The Playbook For The Modern Man

No Sex? You Can Still Get Sexually Transmitted Diseases This Way

It’s time we gave you a tip. Not that tip, a serious tip. You’re a smooth operator between the sheets. You’re a stallion who rules the steed. You’re a straight shooter in a bendy world. We’re just going to come out and say it. You rule at sex.

But, because there’s always a but, you thought that you could escape the clutches of sexually transmitted diseases because you always played it safe. You’d be wrong. It’s a commonly known fact that STDs can be contracted without sexual intercourse and through the most innocent of acts or physical interactions.

Here are the lesser known ways you can contract an STD without actually having sex.

Make Out Sessions

A kiss may just be an innocent peck on the lips but even that’s playing with fire if either of you have an STD. Sexually transmitted diseases like herpes can be transmitted via tongue kissing or any form of saliva transfer.

Get this and you’ll know about it when the virus causes cold sores to break out around your mouth in the form of little blisters.


Oral Sex

Many believe oral sex isn’t “real” sex since there’s no penetration or direct contact between genitalia. Unfortunately this isn’t true. STDs can be transmitted through oral sex if the either partner’s penis, vagina or anus is infected. The most common form of of genital herpes is the herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2), which causes secretions, sores and broken skin. Go down on someone with this and you’re pretty much infected.

Adding salt to the wound is the fact that chlamydia can also be contracted by the throat if you engage in oral sex. And if you’re wearing a condom, it still won’t make a difference.

“Condoms will only protect the area that is covered; genital herpes can be on the inner thigh area and not everyone has symptoms. Most people who pass on genital herpes are not aware that they have it,” says sexologist and sex therapist Heidi Gee.

“If a person has oral sex and has a cold sore, they risk passing on the oral herpes to the genital area which then becomes genital herpes (HSV-2).”

“To protect yourself against genital herpes it’s important to wear protection like condoms or use dental dams during oral sex.”

Skin To Skin Contact

“Sexually transmitted infections are passed on by skin contact (herpes) or bodily fluids,” says Gee. And we’re not even talking about genitalia on genitalia contact.

If there’s a break in the skin on your body and you manage to get into contact with someone with herpes or HPV, it could be enough reason for an infection. Think touching beards or any other general region in the body.

Whilst it is rare, contracting it in this way depends on the skin’s condition and the severity of the infection.

Dry Humping

Similar to skin to skin, dry humping could encourage bouts of skin-to-skin contact and STD infection. And we all know how that ends…HPV, herpes, syphilis or molloscum contagiosum. Take your pick.

Eating Contaminated Food

One of the lesser known ways to contract an STD is through the innocent act of eating. If the person preparing your food has hepatitis A (HAV) and didn’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom (believe us it happens a lot), you could end up contracting an STD through contaminated food. And no, the hot chips isn’t worth it.

Sharing A Towel

Believe it. There might not be STD viral infections lingering around in your favourite towel but if you borrow someone else’s towel, there could be a parasite called trichomonas vaginalis hiding in the fibres. This parasite is responsible for the onset of trichomoniasis, the most common of sexually transmitted infections.

It’s handy to bear in mind that this parasite thrives in damp fabrics and can linger for an hour before finding its host. And that’s not to mention the crabs or pubic lice which are also notorious for making beds and clothing their home.

“Oral herpes or cold sores (HSV-1) can be passed on by contact with the skin or saliva. If someone has a cold sore they can also transmit it between blistering, sharing toothbrush, utensils or towels,” adds Gee.

Sharing Razors

This one’s a big no-no. Whilst the partner may love to borrow your razor, it can put you at risk of contracting a sex infection. Those who usually shave their pubic region are also more prone to contracting an STD since the skin is often broken and irritated.

Solutions From An Expert

Sexologist Heidi Gee says that there is a lot of unnecessary stigma around genital herpes.

“It can be treated with medication and suppressed. If a person gets cold sores, it’s important that they are mindful during a break out that they are very contagious and should avoid kissing their partner’s genital area.”

“Play it safe whilst having fun.”

RELATED: A Gentleman’s Guide To Bathroom Sex


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    For oral herpes, most people with oral herpes were infected during childhood or young adulthood from non-sexual contact with saliva. So, even you don’t have sex, it’s possible for you to be infected with HSV-1. – MPWH (meet people with herpes)

  • Madison Morrow

    This article is riddled with false info. You cannot contract herpes via inanimate objects or food. You cannot pass on herpes via saliva and it is suggested that hsv1 magically becomes hsv2 once it reaches the genitals which is also false.

