Sexual Health

Fun with Barriers

Welcome to barrier heaven!

Whoever you are attracted to and however you like to have sex, latex (and non-latex) barriers can be incorporated into your sex life.

Barriers are a great way to protect you and your partner(s) from getting or spreading sexually transmitted infections. If you’re just starting to use barriers, you might wonder how to use them in a way that’s fun.

It’s totally possible to bring barriers into the bedroom so they add to the experience, not take away from it.

Disclaimer: You may already know the routine, but just a reminder to only use a barrier method once. Never reuse a barrier. When you’re done, toss it, and use a new one for the next sexual activity. (You probably already know about male (external) condoms so we’ll skip that one).

Female (internal) condom

A female condom (like the FC2), also called an internal condom, is inserted into the vagina or anus, depending on the sex you want to have. They work just like male (external) condoms but are worn on the inside and they’re not made out of latex so they’re a great option for someone with a latex allergy!

Just like with male condoms, make sure to check the expiration date on the package. Then open it carefully with your fingers rather than tearing with your teeth.

To insert the condom into the vagina, squeeze the inner ring (enclosed end) so it becomes a bean shape. Much like a tampon or menstrual cup, push it into the vagina. Gently push it until it reaches the cervix, or a comfortable stopping point at the back of the vagina.

It can be tricky the first couple times putting in a female condom. They can be worn for up to 12 hours before sex so if you’re nervous about doing it in the moment or just want to take your time beforehand, go for it! After inserted, leave the outer ring outside of the vagina.

Once you’re doing having sex, pull out the condom, twist the rings in opposite directions seal in the fluids, and throw it away.

Dental Dams

A dental dam is a thin piece of latex that is placed over the vulva or anus during oral sex to prevent the spread of STIs.

It can be a little tricky, but hold the edges of the latex with your fingers while giving oral sex. To keep track of which side has touched the genitals, it can help to use a permanent marker to write something that’s obviously reversed when flipped over, like the letter “R.”

Dental dams aren’t available everywhere so it’s best to check online – and of course we have them at Vibrant! You can also get crafty and cut off the tip and down the length of a condom and if you have a latex allergy, do it with a non-latex condom and you’ve got yourself a dental dam.

Gloves & finger cots

Have you heard of finger cots? Also called “finger condoms,” these cute little pieces of latex are worn on a finger during manual sex, like fingering, hand jobs, and anal play.

Gloves and finger cots are great ways to reduce the risk of infection. Plus, some people have very sensitive genital areas so latex can make manual sex feel smoother and more comfortable.

As with any barrier, lube can help add to the pleasure.

Sex toys

Because sex toys come into contact with bodily fluids and genitals, they can carry germs and infections. If you and your partner(s) share toys, it’s especially important to clean your toys.

Learn all about cleaning your sex toys HERE. Some toys can be boiled, which sanitizes them. For toys that cannot be boiled, a trusty barrier comes to the rescue yet again! Condoms can go over any long-shaped toy, like a dildo, certain vibrators, or a strap-on. How lovely and versatile is the condom, am I right?

For the little toys, like bullet vibrators, finger cots are just the right size.

When it comes does to it, there is no one right way to have sex. Partners figure out what works best for them—you and your partner(s) might discover you love the smell of latex. You might feel awkward or clumsy using barriers the first couple times using them. You might fall in love with lube.

All of these reactions are totally valid! No one intuitively knows how barriers work, but after some practice you can easily become a natural. Protection doesn’t have to be a total drag—what’s sexier than feeling healthy and confident in bed?

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