LGBTQ+ Safer Sex Guide

LGBTQ+ Safer Sex Guide

Evie Plumb ·

Let’s face it, the queer community has always been forgotten when it comes to Sex Ed. Most sex education classes assume that their audiences are heterosexual and cisgender. 

But the reality couldn't be further from that. 

People will express their gender, sexualities and bodies in different ways. Whilst not everything in this guide will be relevant to you, there a certainly some little snippets of information useful for everyone. 

So, how can you keep safe when it comes to queer sex?

Penis To Penis

Barrier Methods

Condoms are your best friend. Putting condoms on your penis during anal and oral & even on your sex toys will protect you from most STIs, including HIV.

When putting your mouth near any butthole, the best way to protect yourself and your partner(s) from STIs is through Dental Dams. These are flexible sheets of latex (basically a square condom) that goes over the anus when giving rim jobs, protecting you both from STIs. These can sometimes be hard to find, so check out my DIY Dental Dam video.

HIV

Regular HIV testing (every 6 months) will keep you and your partner(s) safe. Another great thing to incorporate into your routine is PrEP. This is a tablet that has become available recently on the NHS. It is a daily pill that stops you from contracting HIV. There is also a tablet you can take after unprotected sex called PEP – find out more here. Whilst these are great ways to prevent HIV, condoms should still be used to protect you from other STIs. 

Vulva To Vulva

Barrier Methods

Sharing sex toys can be a common but often overlooked way to spread STIs. Putting a condom over these and washing them thoroughly after every use can help eliminate that risk.  Avoid 'double-dipping', but if it can't be avoided, change condoms. 

Like we suggested with penis to penis barrier methods, the same can be said for vulva to vulva. Dental Dams can be your best friend, protecting you from STIs. For more information, check out my DIY Dental Dam video.

HIV

Anyone can get HIV,  although it's not as common with those that have a vulva, it's still super important to protect yourself. Make sure you get regularly tested (every 6 months or after a new partner/unprotected sex)  – even if you’re in a relationship.

Penis & Vulva To All Genders

Whether you are Bi, Pan, Poly, etc. the same rules apply as above. Make sure you keep up with your regular STI testing (every 6 months or after a new partner/unprotected sex), and for those vulvas that have sex with both penises and vulvas, don’t forget about contraception!

Common FAQs

- If I tell my doctor that I am lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer, will they tell my parents?

Short answer, No.

In the UK, sexual health services (contraception and pregnancy advice, or tests for STIs, including HIV) are free and confidential.

If you’re 13 to 16, you have the same rights to confidentiality as an adult (over 16). The doctor, nurse or pharmacist won’t tell your parents or anyone else - anything about you or your health is kept strictly confidential unless they believe you are at risk of being harmed. 

- I’m worried that I might have been exposed to HIV. what should I do?

If you are worried about having been exposed to HIV, you should go to your GP/Sexual Health Clinic immediately. A person can take HIV medications immediately after being exposed to decrease their chances of becoming positive – similar to the Plan B pill for pregnancy.

It is called PEP (or post-exposure prophylaxis.) You can find out more here.

- I am trans and worried that I will be treated differently at my sexual health appointment.

If you are transgender, accessing health services can sometimes be difficult or daunting. You may have had negative experiences in the past or have heard that some NHS services are not trans-inclusive.

However, sexual health services & the NHS are committed to ensuring that all their patients feel welcome. If they do not or you feel discriminated against, you are well within your rights to complain – this can even be done online. 

- I have a vulva and only have sex with others who also have vulvas. do I need to worry about STIs?

Yes. Nobody is immune to STIs.

Make sure you use barrier methods and get regular tests – every 6 months or every time you’ve had unprotected sex.

- If I take PrEP, do I still need to use condoms?

Yes. PrEP helps you stay protected against HIV, but you still need to be protected against other STIs.

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