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.
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.
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.
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