Safe sex practices for LGBTQIA

12 mins read

Sexual education classes in high school are abysmal at the best of times – back when I was in school I was forced to sit through five minutes of animated straight people chasing each other with feathers and then periodically humping on the floor. To this day I still have nightmares.

At least we are taught something about heterosexual sex, as misinformed as it is. The same cannot be said for queer relationships. In the spirit of Pride month, Brig has decided to end this frankly dangerous stigma.

Make sure to read to the end for top tips about lube and other sex accessories for a safer experience. The vast majority of this information has been sourced from official queer sex guides.

It is crucial to note at the beginning that consent is the overall most important thing about sex. You do not have to do anything you are not comfortable with, this article is purely designed to inform you about safe sex practices – should you decide to go that far.

1. Oral sex

Should you decide to engage in oral sex, there are several things you need to know. Whether you are giving, or lucky enough to be receiving, you still need to ensure you are being safe.

Now, one of the biggest thing people can be wary of while engaging in oral sex is the taste and smell. Sweet or salty? Swallow or spit? Do I smell down there? It’s all natural. It is completely normal to worry about how you taste or if you smell.

Semen for example is typically salty. There are rumours out there that eating certain kind of fruit can make it taste sweeter (you are what you eat guys) but there isn’t really any scientific backing behind that.

When it comes to smell, there really is not a way to avoid it. Just ensure that you have a good sense of hygiene before you let anyone down there.

  • If you have a foreskin, make sure to roll it back completely before you clean your penis. This makes sure that nothing is going to get stuck under there. If you have trouble with rolling your foreskin back over the tip of your penis, or vice versa, then you should go and speak to your doctor.
  • When cleaning either your penis, or your vulva (the outside of your vagina) it is recommended to gently rinse the area with warm water on a daily basis. If you use soap it is best to make sure that it is mild.

Some people can also be concerned that they need to douche their vagina (douching refers to simply cleaning out the anus or vagina with water) but this is actually not necessary for those born with vaginas! Vaginas clean themselves naturally, douching your vagina actually puts you at risk of infection. However, still remember to clean it!

(If you have gone through transition or if you have underwent vaginoplasty surgery you will need to clean your vagina yourself. Your doctor will recommend the best way to douche and how often you should do it.)

Those who engage in rimming – or who want to explore it – can often be concerned that they have to douche with water beforehand. While you can, again this is not strictly necessary! Much like with vaginas, washing the hole with soapy water can irritate the skin and could lead to sexually transmitted infections (STI). There should only be faecal matter in the anus if you need the toilet or if you have recently been. This article will go further in depth about anal douching and the correct way to do it in the section about anal sex.

When it comes to blowjobs, everyone will be nervous for their first times. Gagging is a natural reflex so just remember to go slowly and communicate with your partner. If you are tense your throat will become tighter so go at your own pace, experiment with some licking!

Cunnilingus is the act of oral sex with a vagina. Most people will need clitoral stimulation to climax, so remember to focus on that sweet spot. Licking, sucking or biting the clit is recommended – just make sure that your partner is comfortable.

2. Vaginal sex

No matter how you identify, this is all about the vagina.

  • Find a position that works for you. Some positions will ensure deeper penetration and differing pressure. Do some research and find what is more comfortable with you. Masturbation is nothing to be ashamed about.
  • There are many rumours about something called the hymen popping during the first time. This is not strictly correct. The hymen is a small layer of skin that covers most of the entrance of the vagina. This flap of skin is naturally flexible – whether you are fingering yourself or using a tampon. It should not bleed during sex or ‘snap’ – if it does you need to add some more lube.

Vaginas release their own fluids naturally to ensure any penetration is more comfortable – this is why those with vaginas should either always engage in some foreplay or at least lube up before penetrative sex. It can be extremely uncomfortable or painful to experience dry vaginal sex.


If using a sex toy, one should always ensure that it is cleaned thoroughly before and after use to prevent the spread of STI’s. Make sure to always store your sex toys in a clean space and it is highly recommended to always put a condom over your toy.

That being said, it is also important to always use a condom, even if you trust your partner. This will prevent the spread of sexually transmitted disease as well as just prevent pregnancy. If your partner is allergic to latex there are alternatives.

3. Anal sex

Anal sex can be extremely daunting and many people do not even attempt it because they are too worried about their anus being unclean or they do not know how to douche correctly.

There is nothing to be worried about if you do your research – anal sex can feel too good to miss out on! (If you are interested in that of course).

  • Any first penetrative time is going to hurt. Just make sure that you have used lube sufficiently and take it slow. Communicate with your partner to make sure that you are both comfortable. Foreplay is a good way to relax and stimulate the nerves around the anus before you go all the way.
  • Sometimes during anal sex you can feel ‘full’ or like you need to go to the toilet. This is because you are only used to experiencing something in your anus if you need to defecate. If you did not feel the need to poo beforehand then you are fine.

The age old question: do I need to douche? As already mentioned, typically speaking you will not need to douche as there will only be poo in your rectum if you need to go to the toilet. However, if you do feel the need to douche, there are several safe ways to go about it.

Use what is known as a small bulb douche. This gives you much more control over the temperature and amount of water you insert into your anus. If you are using a douche that attaches to a shower then this becomes more difficult. You can buy douches in some chemists as they also are used for constipation.


Some people that engage in anal sex also like to use poppers. Poppers increase blood flow to the bottom which will make the anus relax – however this also means it will be more susceptible to tearing and bleeding. Also be warned that the effect of poppers will not last long and can have some adverse side effects.

Much like with vaginal sex, make sure the anus is properly lubed up and that a condom is being used. This will prevent the spread of STI’s.

4. Sex accessories

  • For use in oral sex, a dental dam can be useful. A dental dam is a thin material that you can place over any area before oral sex. They can be bought in a variety of different places.
  • Small bulb douches also can be purchased in many different places online under different titles.
  • There are loads of different lubes out there to purchases, whether it is in a sex shop or even just your local Tesco. The same can be said for condoms.
  • Sex toys can be anything from dildos to whips – they can be found online or in specialist sex shops.

Featured image credit: LGBTQ Nation

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Writer Person. Old Fashioned Nerd. Reluctant Hipster. Barefoot.

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