  • psychicviking

    People can get herpes simplex from inanimate objects as long as the viral particles are active and on the objects and the people come in contact with the objects. People can get herpes simplex from saliva. Herpes simplex I is always herpes simplex I no matter where it is located on the body. Herpes simplex II is always herpes simplex II no matter where it is located on the body. People can get either of these viral infections on any part of their bodies.

  • Madison Morrow

    Where is the research to back up these claims? I’d honestly love to read it because I have spent hours upon hours reading peer reviewed research articles on herpes and not one I have found can prove herpes can be contracted via an inanimate object or via saliva. Yes the virus can exist on an object but not for long enough and not enough of the virus can survive in order to be passed on.

  • psychicviking

    A female doctor did a study on how long HSV stays “alive” on a toilet seat. I believe this study was done in the 1990s. She tested the virus on the toilet seat once an hour for a number of hours. Each time she tested, it was still “alive”. This info might help you to find this study.

    Someone I used to know got HSV from drinking from a bottle that someone else had drank from.

  • psychicviking

    Here is a study on HSV being found in both saliva and tears you should be interested in.

  • psychicviking

    Someone I used to know got HSV from saliva.

  • psychicviking

    From page 10 of The Helper American Social Health Association Summer 1996:

    A study published in the March 1995 issue of the American Journal of Medicine concluded that “Overall, 21% of patients with primary genital herpes will have or subsequently develop a nongenital recurrence.” Authors Jacqueline K. Benedetti et al. from the University of Washington wrote that acquisition of herpes simplex virus at sites away from the mouth and genital is thought to occur in one of three ways. First, a person can become infected at these sites if that is where he or she comes in contact with virus from a partner, especially if there is a break in he skin at the site.

    Down further on the page it says: Finally, a person who is already infected might reinfect themselves elsewhere if virus from the original lesion comes in contact with a break in the skin.
    Both HSV types 1 and 2 can cause outbreaks away from the mouth and genitals.

  • Madison Morrow

    Thank you for sharing the study, that is definitely informative! I believe I had read the article you are talking about, about how long the virus can live on surfaces. I’ve read a number of those but none that can show or prove you can actually contract the virus from an inanimate object, only that the virus can live for certain periods of time on these surfaces. Although I doubt there will ever be a study that can show how someone could contract the virus from an object for ethical reasons. I will say there are plenty of people who claim to have contract herpes from cigarettes or blunts or bottles but that does not mean that is actually how they contracted it.

  • psychicviking

    A different person I used to know went to a doctor. He told her she had herpes simplex on her butt and she got it from going to a “public” hot tub and sitting down on the side of the hot tub naked. It was a place where people would pay money to use the hot tub in private, but other people would use the hot tub during other time slots.

  • psychicviking

    If the virus is still alive, then you can contract the disease.

  • psychicviking

    The Helper Fall 1993 issue. Volume XV, No. 3. published quarterly by American Social Health Association. On page 12 it says:

    Some ulcers of the digestive system may be caused by herpes simplex virus. Researchers at the Akron General Medical Center in Ohio examined tissues from 21 patients with ulcers of the stomach and upper intestine.

    B.P. Kempter et al. reported their study in the December 1992 issue of American Surgeon. They took samples from the base and rim of each ulcer and from supposedly healthy adjacent tissue. Using a DNA probe, they tested the samples for herpes. Some 9.5% of the samples were positive for herpes, and all of these were taken from ulcer tissue. In other words, none of the adjacent tissue contained herpes DNA.

    The data suggests herpes simplex virus may be present in some stomach ulcers or that the virus may be associated with stomach ulcers in some secondary way. But the authors did not speculate how herpes, a skin disease, manages to infect internal organs. End of quote.

    How did herpes get inside their stomachs and intestines? One possible way was they swallowed saliva.

  • psychicviking

    In case you don’t know, there are a lot of things that can trigger HSV symptoms. Can trigger doesn’t mean it always triggers HSV. Here are some of the things: sunlight, heat, and consuming certain things, such as alcohol, foods/drinks high in L-arginine or acid. Some of the things high in L-arginine are nuts, chocolate, carob, cabbage, spinach, corn, onions, garlic, and many others. Some foods high in acid are citrus and tomatoes.

    Consuming foods/drinks high in lysine can prevent HSV symptoms or help stop the symptoms. Lysine is found in high amounts in milk, milk products, beef, turkey, and many other foods.

    A study was done years ago using an ointment containing lithium succinate and zinc sulfate on HSV lesions. When the ointment was put on HSV lesions, the lesions cleared up faster than when this ointment wasn’t used. This study was probably done in the early 1980s.

