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Love is in the air! Today is Valentine’s Day, and we’re here with some tips to practice safer sex, as physical intimacy is one of the many ways to celebrate this holiday. Love is beautiful, and even more so when it’s safer, consensual, and healthy. 

Why Safer Sex Matters

Even on Valentine’s Day, safer sex is still a super important practice to ensure that you and your partner(s) are taking care of each other's sexual health. Safer sex is all about protecting yourself and your partner(s) from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and can even make sex better.

Tip #1: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!

We get it. Sometimes, it can feel awkward to bring up safer sex, but it’s important. Talking about protecting each other shows you care and can even improve your relationships.

It’s normal to be embarrassed at first, but you’ll feel better once you do it. A good way to start is by telling your partner that you care about them and want to do everything you can to ensure you’re protecting them. You can also talk about your relationship with safer sex first, which might make others feel more comfortable opening up.

Tip #2: Use Protection Correctly

When having sex, always use condoms, dental dams, or Lorals — single-use latex underwear that can be used for oral sex — to reduce the risk of STIs and unplanned pregnancies. Read the instructions carefully, and follow them every time you use a condom or dental dam. Don’t forget to check the expiration date!

Tip #3: Consider Other Forms of Birth Control

In addition to condoms, dental dams, and Lorals, there are many other forms of birth control available, including pills, IUDs, diaphragms, patches, and more. Talk with a health care provider at your local Planned Parenthood to find the option that is right for you.

Tip #4: Get Tested Regularly 

Regular STI tests are a key component of safer sex practices. While not actually occurring during sex, knowing your status can help you and your partner to make informed decisions and contribute to public health in general. A provider at your local PPNCSNJ health center can help you figure out which tests you need. 

Keep Love Safer and Sexy, Every Day of the Year

Valentine’s Day is a love-filled opportunity to celebrate your most important relationships and connections. If your celebration includes sex, love responsibly and enjoy the day with peace of mind. 

These tips aren’t just for Valentine’s Day. By celebrating love safely throughout the year, you leave more room for pleasure!

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