when you reached for the condoms”
  • “Do you know what would make this even better?.. Protection”

Long-term Loves

This is an interesting one! I find that people who have been together for a while have often developed sexual habits. By no means does this mean you have to keep doing what you’re doing - especially if you don’t feel safe. Here’s a few options for you;

  • “I know we’ve been doing it the same way for a while, but it’s really important for me to be safe when it comes to sex - can we start using these (insert safe-sex weapon of choice)”
  • “I love having sex with you. I have noticed we’re not exactly being safe, what can we do to get back on the safe sex band wagon?”
  • “Nothing turns me on more than trying something new. Let's use protection”

So you may see by now there’s a bit of a theme; communication is your key to safe, fulfilling and sexy experiences. Yes, I appreciate practicing safe sex may feel awkward - but most of the time sex is awkward. So bite the bullet and just talk about it. Inviting someone to have sex also means inviting the possibility that they don’t want to have safe sex. If someone says no or turns you down for wanting to be safe, then you need to think critically about whether they are someone you want to risk it with.

And remember - practice makes perfect (I know, I’m cringing too). It’s cliché, but my goodness it’s true! The more you put yourself out there, the easier it becomes to communicate your needs.