"What is safe sex?" In this image, somebody wearing a sequence pant in putting a pink Jonny condom into a gold boot.

What is safe sex, and how can I have it?

Through no fault of your own, you may not yet have been exposed to the concept behind safe sex (mainstream school sexual education, we’re lookin’ at you). If you’re thinking safe sex (that goes hand in hand with consent, might we add), involves helmets and kneepads, you get points for imagination. So, what is it? How do I have it? Where does Jonny fit into this conversation? Buckle up (and put on your helmet) because we answer all the q’s you may have about safe sex.

What is safe sex?

Safe sex (otherwise known as safer sex) is essentially a sexual activity that protects the health of you and your sexual partner from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancy. Sex is safer when the spread of bodily fluids between sexual partners, including semen and vaginal discharge, is limited and when skin-to-skin contact of the genital areas is avoided. Love a good vivid image.

Is safe sex important?

Is the grass green? Is David Attenborough an international treasure? Safe sex is incredibly important as it significantly reduces your chances of becoming pregnant or catching and/or transmitting an STI. For instance, unsafe vaginal or anal sex can spread HPV, gonorrhoea, HIV and chlamydia; unsafe oral sex can spread hepatitis B and herpes; and skin-on-skin contact can spread pubic lice, scabies and genital warts.

How can I have safe sex?

The only way you can completely protect yourself against STIs and pregnancy is abstaining from sex altogether. However, there are a multitude of different ways you can practice safe sex if you are sexually active. Using methods of contraception, including the pill, IUDs, injections, male condoms, female condoms, and vaginal rings, will help prevent unwanted pregnancy. However, it is important to remember that non-barrier contraceptives do not prevent STIs. 

Using condoms and other barrier contraceptives will provide you with the best protection possible against the transmission of STIs. For instance, if you engage in penis-in-vagina sex with a condom, you are up to 80% less likely to contract HIV than if you were to have sex without a condom

Safe sex isn’t just exclusive to vaginal or anal sex, either. STIs including chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhoea, syphilis and HPV can be transmitted orally, so ensuring a condom or dental dam is used when giving and receiving oral sex is a key safe sex practice.

Receiving a sexual health check at least once every six months is vital to ensure you’re taking all precautions necessary when engaging in safe sex, regardless of whether you’ve been in a relationship with your sexual partner for many years or if you have multiple sexual partners at once. Without regular sexual health checks, we would avoid engaging in any kind of sexual activity. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?

If you want to be as safe as possible when you’re getting down, make sure any toys you’re using - whether they belong to you or your sexual partner/s - are as clean as possible, as STIs can still definitely be spread by sex toys. Oh, and remember to always handle condoms with care!

What should I do if I’ve had unsafe sex?

If you’ve had unsafe sex - for instance, if you didn’t use a condom, if the condom broke, or if you used the pull out method - it is incredibly important to seek out the advice of your GP. It would also be smart and courteous to keep your sexual partner/s in the loop with anything regarding this situation.

What does consent have to do with safe sex?

Safe sex is essentially “any sexual contact you have while protecting yourself and your partner from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancy”, and consent in sex is defined as “an agreement to participate in a sexual activity.”. Consent is an absolute non-negotiable when it comes to having sex, and consent must be given in order to have safe sex. 

Can Jonny help?

Jonny sure can help you practice safe sex! Not only are the Jonny condoms natural and vegan, but they also comply with all Australian and international standards and testing to ensure maximum safety when engaging in sexual activity. When used correctly, Jonny condoms offer highly reliable protection against pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Although no contraceptive can offer a 100% protection guarantee, you can rest - or, ya know, not rest - easy knowing Jonny will give you the best protection possible when you’re engaging in safe sex.

The wrap up

So, there you have it, folks. Hopefully, this concise but comprehensive safe sex manual caught you up on the info missed in our high school curriculums. Practice safe sex whenever you engage in sexual activity, whether this is with a long-term partner or a new flame, to protect yourself as well as you possibly can from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.