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Safer Sex Guidelines

General Guidelines

Use condoms for intercourse (vaginal and anal).
Use a latex or polyurethane barrier during all types of oral sex.
Use latex or polyurethane gloves or finger cots for hand or finger penetration of the vagina or anus.
Use condoms on sex toys used by more than one person for any type of penetration (change the condom for each person) or on toys that go from anus to vagina, changing the condoms between insertions.
Use only water-based or silicone-based lubricants with latex products. Oil of any kind, Vaseline and hand lotion included, destroys latex. Steer clear of so-called "water-soluble" lubes, which frequently contain oil.
Although lubricants containing spermicides like nonoxynol-9 have been said to provide extra protection against viruses and bacteria, we recommend avoiding it. Some people are sensitive to it, and some studies have shown that nonoxynol-9 actually increases the chances of bacterial infection or contracting a virus from your partner.
Store latex products in a cool, dry place.
Never re-use latex products. Avoid using them after the expiration date (or five years after the manufacture date).
If you or your partner are allergic or sensitive to latex products, do not touch them. Instead, add or use non-latex alternatives: polyurethane condoms; non-latex dental dams and non-latex gloves.


Use only latex or polyurethane condoms. Natural skin (lamb intestine) condoms are not effective barriers to viruses.
When putting condoms on, pinch the air from the reservoir tip and roll onto the penis or toy. (A trapped air bubble can cause the condom to break.) Uncircumcised men should pull their foreskins back to help prevent the condom from slipping. A drop of lube inside the tip of the condom can enhance sensation for the wearer.
The actual variation in condom size is slight, but features vary from brand to brand -- experiment to see which you like best! Try Maxx for a larger condom, Kimono Microthin or Skinless Skin Crown for a thinner condom.
Most condoms are lubricated with either a "wet" gel or a "dry" silicone powder. Can't stand the taste of the lubricant? Try an unlubricated brand, Durex, or a flavored brand. You may also want to try using a water-based flavored gel or lube.
Add lubricant when using a condom during intercourse to reduce friction and the chance of breakage.

Dental Dams

Dental dams are pieces of latex or polyurethane originally designed for dentists to use during dental procedures (hence the name). However, many sex educators find them useful as barriers during oral/vaginal or oral/anal sex. A cut-open condom or glove works, too.
Add lubricant to the lickee's side to help increase sensation. To avoid accidentally reversing the dam, keep track of which side of the dam is whose (a mark with a pen can help).
If you find dams too small, use long sheets of kitchen plastic wrap. No studies have yet shown the effectiveness of plastic wrap as a barrier to viruses and bacteria, but many health educators believe it is effective -- it's at least much safer than going without!

Gloves and Finger Cots

Gloves are thin, resilient and transmit sensation and temperature beautifully. They make rough hands with jagged nails sleek and smooth -- especially important for anal play. We sell three sizes of gloves.
Gloves make washing up between anal and vaginal play unnecessary -- simply change your gloves.
Finger cots, which resemble mini-condoms, are convenient barriers when one finger is being used for penetration, or for small sex toys.

Reality Female Condom

The Reality Female Condom is cylindrical with a soft ring at each end, and is worn by the receptive partner for vaginal or anal intercourse. It's polyurethane, so it is safe for those with latex allergies.