Tips for a safe Valentine’s day


Valentine’s Day is a day of physical affection, be it hugs and kisses or something more intimate. And let’s face it teenagers are using this day to have sex. This is normal and healthy; however, because this school system is abstinence-based, we don’t know how to have good and safe sex. 

So here are some of the tips you need to know before you get to third base. 

Starting with contraceptives. We all know about birth control pills and condoms; however, there are more ways to prevent pregnancies than that. The CDC recognizes all of the following as fitting ways to prevent pregnancies. Just remember that the majority of these will not prevent STDs, so if you are using one of the birth controls, also use a condom. 

If you do not wish to use it at least make sure you and your partner or partners are getting regular checkups at a clinic like planned parenthood or your usual physician. The following are all quoted from the CDC’s website linked here. The language has been modified slightly using afab (assigned female at birth) and amab (asighned male at birth) as to be more inclusive to queer students.

Levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG IUD)-The LNG IUD is a small T-shaped device like the Copper T IUD. It is placed inside the uterus by a doctor. It releases a small amount of progestin each day to keep you from getting pregnant. The LNG IUD stays in your uterus for up to 3 to 6 years, depending on the device. Typical use failure rate: 0.1-0.4%.1” 

Copper T intrauterine device (IUD)—This IUD is a small device that is shaped in the form of a “T.” Your doctor places it inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy. It can stay in your uterus for up to 10 years. Typical use failure rate: 0.8%.1”

Implant—The implant is a single, thin rod that is inserted under the skin of an afab’s upper arm. The rod contains a progestin that is released into the body over 3 years. Typical use failure rate: 0.1%.1” 

Injection or “shot”—Afab individuals get shots of the hormone progestin in the buttocks or arm every three months from their doctor. Typical use failure rate: 4%.1”

Combined oral contraceptives—Also called “the pill,” combined oral contraceptives contain the hormones estrogen and progestin. It is prescribed by a doctor. A pill is taken at the same time each day. If you are older than 35 years and smoke, have a history of blood clots or breast cancer, your doctor may advise you not to take the pill. Typical use failure rate: 7%.1”

Progestin-only pill—Unlike the combined pill, the progestin-only pill (sometimes called the mini-pill) only has one hormone, progestin, instead of both estrogen and progestin. It is prescribed by a doctor. It is taken at the same time each day. It may be a good option for afab’s who can’t take estrogen. Typical use failure rate: 7%.1”

Patch—This skin patch is worn on the lower abdomen, buttocks, or upper body (but not on the breasts). This method is prescribed by a doctor. It releases hormones progestin and estrogen into the bloodstream. You put on a new patch once a week for three weeks. During the fourth week, you do not wear a patch, so you can have a menstrual period. Typical use failure rate: 7%.1”

Hormonal vaginal contraceptive ring—The ring releases the hormones progestin and estrogen. You place the ring inside your vagina. You wear the ring for three weeks, take it out for the week you have your period, and then put in a new ring. Typical use failure rate: 7%.1”

Amab’s condom—An amab’s condom keeps sperm from getting into an afabs’s body. Latex condoms, the most common type, help prevent pregnancy, and HIV, and other STDs, as do the newer synthetic condoms. “Natural” or “lambskin” condoms also help prevent pregnancy, but may not provide protection against STDs, including HIV. Typical use failure rate: 13%.1. Condoms can only be used once. You can buy condoms, KY jelly, or water-based lubricants at a drug store. Do not use oil-based lubricants such as massage oils, baby oil, lotions, or petroleum jelly with latex condoms. They will weaken the condom, causing it to tear or break.”

Afab’s condom— the afab condom helps keep sperm from getting into their body. It is packaged with a lubricant and is available at drug stores. It can be inserted up to eight hours before sexual intercourse. Typical use failure rate: 21%,1 and also may help prevent STDs.”

Now moving on from safety, we go to pleasure. Due to a biased curriculum, we have a very limited understanding of how to have pleasure without shame, but we have to get over that as a community. 

Masturbation is healthy, sex is healthy, experimentation is healthy, most kinks and fetishes are healthy. If you aren’t hurting yourself or others (without consent), then you are fine and should feel no shame. This Valentine’s Day, even if you are by yourself, have some fun, explore your likes and dislikes, set boundaries, find out who you are in that sense. Happy Valentine’s Day, and remember to wear a condom.

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