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Safer Sex

Safety

We've all heard that it's safer for a woman to have sex with women in terms of sexually transmitted infections, but it's still important to protect yourself. If you don't know your partner's test results, play safe!

The basic rule of playing safe(r) is to keep fluids to yourself, with the secondary rule of not having direct contact with one another's genitals. The way to cover all your bases is to have barrier methods such as latex or nitrile gloves, condoms, and dental dams available.

Gloves are available in latex and non. Latex gloves tend to be the white/off white, but can be bought in black. Nitrile ones are great for folks with latex allergies (if you don't know who you might be bringing home we recommend nitrile ones) and tend to be bright purple. Gloves are amazing- you can cut them into a dental dam, even one that gives you the ability to safely use your fingers and tongue simultaneously! They're also great for stretching over toys, such as the Dual Action vibrators, which can largely be covered by a forefinger and thumb of a glove with some stretching.

Dams are just a sheet of latex or polyurethane. They're great for cunnilingus or analingus (oral-anal sex), especially since they cover the whole vulva- further protecting you from fluids and skin that could be infected. They also come in scents, so you can change the flavor of sex as a change of pace if you want. Try adding flavored lube to the giver's side and some lube to the receiver side, and then hold on tight!

A dental dam is a small sheet of latex that acts as a barrier between the vagina or anus and the mouth. Dental dams get their name because they are used during dental surgery such as root canals. Due to the possible infectious secretions from both the vagina and the anus, the dental dam is becoming a popular safer sex tool. With the introduction of different colors, shapes and sizes, manufacturers are adding some exciting changes to what once was sterile translucent-white latex. If used properly, latex dental dams are effective against HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases.


How Do I  Use a Dental Dam Properly?


    * Use a New Dental Dam Every Time - Use a new dental before each sex act. Be sure the dam is free of holes or breakage. You can check the dam before you use it by holding it up to light or seeing if water is able to pass through it. Avoid using oil-based lubricants, which can break down the latex and may cause leaks. Finally, ensure that only one side of the dam comes in contact with the genitals, and that the dam is used only once. Make sure you use a brand new dental dam each time you engage in intimate relations with your partner.
    * Using the Dental Dam - Hold the latex dam over the vulva or anus during oral stimulation, making sure that the latex remains in place. Always keep the same side against the body. Do not share or reuse.
    * Lubricants - Do not use oil-based lubricants such as Vaseline petroleum jelly, mineral oil, vegetable oil or cold cream as these can cause the breakdown of the latex in the dental dam. This may result in leakage. Undercover Condoms has a selection of dental dam-safe lubricants.
    * Dental Dam Storage - Store at room temperature. Do not use if the dental dam appears brittle.
    * Dental Dam Effectiveness - No prophylactic can guarantee 100% effectiveness, but if properly used dental dams will help reduce the risk of HIV infec

Condoms aren't just for guys, you know. They're mighty useful for cleanup and protecting non-silicone dildos. They can also be cut into a dental dam if you can't find a dam on a particular occasion. Condoms also let you keep track of whose toy goes where throughout an evening, since you can get them in packs with lots of colors. Set colors- blue for her, green for you, or a more complicated combination of four or more if you want to play with multiple orifices (warm colors for one partner, cool for the other, etc).

Finger cots are like tiny condoms for fingers. To be honest the ladies at Wild Hearts are firm believers in a full glove as opposed to just a finger or two, but these items can be used if you want some protection with a fluid-bonded partner because of a cut on your finger. They also work just like condoms for the small toys.

Toy Cleaners we only sell Pjur Med Clean products, because of all the other cleaning products have alcohol and/or nonoxynol-9. Alcohol and nonoxynol-9 are very irritating to vaginal and anal membranes. Nonoxynol- 9 has been found to be downright dangerous!

"Why is Nonoxynol-9 Problematic?"  (Excerpt from article by Gupta, G. "Microbicidal spermicide or spermicidal microbicide?" 2005. Eur J Contr Repro Health Care: 10(4):212–218)
"When used in high dosages, or when used frequently, N-9 causes two types of damage to the vaginal epithelium (layers of skin cells.) It causes inflammation of the vagina and cervix, and it can actually kill off layers of cells. Both of these actions render a woman more susceptible to infection by various sexually transmitted diseases. They may also make it easier for her to transmit STDs to her partner.  Regular use of N-9 may increase a person's risk of HIV, herpes, and other sexually transmitted diseases. It may not even require frequent use for problems to be seen. At least one study done in mice has shown that just one vaginal dose of N-9 can increase susceptibility to herpes infection and many other sexually transmitted diseases. "

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