The Complete Guide To Safe Sex

Long before AIDS made an entry into our dictionaries and our daily paranoias, there were other sexual scares: syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and genital warts, to name a few. But no one really talked those days about safe sex (although some of these other sexually-transmitted infections could also eventually cost victims their lives). In stopping sexual permissiveness dead in its tracks, AIDS may well have done us a favour: because, the careful sexual behaviour that is our best security against AIDS also constitutes our best protection against other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

The essence of safe sex is avoiding high-risk partners and practices, and using condom-management strategies. But when it comes down to the specifics, many questions arise:

Who are the high-risk sexual partners?

The high-risk groups are homosexuals, bi-sexuals, prostitutes, intravenous drug abusers; heterosexuals from Central Africa where AIDS is common; those who have had multiple blood transfusions in areas where AIDS is rampant. Sexual episodes with high-risk partners are the most common way the infection is passed on.

The risk of acquiring AIDS from one penis-vaginal intercourse episode with someone from a high-risk group has been estimated to be: (with condom) – 1 in 100,000 to 1 in 10,000; (without condom) – 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 1000. (The wide range of odds is because of different rates of infection among high-risk groups).

Of course, someone who’s not a high-risk partner is not necessarily a no-risk partner. When two people sleep together, it’s essentially group sex: they are in effect sleeping with everyone each of them has slept with in the past five to ten years.

How many sexual encounters with a high-risk partner would it take for the virus to be transmitted?

The virus can be transmitted through just one sexual encounter with an infected person. But the chances are less than in the case of multiple encounters with high-risk persons. In one study at the University of California, less than 10 out of 100 persons were found to have contracted the virus through a single sexual encounter with an infected person. But another study found that the odds got steadily worse with continuous sexual activity with an infected partner over a two-year periods – 12 out of 14 people ended up infected.

That is why another cardinal commandment of safe sex: avoid multiple sexual partners. Especially if they are unknown, casual partners, you have no way of knowing which of them is infected, and with every encounter, the laws of probability favour you less and less. Sex with a single, known, trustworthy partner is one of your best armour devices against serious infection. So, if you’ve tried the rest, now try the best: monogamy!

Is a man more likely to give the infection to a woman than the other way round?

Sperm does appear to contain a higher concentration of the virus then vaginal secretions and the virus does appear to be more efficiently transmitted from men to women then from women to men. But men shouldn’t get too smug about this. In Africa, where the disease has had more time to do its work, there’s a one-to-one infection ratio between men and women.

Which is the most risky sexual practice?

Without question, anal intercourse without a condom. The walls of the rectum are thinner than the vaginal walls and therefore more prone to abrasions and tears. So, the AIDS virus from an infected partner’s semen is absorbed more easily during anal sex.

Other high-risk practices (with an infected partner) are condomless vaginal intercourse fellatio, cunnilingus, the sharing of insertive sex toys and anything that would involve blood contact.

Moderate-risk practices are French kissing, oral sex using condoms, vaginal sex using condoms and spermicide, and anal intercourse using condoms and spermicide.

How safe is kissing?

The AIDS virus is carried by bodily fluids – apart from semen and blood, that includes urine, vaginal secretions, tears, saliva and even faeces.

Does that make practices like oral sex and ‘tongue kissing’ unsafe? The virus is found only rarely in saliva. In a study of 83 patients (reported in The New England Journal of Medicine), the virus was detected in the saliva of only one.

In another study reported in the same journal, in families where an AIDS -infected member shared food, drink, cutlery and crockery with the others, not a single non-infected person caught the virus.

In these same households, members kissed each other without spreading AIDS. Kissing on the cheeks and lips appears to be perfectly safe. And, to date, there’s no evidence that saliva transmits the virus.

Still, since the virus has been isolated in saliva (although in rare cases), caution is the better part of l’amour, especially where deep kissing or French kissing – the kind that curls your toes – is concerned. In the U.S., the Surgeon-General has advised against it. While there has been no documented case of the spread of AIDS in this way, it would be difficult to document because people who start with this kind of kissing often don’t stop there. Although most researchers feel that transmission is unlikely even from erotic kissing because there probably wouldn’t be an adequate amount of virus in the saliva or a sufficient amount of saliva exchanged, the fact remains that it’s theoretically possible.

How risky is oral sex?

So far, researchers haven’t confirmed a single case – in either homosexuals or heterosexuals – attributable to it. But, as with deep kissing, it’s difficult to document because oral sex so often goes along with other sexual activities. Therefore, the experts advise against letting semen enter the mouth. The risk is lowered if the man wears a condom or doesn’t ejaculate in his partner’s mouth. But both need to remember that a small amount of the virus may be present in the pre-ejaculatory fluid.

