Safety First: The casual sex version
June 13, 2012 3:56 PM   Subscribe

What are your safety tips for casual sexual encounters? (Probably NSFW text inside)

I already do the following:

1. Hold first meetings in public.
2. Tell a friend that I'm meeting someone. Write down all the contact info I have for the person I'm meeting, as well as the location of the meeting, and put it in a place where it can be easily found in the event anything goes wrong.
3. Bring my own condoms and toys, and require that condoms be used for penetration.
4. I'm careful about what I share online. I don't share my real name until I've decided I can trust someone, which always involves plenty of e-mails exchanged, plus at least one Caller-ID-blocked phone conversation.

It would be great to have a "safety buddy" whom I could call with details of my every move, but that isn't always practical. (Is there a service I can use?)

What other safety protocols should I consider?
posted by KinkySockPuppet to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

You seem to have things pretty well covered, but you don't mention where you have these casual encounters. I would suggest you use hotel/motel rooms as opposed to each others' homes for another layer of safety.
posted by NoraCharles at 4:11 PM on June 13, 2012

It might be a thought to have a friend call you at a specified time to check up on you (and give you an out if you need a reason to leave).

But if you do that you need to be pretty vigilant about having your phone on and nearby to prevent missing the call and freaking your friend out.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 4:13 PM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You seem to be taking very good care of your safety.

If I were to suggest an added layer, you could have a friend who would be willing to come and get you in the event that you need to leave for your safety. I recommend having their number on speed dial and a codeword that will let them know that you need them. With my "rescue buddy" I only need to casually use their full first name (very different than the name they answer to) and they will come get me - no questions asked.
posted by Vysharra at 4:16 PM on June 13, 2012

Best answer: Condoms/dental dams for oral sex, too, not just penetration.
posted by shamash at 4:19 PM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Motivation to follow shamash's suggestion:

"Gonorrhea Is Growing Resistant To Drugs And May Soon Become Untreatable, WHO Warns"

A lot of STI's can be transmitted through oral sex.
posted by victory_laser at 4:30 PM on June 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'd also add doing something to boost your immune system (Vitamin C, echinacea, etc.) and also to use anti-bacterial mouthwash if you are kissing a lot. Looks like you're being very conscientious, though!
posted by 3491again at 4:34 PM on June 13, 2012

Best answer: If someone seems wrong, or off, no matter how "nice" they appear, then get out fast. I can't stress this enough. Politeness is overrated when it comes to safety. Sometimes just saying, "I have to go" and jetting is the best thing you can do in some situations. Go with your gut.

Also, no regrets, coyote and Vysharra's extra layer is often a good way to bow out of a situation.
posted by patheral at 6:25 PM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for all the great advice so far!

Can someone point me to any stats on how high-risk it is to (perform, not receive) oral sex without using a condom or dental dam? I'm having a hard time locating reliable information about which STIs can be transmitted via oral sex (all?), and whether the chances are significantly decreased versus PIV/PIA sex. There is a certain amount of risk I'm willing to accept, but obviously I would prefer to avoid the clap.
posted by KinkySockPuppet at 6:51 PM on June 13, 2012

Best answer: How kinky are you? Do you get tied up? Beaten? I'd absolutely tell a friend that you will call or text at a specific time and that if you don't, you might be in danger. I would never be tied up by someone I'd just met, though. You have no way to fight back and your life is literally in their hands.

Can someone point me to any stats on how high-risk it is to (perform, not receive) oral sex without using a condom or dental dam?

Here's the CDC's page on STIs. You can get almost all of them via unprotected oral sex although some have visible sores (like syphilis) so, you know, avoid those.

Don't forget that "I've been tested!" is completely meaningless, even if they showed you papers. HIV, for example, doesn't necessarily show up on a test for six months, so unless they've been in solitary confinement all that time, a negative result means nothing.
posted by desjardins at 7:04 PM on June 13, 2012

Best answer: I've successfully gotten out of sketchy or awkward encounters where the person is making me nervous but I don't feel comfortable just leaving for "no reason" by saying I need to use the bathroom and then hanging out in there a while and then yelling from the bathroom that I'm really sick etc etc and basically pretending like I have the stomach flu. Gross but it works.

Also, always know where your keys and shoes are, and wear shoes that are easy to get on/off. No fussy shit that takes an hour to lace when you need to GTFO with a quickness.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:34 PM on June 13, 2012

Best answer: Do you have a smartphone? You could use an app like Glympse or FindMyFriends to broadcast your phone's location to a specific safe friend, so they can track you and know you are in a safe place. Glympse has you send a tracking beacon to a specific person only, for a time window you specify. If they have the app too, they can view your phone's GPS location in real time. If they don't have the app they just have to keep manually refreshing maps. FindMyFriends requires you to make your location available to them, but they have to manually check where you are.
posted by Joh at 11:09 PM on June 13, 2012

Best answer: Cureable STIs, like the clap, shouldn't really be a safety concern. You should be having regular STI screenings. There are a number of cureable STIs that can be transmitted through just skin to skin contact, so if you are having multiple partners, regular screening is essential. Your real concern should be uncureable STIs: HIV, HPV, and Herpes. For HIV, if you are using condom for all PIV/PIA sex, you are good. While HIV transmission from oral sex is theoretically possible, there are almost no actual cases in the real world. HPV and Herpes are much easier to contract and condoms for PIV/PIA sex will not protect you 100% as they can be transmitted skin to skin. Using condoms for oral sex might decrease the risk of Herpes.
posted by hworth at 6:55 AM on June 14, 2012

actually, with STIs, I'd say that the big ones are gonorrhea, chlamydia!, and HIV. all of which can be prevented with condoms. if you're a girl, gonorrhea and chlamydia can make you sterile, and isn't always symptomatic. and chlamydia is like the common cold of STDs, much more common than gonorrhea. HIV is readily prevented with condoms, and oral transmission is just about zero.

herpes and HPV are more problematic, yeah; but HPV, also like the common cold. most people get it, but if they're young and healthy, will clear it. with something like 200 different strains of the virus and no way to test men, make sure you're getting your paps on a regular schedule (~2 - 3 years in your twenties, ~3 years in your thirties, but new guidelines might be coming out very soon).

talk to your healthcare provider/planned parenthood about whether or not you're a good candidate for gardasil. the next time you get a pap smear, you can also get a reflex test done (tests for HPV/if it's higher or lower risk) with the pap.
posted by circle_b at 5:52 PM on July 1, 2012

It would be great to have a "safety buddy" whom I could call with details of my every move, but that isn't always practical. (Is there a service I can use?)

There is the National Safe Call Network.
posted by false flag at 5:29 PM on November 19, 2012

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