In an age where every person has their own sense of individuality, it is common to come across an opinion or way of life that we are unfamiliar with; just like that, it is equally possible for someone to feel stranded due to their own personality not matching with ones around them. Building upon this understanding, today we bring the topic of sexual inclinations into the spotlight. It is common for people to have no inherent sexual inclination towards any person, romantic inclination towards only one group or towards multiple groups, all depending from one individual to another. To fall in any of such categories is completely normal, and thus, they must seek out the knowledge and experiences of someone in their sphere to make themselves feel more comfortable and aware. In the case of queer sex, information becomes much more important.
For trans people, it is important to know that hormonal change through Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is not a replacement for condoms or birth control pills, pregnancy is still something that can possibly take place. In any case, it is important to use condoms for preventing the spread of STDs and STIs. According to WHO, More than 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are acquired every day worldwide, the majority of which are asymptomatic, hence, make it your priority to use proper protection to prevent infections. For trans folks, people who might have problems managing their body and sexual inclinations simultaneously, the best way to ease the tension would be by exploring themselves, learning through anecdotes of others, research, and masturbation. It takes time to understand yourself, and that time is crucial for oneself; understand your boundaries such there is mutual consent between you and your partner.
As discussed previously, STI and STD are sexually transmitted and can spread through oral, anal, and vaginal sex, hence protection is required even if you are not partaking in penetrative sex. There are several types of STDs, including chlamydia, HIV, Syphilis, and they can have mild symptoms too. Due to this, many people might not realize that they are infected, leading to the further spread of infections. However, acquiring a sexually transmitted disease is considered taboo, leading to little or no talk about it, making the situation counter-productive. Firstly, one’s priority, if they were to catch an STI/STD, should be that of treating it, just like any other disease. Symptoms might include unusual discharge through penis/vagina, sores or warts on genital area, painful or frequent urination, etc. If you are to contract one, do seek treatment immediately, it’s not the end of the world, but if one was to get scared by social implications and do nothing then it would certainly devolve into a worse condition.
It is important to know that even while using sex toys the use of condoms is advised, as they are also susceptible to infections or unclean environments.
Antibiotics can be used to treat STDs caused by bacteria or parasites. However, there are very few medications available for treating STD caused by viruses.
Some ways to prevent the transfer of an STD are:
1. Children should be vaccinated for Hepatitis b and HPV STD.
2. Latex condoms, female condoms, dental dams, gloves, etc.
3. Avoid sharing towels or underclothing.
4. Consider pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a medication that someone who is HIV negative can take to reduce their risk of contracting HIV.
5. Avoid sexual contact while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
6. Always ask your partner to get an STD test done to ensure your safety while doing sex.