Oral sex is less risky for a heterosexual man, because he usually comes in contact with less fluids. Still, the virus can exist in small concentration in vaginal fluids.

What are the safe-sex activities you can indulge in with a partner of doubtful credentials?

There are several such activities you can enjoy short of intercourse: dry kissing, hugging and caressing, massage and mutual masturbation (provided the man does not ejaculate near the woman’s vagina; and provided vaginal secretion do not come in contact with broken skin).

Don’t condoms offer foolproof protection against STDs?

Condoms have been shown to be laboratory-effective in blocking the transmission of gonorrhea, syphilis and herpes. The most efficient are latex condoms which have been studied under the electron microscope – neither bacteria nor viruses have been able to penetrate them. That includes the AIDS virus, which is about 25 times smaller than a sperm.

Some experts however have their doubts about the efficacy of condoms made from natural skin, such as lambskin, in blocking transmission of the microscopic AIDS virus. These condoms are made of hundreds of layers of porous collagen. Although the chances of a virus navigating through them are slim, lab tests have shown it’s possible.

However: Even with latex condoms, when it comes down to actual practice, they have never been anywhere near 100 per cent reliable. They slip, they break, and people often don’t use them soon enough, or withdraw them carefully enough. Consider this noteworthy statistic: one out of 10 women who rely on condoms as contraception still get pregnant each year – although contraception can occur only a few days each month. In contrast, you are susceptible to the AIDS virus 365 days a year.

Here’s how condoms fared in one real-life study of couples, one of whom was infected and relied on condoms to prevent the spread of the virus to the non-infected partner. After using condoms for between one to three years, three of the 18 spouses contracted the virus, a failure rate of 17 per cent. Says the study’s chief researcher, Margaret Fischl of the University Of Miami School Of Medicine, “Our study shows that using condoms decreases the risk, but clearly it’s not a foolproof system”. Evidently, there is still no such thing as ‘safe sex’ with an infected partner – only degrees of risk.

How can you improve your margin of safety using condoms?

  • One of the best ways is to use them in tandem with s spermicide which contains the active ingredient nonoxynol-9. This ingredient has been shown to kill the herpes and AIDS viruses (at least under lab conditions).
  • Choose latex condoms over those made of animal membrane such as lambskin. Latex is less porous.
  • Choose the well-known brands. They are more likely to have undergone thorough testing and less likely to have undetected holes.
  • As a general rule, the thicker the condom the greater your margin of safety. (That again makes latex your best bet).
  • Check that the condom you use has a reservoir or receptacle at the end so that semen can’t spill over the sides during ejaculation. By catching semen in its reservoir, this kind of condom also lowers rupture risks to near-zero.
  • Never use petroleum-based lubricants such as petroleum jelly with a latex condom – they will cause the latex to disintegrate. But, lubrication does help prevent condom from tearing. Use K-Y jelly, water or – best of all – a spermicide containing nonoxynol-9. (Do not use saliva).
  • Put on the condom as soon as erection occurs, don’t wait until ejaculation is imminent – some viruses may escape in the pre-ejaculatory fluid.
  • When you remove the condom from its wrapper and place it over the tip of your penis, make sure it doesn’t catch on a ring or fingernail.
  • The condom should seal tightly to your skin. A condom that makes hasty withdrawal necessary, and semen spillage possible, is injurious to your partner’s health!
  • Withdraw right after ejaculation, because if the erection is lost the condom may slip off, allowing semen to escape. Hold on to the rim of the condom as the penis is being withdrawn.
  • Dispose of the condom safely so that no one (a child, for example) could accidentally come in contact with semen.
  • Don’t ‘store’ a pare condom in your wallet or the glove compartment of your car. Heat damages latex. Condoms should be stored in a cool, dry place like a bedside drawer.

What else, in the sexual arena, increases your risk of catching AIDS?

Sexually transmitted diseases, particularly syphilis and chancroid, are associated with genital ulcers, which allow the HIV virus easy access to the bloodstream.

Isn’t there any foolproof protection against AIDS?

There are two. One is to stay celibate: an answer which, for most of us, is of course a non-answer.

The second is to have sex only with a partner who has been tested for AIDS. But this is not an easy, or practical, as it sounds. It arises from the fact that the so-called “AIDS test” is not really a test for AIDS at all. It is a blood test that detects the presence of antibodies produced by the body to fight the invading virus – called the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. (It’s therefore called the HIV test). If the test detects these antibodies, what it means is that, at some point of time, the person was infected by the virus.

However – and this is where the main snag arises – it takes anything from a fortnight to six months for the body to produce the HIV antibodies. This is the so-called “window phase” – the period during which the infection, while already present, may not be signaled by the test because the antibodies haven’t yet been produced. What this means is that a negative result on the HIV test (no antibodies) is valid only if the test has been done at least six months after the last sexual exposure.

