“Cosmo, bums, pre-cum… All good.” – Safe Sex whilst Dating

SO. Remember how we nagged you all for a Cosmo Blog Awards nomination? We’ve only bloody gone and made the shortlist!

You can CLICK HERE to vote for us until the end of August under the Sex & Relationships category.  (Or use the handy button over there on the right)

It’s pretty exciting and it is AWESOME to see our name listed alongside some properly brilliant bloggers we love too.

In the mean time, here’s an excellent and important GUEST POST, which resulted from someone sending us a lovely congratulatory email after the Cosmo announcement. Any email which results in Panda responding “Horny, pre cum and anal fun… sounds brilliant” clearly deserves a guest spot, as far as we’re concerned.

Our guest blogger is James Armstrong – an experienced Journalist and Radio Broadcaster, currently writing for Dr Thom – an online doctoring service offering discreet and convenient sexual health testing and treatment. And best of all, he stuck to our rule of using MSPaint to illustrate his post with a drawing, too… Here goes:

1 in 3 people don’t practice safe sex with a new partner. This is like playing Russian roulette with your sexual health. If you take 10 random sexually active people off the street, the likelihood is that one of them will have some sort of STD. So let me get the preachy bit of this post out-of-the-way now; sexual health is important, look after yourself – you can’t trust anyone else (including your partner) to be responsible for it.

Condoms are the easiest, most effective way to protect your sexual health and help prevent an unwanted pregnancy. While dating, if you’re having sex (maybe even with more than one partner – lucky you), you should be using them.

But condoms are far from perfect; from a man’s perspective they’re uncomfortable, fiddly and they reduce sensation (think sucking a sweet with the wrapper still on). Not to mention the fact that they make an already ridiculous-looking organ look even weirder. But none of that is really a problem.

The problems start when you encounter an “oops” moment (we’ve all been there); maybe you’ve both had more than a few drinks and neglected the need for a condom.

Or you’ve managed to forget to buy any, but now it’s really late and you’re both far too horny to go out and buy them!

Sometimes you’re just too absorbed in the moment to kill the mood by stopping to fiddle with a bit of latex.

Or perhaps you’ve done the sensible thing and used one, only for it to split or tear – this is less likely if you’re using some water based lube – which is fun anyway (slippery bonus)!

Maybe there’s been some confusion over which way the condom unrolls (being in a hurry often results in this particular “oops”, though I personally prefer to blame the lack of blood getting to my brain), resulting in pre-cum being on the outside of the condom when it’s eventually used.

And sometimes you’re sharing a shower and it comes off and disappears while you’re too busy to notice (I know; eww – but it happens).

Condom Confusion...

Condom Confusion…

At times like these, you have to consider two things: if you’re not already on the pill or some other form of contraception like the implant or coil, then think about taking the morning after pill, which should be used within 72 hours (the sooner the better).

You also have to consider STD testing. Chlamydia, gonorrhoea, fungal infections, hepatitis, herpes, syphilis, HIV and many other diseases that can be contracted through unprotected sex, or “oops” moments. You may feel fine and still be infected without even knowing it; it’s possible to have an STD while experiencing no symptoms.

Surveys show that (unsurprisingly) men are less likely to go and get tested than women are. So a quick message to all the blokes reading; don’t believe the horror stories, the tests themselves (at the very worst) are only slightly uncomfortable, and I promise nobody is going to stick anything inside your penis – many tests are done on a simple urine sample. So go and get checked out – the peace of mind alone is worth it, and you’re ensuring that nothing is left to fester, which is much worse (I’m told that gonorrhoea feels like peeing razorblades once the infection sets in).

Women, the test for you involves a urine sample and possibly swabs being taken from inside the vagina – once again not painful, just uncomfortable (or so I’m told).

The doctor/nurse will also take a blood sample and may also take throat and/or rectal swabs from both men and women if you have any symptoms in those areas.

STD testing is especially important if you’ve indulged in anal sex. The increased possibility of bleeding and tearing the skin exposes you both to more risk.

Oral sex can transfer STDs too. As can sharing sex toys, either as part of sex or just not cleaning them properly after use!

There’s a hugely humiliating anecdote about a friend of mine who was involved in a rampant rabbit mix-up with her house mate – long story short; by coincidence they both had the exact same model & colour. Aforementioned house mate was cleaning hers in the bathroom, got distracted and wandered off to do something else, my friend entered the bathroom, assumed that she’d left her vibrator there by mistake, took it back to her room and indulged in a little personal time… it wasn’t until later that evening when the mix up was discovered. I take great pleasure in retelling this story to anyone who’ll listen! I won’t mention any names though, she’d never forgive me!

So I’ll leave it at this: enjoy yourselves, just make sure you do it safely!

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