STIs have been the bane of human lives since the beginning of time. I'm sure Napoleon would agree. It's difficult to tell if someone has an STI, which is why it is very important to use barrier contraceptives like condoms or dental dams to avoid contracting an infection. STIs are usually transmitted via bodily fluids, meaning it's not only penetrative sex that can put you at risk.
If that is the case, then what other ways are there to catch an STI? We've listed a few in the infographic below, and although we are not trying to scare you, it is important to be aware that there is more than one way to become infected.
The infographic doesn't lie, however is there anything else that needs our attention?
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OK so you're not actually having sex per se, but if your partner (or friend) has an STI and gets some bodily fluid on a sex toy, such as semen or period blood, and then you use the toy, you are at a high risk of catching an infection. An effective way to prevent this is either to use only your own toys, or ensure the other person's toy(s) are cleaned thoroughly before use.
Catching an STI from the toilet seat is always touted as a myth. It's highly unlikely but if there is some infectious material on the seat, and you have a cut, then it may enter your body that way. It's not very likely, but theoretically possible, a bit like having a long hot summer.
Hey, we've all got hobbies and wearing someone's old pants works the same way as the damp towel method. Some STIs can live outside the body for a short while, like thrush or pubic lice or trichomoniasis.
Or you're going to have one, be aware that a mother can transfer STIs during childbirth. An infection of syphilis or chlamydia can bring on premature labour and infect the baby's eyes.
So, you need to be careful, people. Penetrative sex with orgasms (hopefully) is not the only way to catch an STI. Other kinds of sex can still involve skin-to-skin contact, and you must be wary of that.
STIs can infect the genital region and some can even affect the throat and eyes. If you think you may have an infection, speak to your doctor or visit your local GUM clinic. For more online information regarding STIs, you can visit our STI information page.