On the other hand, there have also been problems with the use of the ELISA test to detect HIV antibodies – quite commonly, especially in the case of heterosexuals, ELISA has shown false positives! To exclude the possibility of error, a positive result with ELISA must be confirmed with the so-called Western Blot test. If the results are confirmed, that’s bad news, but both tests should be repeated a few weeks later to ensure that there was no mix-up in blood samples in the lab.

However, even if a potential sexual partner has been certified as HIV-negative, remember that sex with such a partner is ‘safe’ only until his/her next sexual encounter. After that, as they say, all bets are off. (Unless, of course, you and this partner enter into a mutually monogamous relationship – after you too have tested negative!)

What’s the bottomline in safe sex?

It’s that, where safe sex is concerned, it’s better to be a believer in healthy overreaction than to go by the no-case-yet norm. As late as 1984, the medical world was saying we have ‘no case yet’ of the heterosexual spread of AIDS. One year later, oops, we’d got one. Since AIDS may have a few other unhealthy surprises in store, it’s better to err on the side of caution.

One morsel of good news: while some people acquire the virus after just a single exposure, others don’t acquire it after repeated exposures. What this means is that, even if you’ve been having unprotected sex for years, it’s conceivably not yet too late to start protecting yourself.

Use condoms, use caution, use commonsense – remember, the AIDS virus cannot get you without your active co-operation!

How to Make Your Sex Become Extraordinary (Amazing Sex Habit)

Having sex (making love) is one form of communication in the relationship between men and women, especially for those who have married. That’s why sex is important for those who have settled down, for the need of variety of ways to have sex with your partner can take more remarkable (amazing sex habits).

The first thing that might be done is more aggressive behavior. This may be more emphasized on the female side. Various touches ranging from a kiss or a whisper in your partner’s ear can surely arouse your husband. Maybe you can improvise by adding with a mischievous whisper with a naughty smile from your sexy lips. With the more aggressive women, it can make possible your lovemaking ritual will be more attractive because most men prefer their partners to be more aggressive or act in a more mischievous.

Your appearance when having sex relationships can take the impact on the quality of your sexual relationship. The more attractive you are both, the more easily for you both to enjoy your intimate relationships. Attractiveness and sexiness is not necessarily synonymous with lavish appearance. It can be simple enough appearance but look inviting enough from the eyes of your partner. Then your body should be fresh and fragrant well to support your performance in a sexual relationship with your partner. Fresh and fragrance body can be used as a tool to attract your partner to always be excited. In another word, it can be said for being sexy you should keep your body always fresh and fragrant.

Focus, focus, and focus (for being focused). Build your mind to get better focus on your sexual activities, forget your entire mind. Try to relax and give your body a chance to enjoy having sex with your partner.

Communication is your main requirement in a relationship. Thus, try to be able to establish intimate communication with your partner even when you have intercourse with your partner. In your intimate relationships communication is very necessary. The communication between partners could be established by showing the moans as a bookmark if you really enjoy your sexual relationship, or naughty seductive words to make your relationship last. By establishing communication with it, it will impact on your emotional closeness as a couple. The more time you spend time with him, the greater your chance to enjoy the event intercourse with your partner.

Spontaneous action of one partner will further be the enjoyment and also leave a deep impression in your sex experience. In doing this spontaneous attack action you also have to look at the condition or choosing the right time. Although it means you should not hold on the specifics time especially if your partner has memorized your sex act. You must be spontaneous to attack and hit the sensitive spots of your partner first. Your spontaneity in attack will make you relations have higher quality. Yet, you should keep your body to stay in fit condition and ready to fight in all conditions. To keep your body fits you can do a regular exercise as well as supply your body with nutritious and balanced food. Are you curious to try and practice it with your partner?

What Non-Married Same Sex and Heterosexual Couples Need to Know When Immigrating to Canada

When applying for immigration to Canada via Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) you must always have a principal applicant. This is the person who can fulfill the criteria of the particular immigration route you are choosing. It does not have to be the head of the household, nor does it have to be the male in a mixed sex relationship. You should look at the criteria and determine which family member will gain the most points or have the correct work history in order to qualify.

The principal applicant can then name spouses and dependent children as family members to be included in their application. Many people wrongly assume that a couple has to be heterosexual and married in order for their relationship to be recognized by CIC as valid, but this is not the case. CIC recognizes common-law relationships as well as same-sex relationships, but you do have to be aware of certain criteria that have to be met in order for your relationship to be accepted.

CIC Definitions:

Spouse: Two people of opposite or same-sex in a legally recognized marriage.
Common-law: Two people of opposite or same-sex who are living in a conjugal relationship and have been doing so continuously for at least one year.
Conjugal: Two people who live together and have significant commitment to one another i.e. financial, emotional, children etc.

