Women’s magazines wax poetic about spicing up your bedroom life in practically every issue, offering the same recycled sex tips year after year. So for a better sex education, we’re giving you the science of what will really improve your sex life, while keeping it safe. Which scandalous acts are certifiably safe and which techniques are potentially hazardous? And most importantly: Which ones really work? Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we explore safe sex with eight do’s and don’ts.
DON’T have sex underwater
One of the most common fantasies among men and women alike is knocking boots underwater. Whether it is the bathtub, hot tub, at the beach, or in a public pool, it is impossible to deny the appeal of a slippery session. But let us be the first to warn you that having sex underwater is a dangerous idea.
Let’s talk about location. Swimming pools contain chlorine, which will inevitably work its way into the uterus and fallopian tubes. This leads to a significantly increased risk of infection and damage to the reproductive system. Salt water is right out for the same reason. Perhaps you think your home water supply is better, but according to the Global Healing Center, your own supply likely contains pesticide and chemical runoff, chlorine, and heavy metals including lead. Besides, submersion in water makes condoms less effective.
Instead, try shower sex. As long as water is running and neither of you are submerged, this compromise should be able to quell any water-based sexual desires.
DO realize that your diet and medications effect taste and smell
Food, medication, and alcohol play a large role in how your sexual fluids taste and smell. Dr. Carol Queen, Ph.D, and Staff Sexologist at Good Vibrations, explains, “People tend to notice the strongest differences in people who eat lots of meat–the reason has to do with the breakdown products of proteins in the body.” This is precisely why people swear they have a less noticeable odor and taste if they eat a diet full of fruit like papaya and pineapple as opposed to bitter veggies like asparagus and garlic.
Dr. Queen also notes that, “Not only foods, but also medications can make a difference in the scent/flavor of vaginal juices, semen, and sweat. Certain meds…may impart some of their chemical constituents into these body fluids.” If you are concerned about it, we suggest sticking to a mostly vegetarian and fruit-rich diet. Anti-bacterial soaps, perfume, and douching can upset the vagina’s pH balance and cause infection.
DON’T smoke or abuse alcohol
Erectile dysfunction gets all of the attention when it comes to sexual dysfunction disorders, but alcohol can be a tremendous problem for female arousal as well. Liquor is one of the biggest causes for lack of arousal. While a little bit of booze may spice things up, too much intake causes the substance act as a painkiller, which in turn impairs the nerves’ ability to function adequately.
Similarly, that bad habit of smoking a few cigarettes while out with friends once a week could be harming your sex life more than you realize. Nicotine directly diminishes circulation, which is the fundamental first block in arousal.
DO use a silicone or water based lubricant with a condom
When using a latex condom, pair it with a silicone or water based lubricant. Polyurethane condoms can be paired with a greater variety of lube options. We all know women can’t be counted on to be magically lubricated 100% of the time, and having a back up actually makes condoms more effective. The Center for Disease Control rated condoms with 97% effectiveness in pregnancy prevention and considerably effective in preventing most sexually transmitted diseases when paired with lubricants. To put it simply, without lube there may be more friction, in turn causing the condom to tear. It is also more painful too boot.
DON’T use a household items as a sex toy
If you’re in a pinch, don’t reach for a makeshift sex toy. Household items were not designed to be sexually pleasurable. Dr. Queen illustrates the issues, “They may be made of a material that retains microbes, or have never been cleaned with this particular use in mind. They may have been well-cleaned, but with a caustic or too-strong-for-mucosa household product.” So clean or not, the results could be devastating to your lady parts.
If you are considering grabbing a phallicly-shaped vegetable, we suggest against it. They are often sprayed with pesticides, chemicals, and even food dyes. Thinking about grabbing the shower head? Water should never be sprayed at high-intensity directly into the vagina. Plus, that gunk that builds up around each jet makes it most unappealing. So be very wary.
DO go to the bathroom after sex
Presuming that a female is well-hydrated, it is very common to have the urge to pee after intercourse. The bladder and vaginal wall are very close together so after a copious amount of activity in the region, the impulse to urinate can be triggered.
This sensation should be acted upon, as intercourse can cause bacteria to cling to foreign locations. Using the restroom will flush it all out and reduce the risk of a Urinary Tract Infection significantly.
DON’T always do it in missionary position
If you thought your carpal tunnel syndrome came from too much typing, chances are that it could be from too much intercourse. We would never suggest to tone down the sex, but perhaps changing up the position would do your wrists good.
Studies show that the person on top in missionary position has a considerably greater risk of carpal tunnel syndrome due to excessive strain put on the wrists. Nerves can get trapped, making it harder for them to function.
DO use a condom
The National Survey for Sex and Health recently released a study that found condoms do not repress the overall feeling of sexual arousal and pleasure. So now there are absolutely no excuses. Condoms have a 97% effectiveness rate in pregnancy prevention and are strongly trusted in reducing the risk of Herpes, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, and HIV. If that’s not enough reason, I don’t know what is.