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We got a gynaecologist to share a safe-sex guide for same-sex couples

Published on:23 June 2020, 12:44pm IST
When it comes to same-sex couples, not a lot is known about how to practice safe sex. Hence, we asked an expert about how same-sex couples can practice safe sex.
Grace Bains
Stay protected, stay safe. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

When it comes to sex education, most of us have been kept away from it. Growing up, we’ve taken whatever explanations our elders and the internet bestowed upon us on the taboo topic. Hence, even our idea of what would constitute good sexual health and what would promote it is a bit unclear. 

However, you can’t deny that such information is more readily available for straight couples. For same-sex couples, it is as taboo as the nature of their sexual orientation.

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Hence, we talked to Dr. Gandhali Deorukhkar from Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai to shed some light on safe sex practices for same-sex couples. She says: “Individuals from the group are more prone to diseases such as HIV, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, and HPV infections. However, these can be prevented to a great extent by practising safety and hygiene.”

She has some important tips for same-sex couples who can practice these to ensure that they can enjoy their sex life without any worries weighing them down:

1. Use condoms without fail
According to Dr Gandhali: “Using condoms can help prevent the spread of infections. They have to be used without fail each time. It is important for MSMs (men who have sex with men) to use condoms for males and WSWs (women who have sex with women) to wear a condom for females. This is the most effective way to steer clear of infections.”

oral sex
Don’t forget to use a condom. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

In fact, she suggests that condoms should be used even during oral sex. Women can use a dental dam as well to prevent catching infections via oral sex

2. Washing is the key to avoiding infection
Washing up is necessary immediately after sex, even if you want to spend time lazying around and cuddling. Says Dr Gandhali: “A simple but thorough wash is important. It will reduce the chances of STDs as well as UTIs. For women, it is important not to douche or insert anything into the vagina since it is a self-cleansing organ. They should, either way, practice washing front-to-back in order to make sure that bacteria from the anal cavity does not enter the vaginal opening since it could lead to infection.”

Moreover, she advised that you should clean your genitals regularly to keep infections at bay. Mild intimate washes can be used and you should make sure you clean yourself properly after defecation to make sure residual faecal matter doesn’t become a cause of infection.

3. Cleaning and storing sex toys the right way is also important
Sex toys can really take the pleasure quotient a notch higher, but they also need maintenance. Dr. Gandhali advises washing sex toys you’re using both before and after usage.

Sex toys
Clean them well before use. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

“They can collect dust if not cleaned which will inevitably cause infection and irritation to the intimate areas. Hence, it is important to wash them and especially immediately after using them. In fact, if possible, use a betadine solution which makes for an excellent disinfectant. Regular soap can also do the job,” she explains.

4. Practicing good oral hygiene is of utmost importance
Oral sex is definitely pleasurable and also something practised more regularly by same-sex couples. However, with pleasure comes with an increased risk of infections. Hence, oral hygiene is something that cannot be compromised. “Oral rinsing right after sex is an extremely important step that cannot be missed. Use a mouthwash with alcohol content because it is more effective in killing bacteria and rinsing your mouth with it will reduce chances of infection,” suggests Dr Gandhali.

5. Regular screening goes a long way
A report published on PubMed Central observes that men and women in same-sex relationships are prone to certain types of cancers such as anal cancer, cervical cancer, throat cancer, and tongue cancer. Dr. Gandhali suggests that individuals from the community should start going for regular screenings when they get sexually active. They should get themselves tested annually for various cancers.

So, boys and girls, you know how to go about it. No excuses when it comes to practising safe sex!

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Grace Bains Grace Bains

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book.