Some issues may arise when applying for immigration to Canada that may never have been a factor before and could actually prevent the CIC from recognizing your relationship as common-law. If you know before hand what these issues might be you can prepare in advance and get your affairs in order so that when the time comes you have no problems proving your relationship. Muchmor Canada Magazine outlines the main problems and how you can prevent them.

When CIC accepts common-law relationships both heterosexual and gay or lesbian it has to receive proof from the couple that their relationship is real and not being used for the benefit of immigration. This means that you will need to prove that your relationship is conjugal. Evidence that you share a home, support each other financially, are in an emotional relationship and perhaps have children will all be taken into account.

This might not sound as if it could be a problem, but lets take a look at a couple of scenarios:

Scenario 1:

Jack and Ben are a gay couple who have been in a relationship for six years and have been living as a common-law couple for four years. Jack owned the property they live in before he met Ben and all the bills, mortgage etc are in his name only. Ben contributes toward the food and general living expenses as well as holidays the couple take. They each have separate bank accounts. This arrangement has worked well for them both and they have seen no reason to change.

Problem: Because on paper Ben has no connection to the property they live in there is no proof that they are living as a couple, other than their “word.” Although Ben pays as much financially into the relationship he has no bills, mortgage or household costs that can be shown to the CIC. Neither do they share a bank account and do they have no obvious financial commitment to each other. Therefore this may give rise to CIC rejecting their common-law relationship and refusing their application.

Scenario 2:

Mark and Sue have lived together for two years. Mark works full-time and is the only earner in the home as Sue is a stay-at-home mum to a daughter she has by another relationship. Mark has always looked after the bills and rent and Sue’s name is not on any of the official documentation i.e. rent, utility bills etc. They do have a joint bank account, but this is used for savings and holidays and not for the payment of household bills which come out of a bank account in Mark’s name only.

Problem: As with Scenario 1 CIC could refuse to accept their common-law relationship as on paper Sue has no connection to the joint home and cannot prove commitment to the relationship. Although they share a bank account, this does not prove a relationship as any two individuals can open a join bank account without being in a relationship. Remember all the bills come out of an account in Mark’s name.

Scenario 3:

Sally lives with her same-sex partner Amy in a rented apartment. The rental agreement is in Sally’s name as she lived there before she met Amy about 18 months ago. The rent includes all utilities, so no living expenses other than groceries and everyday living costs are payable. If they add Amy to the rental agreement it will prompt a new contract being put in place, increasing their monthly rent, so they have left things as they are. They both have separate bank accounts.

Problem: Once again one partner in the relationship cannot prove that they are in any way committed to the relationship or the property they live in. Again CIC could refuse to accept this relationship and refuse their application.

Solutions

Fortunately most of these issues can be easily rectified well in advance of you needing to supply the information to CIC. By following Muchmor Canada Magazine suggestions you can prevent problems.

The key to this is preparation and timing. As soon as you know you will want to apply for immigration to Canada you should look at mortgage or rental agreements, utility bills such as electricity, gas, water, internet, television etc. bank accounts and investments. Make a list and note who’s name is included on each.

The next thing is to try to get as many of these items in both names as possible. Some will be easier than others, but perhaps the easiest is a joint bank account which you then use to pay your bills. If you can show that both your incomes go into one account and all your expenses are paid from that account it helps prove financial commitment to one another and a shared liability for the “marital” home.

Next try to add the additional name onto utility bills. Some companies will do this readily, others may take some patience and paperwork. If you cannot get all changed over, don’t worry. As long as you can show that many of your bills are in joint names this is okay. After all even legally married couples don’t always have all their bills in both names.

The biggest obstacle will be mortgage or rental agreements as these will require a legal change and may it may be to your financial disadvantage to change them. This is something you will have to discuss with your mortgage lender or landlord. Again if you cannot easily get this changed, do not despair. As long as you can get a joint bank account in place and can prove you share all or most of the household expenses you should be good to go.

The CIC understands that not every couple married or common-law will share absolutely everything. Many married couples still have separate bank accounts or pay separate bills or only have one wage earner who pays everything. But it is taken for granted that a married couple living in the same house are financially and emotionally committed to each other. The same consideration is not extended to common-law couples who rightly, or wrongly have to prove this fact.

Because CIC require you to be in a common-law relationship for at least one year before applying, you should get all these things in order as soon as possible. The information you give on your application needs to be relevant at the time you complete it, not at the time you expect it to be processed by CIC.

Always read, re-read and read again the application criteria to make sure you are complying correctly. It is easier to start things off right than to have to correct things later which may delay your processing time, or mean it gets rejected altogether.

As with most things, preparation and planning are key.