  • psychicviking

    This reply doesn’t answer your questions, but has good info. Go to the webpage and you can click on a link for info on the Univ of Copenhagen study.

    Here is part of an article found

    Vitamin D is a powerful natural antiviral, which is why we bang the drum about vitamin D therapy for colds and especially flu every chance we get. Research from the University of Copenhagen
    shows that vitamin D activates the immune system by arming T-cells to
    fight off infections. Without vitamin D, the immune system’s T-cells
    remain dormant, offering little or no protection against invading
    microorganisms and viruses. But with vitamin D in the bloodstream,
    T-cells begin seeking out invaders, which are then destroyed and carried
    out of the body. You may recall the Japanese study we told you about in June which found that vitamin D was more effective than a vaccine in preventing flu, including pandemic flu. The report, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,
    found that school children taking vitamin D were 58 percent less likely
    to catch influenza A. By contrast, antiviral drugs such as oseltamivir
    (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) reduced rates of infection by only 8
    percent. Even vaccines had success rates significantly lower than the 58
    percent achieved by vitamin D.

    vitamin D–mediated immune response has been with us through more than
    60 million years of pre-human and human evolutionary selection, as research from Ohio State demonstrates. Vitamin D is critical to our survival.

    The problem is that a whopping 59 percent of the population is deficient in vitamin D, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Moreover, nearly 25 percent of the study subjects were found to have critically low levels of vitamin D.

    According to John Cannell, MD, founder of the non-profit Vitamin D Council,
    “Current research has implicated vitamin D deficiency as a major factor
    in the pathology of at least seventeen varieties of cancer as well as
    heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes,
    depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness,
    muscle wasting, birth defects, periodontal disease, and more.” All of
    this is in addition to viral and bacterial infections.

    1 herpes (cold sores) is thought to afflict a majority of the US
    population, genital herpes perhaps a quarter. For anyone plagued by
    herpes, and for everyone as we head into flu season, it’s essential that you are getting enough vitamin D. So please get your vitamin D level checked! If it is less than optimal—levels should be between 50–80 ng/ml, year-round—take a vitamin D supplement (be sure it’s D3—cholecalciferol), get your blood retested to verify that you’re taking the proper dosage,
    and get sufficient exposure to the sun. (Such exposure may not produce
    vitamin D in the winter, depending on where you live, or if you sunbathe
    too early or too late in the day.)

  • psychicviking

    I found this

    Here is something else you should want to read.

    Format: Abstract
    1996 Nov-Dec;16(6):1070-5.

    Suppression of herpes simplex virus infections with oral lithium carbonate–a possible antiviral activity.

    Amsterdam JD1, Maislin G, Hooper MB.

    Author information

    Invitro studies have shown an inhibitory effect of lithium salts on
    herpes simplex virus (HSV) replication by mechanisms that interfere with
    viral DNA synthesis. Moreover, clinical studies have shown that oral
    lithium carbonate and topical lithium succinate can suppress genital HSV
    infections in humans. We conducted a randomized, double-blind,
    placebo-controlled trial of oral lithium carbonate in 11 healthy
    subjects age 28-65 years (mean +/- SD age 38 +/- 11 years) who had at
    least four recurrent HSV infections in the year preceding the study. Six
    patients completed at least 5 months of lithium therapy at a mean
    (+/-SD) average daily lithium dose of 437 +/- 185 mg (range, 150-900 mg)
    and an average serum lithium level of 0.56 +/- 0.20 mmol/L. Overall,
    lithium treatment resulted in a consistent reduction in the mean number
    of episodes/month, the average duration of each episode, the total
    number of infection days/month, and the maximum symptom severity. In
    contrast, treatment with placebo resulted in an increase in three out of
    the four severity measures. Although the comparisons between the
    treatment groups did not achieve statistical significance due to the
    limited sample size, there was a clear “trend” for a reduction in the
    total monthly duration of all HSV infections with lithium (p = 0.08).
    Lithium treatment was well tolerated and produced no deleterious effects
    on renal or thyroid function. These observations lend support to prior
    observations of an antiviral activity of lithium, and suggest the
    possibility that oral lithium may represent a safe prophylactic agent in
    patients with recurrent HSV infections.


    [Indexed for MEDLINE]

  • psychicviking

    Here is something you might have an interest in. Info on studies using zinc on HSV.

  • Jordon

    Hey you sre really informative. There a forum on reddit.

    They are telling people that hsv-1 cannot not be transmitted in saliva because a specialist name Terri Warren says there is not enough virus in saliva to infect a person. I feel they are very wrong saying this to be as it can be found in saliva. Can you tell them otherwise. It very wrong for them keep telling people they cannot spread though saliva.


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