Safe Sex

Be Safe, Not Sorry

Safe From What?


As much as we may not want to acknowledge or think about it, sexual activity can be risky. Besides the obvious pregnancy and STI-related risks, the genitals are a very sensitive and vulnerable part of the body that is important to remain health conscious of as well.


“Being safe” means a whole lot more than just wearing or using a condom. Safe sex encompasses anything one can do to protect themselves from any unwanted bacteria, infections, pregnancies, etc. that can be transmitted via bodily fluids and/or skin contact; alone or with others. Most often, this is done by creating a barrier between skin-to-skin (or toys, etc.) to prevent bacteria & fluids from passing through either side.

A cartoon of a condom fighting off sperm and bacteria.

Communication!


An important conversation should be happening before sexual activity, especially if it’s with new and/or multiple partners. All it takes is a simple question, “when was the last time you were tested?” It’s only as awkward as you make it, and to be honest, would you rather be a little awkward for a second or have to deal with something worse? In addition, be sure you have an answer back too! Many health clinics actually offer free STI testing, so be sure to check out your local walk-in or go see your family doctor.


Although you might not want to wear that condom or take the two minutes to wash a toy, these are the choices that can, unfortunately, lead to negative consequences. You are in charge of your own body and your own safety, no one will do it for you. So be honest with yourself and with any future partners on things like contraception, history of sexual activity, and getting tested.

With A Partner


Regardless of gender, sexual orientation, and/or sexual activity, there are several ways to engage in safer sex with a partner. Once again, these methods provide a barrier from bacteria and bodily fluids ONLY. These are the 4 most popularly used methods, however, there are even more options out there to consider. Be sure to check out Stag Shop’s selection of each below!

Use What Works

  • Blue icon of a condom

    Condoms

    If you and/or your partner have a penis, condoms are still one of the more popular contraceptives, even though they can sometimes get a bad wrap. Did you know there’s actually a proper way to put on a condom? (See package for instruction). Failing to complete a step properly, or missing one altogether decreases its effectiveness just a little bit more.

  • Blue icon of an internal condom.

    Internal Condoms

    Also known previously as a “female” condom, this is a type of barrier that goes inside of the body. Meant to be worn in the vagina, the closed end is positioned up close to the cervix and acts almost like a tunnel through the vaginal canal, with the open end remaining outside of the body.

  • Blue icon of a finger cot Blue icon of a gloved hand

    Finger Cots & Gloves

    Finger cots are like a little, tiny condom for your finger! Perfect for any type of inserting (whether for prep or play), finger cots can provide protection from the bacteria that can live on your hands, underneath your fingernails, etc.


    For sexual purposes too, gloves don’t just cover a finger or two, but your whole hand! Engaging in fingering play? Try cutting a glove to make it like a finger cot/dental dam hybrid!

  • Blue icon of a dental dam.

    Dental Dams

    For those with a vulva, a dental dam is a thin, flat piece of material that can cover the vulva in its entirety, making activities such as oral sex, fingering, etc. safer as well! Dental dams aren’t just for vulvas; use one when performing oral on the anus as well for a lubricated (and sometimes flavoured) barrier.

  • Blue icon of a dental dam.

    Solo Safety

    Did you know that you can be safe when you play on your own too? There are a few things that EVERYONE can do to keep themselves healthy as well as some things you can do for your toys. Firstly, you should ALWAYS wash your hands before and after masturbating. Thinking of all the things you touch in a day, there are lots of bacteria that can linger and can get inside, causing infections.

A bottle of Stag Shop brand toy cleaner.

Speaking of washing, sex toys should also be washed not only after each use but before as well. Who knows what kind of bacteria could be lingering in your toy drawer or how long it was since its last use? A toy cleaner is best to use as they are much gentler on toy materials while still strong enough to effectively rid them of bacteria.

A cartoon depiction of a sex toy smiling.

If an insertable toy such as a dildo or vibrator is being used, a condom can be put on it! Not only does it cut the clean-up time in half, but it can help to preserve the life of the toy as well.

Safe Sex Myths Debunked


No matter how old we are, we can always be learning! Depending on what your experience with sexual education was like, some of these safe sex questions may have never been answered. POP QUIZ TIME! (don't worry, it's not graded) Read the myth and guess what the answer is. When you're ready to see the actual answer, click on the myth. How do you think you'll do? It's okay if you fell for the myth, these are the things that SHOULD have been covered in your Sexual Education class.

FALSE. Sperm cannot live outside of the body so STI’s can only be passed through fluids or skin-to-skin contact (depending on the infection), therefore unless you were sitting on a toilet seat the exact same time as someone else, you’re safe to sit.

FALSE. Since STI’s are transmitted via fluids and contact, anal sex provides no exception. It’s actually even riskier as there are no mucous membranes inside the anus, meaning there isn’t any natural lubrication. This can then make it easier for microtearing to occur, which just opens up the door for bacteria. This is why it’s so important to use lots of lubricant when engaging in anal play, especially a lube marketed towards anal and/or with a thicker viscosity. Stag Shop’s anal gel is the perfect consistency as it creates a thicker barrier between skin for a longer period of time compared to regular water-based lubes.

FALSE. It is still totally possible to get pregnant while having a period. The lengths of periods can vary, meaning sometimes ovulation and menstruation can overlap. In addition, sperm can live within the body for 3-5 days, so even after the first egg has been expelled (i.e. period), they could be swimming towards a new one.

FALSE. Bacteria and fluids can linger on toys, especially if not being washed properly. We recommend not sharing sex toys with others, even if using a condom with it as well.

TRUE. Many like to think otherwise, but infections that are transmitted via skin contact (herpes, for example) are still contractible during oral sex.

FALSE. Some STIs do not show any symptoms right away, and can still be transmissible through sexual activity. The best way to be sure is for both you and your partner to go through an STI screening procedure.

FALSE. If you have an allergy to latex, you won't be able to use latex condoms. But there are many types of latex free condoms that you can still use.

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