Safe Sex: STIs, Protection & Consent
From diminishing stress levels to providing you with feelings of connection, love, and pleasure, sex can and can be enjoyed when the time is right. Sex can be introduced into your daily life whenever you choose, regardless of age. It can often provide feelings of satisfaction and excitement, supplying a sense of happiness and liberty. Though sex can bring you many positive feelings and emotions, it’s crucial to understand what safe sex is and to honor your body and limitations above anything else.
There are numerous diseases that can be passed via sexual intercourse, some of which have no signs or symptoms, making them difficult to diagnose. This is why it’s essential to protect yourself every time.
It’s important to detect sexually transmitted diseases in their early stages so that prompt treatment can begin. Symptoms can include vaginal itching and pain, burning, foul-smelling discharge, rash, fever, lower abdominal pain, discomfort while urinating, painful intercourse, and much more.
Consent and protecting yourself on an emotional level are just as important.
Taking all of this into consideration, this protocol will guide you through the various aspects of safe sex, including holistic protection, how to handle an STI, discussions on consent, how to increase your pleasure & libido, and much more.
COMMUNICATION with your sexual partner about your personal limitations and what you’re okay with is crucial. Another important topic to discuss with your partner is getting tested regularly. Though this may seem awkward, the discussion is needed and it’s important that you both understand the importance. Talking about it shows that you care for your partner and ultimately will bring both of you closer together.
ENERGY EXCHANGE is a topic not many people understand or discuss. Put in basic terms, energy exchange relates to the vibrations you and your partner are exchanging between each other during sex, which ranges from simply touching to intercourse itself. With the right person, this energy exchange can be magical and increase your own personal vibration. This is why it’s so important to be careful with who you share a sexually intimate moment with.
KNOW YOUR LIKES + DISLIKES. This will help establish ground rules, which you can then communicate with your partner in order to maintain a fun and safe sex life. In order to do this, you should experiment with your body and develop a more personal relationship with yourself. Doing so will not only provide you with key information about yourself which you can use in the bedroom, but will also help you to develop a more spiritual relationship with your partner and yourself. The more you know about yourself, the more you can communicate that with your partner and ultimately, the more satisfaction you both receive.
Below are some HOLISTIC PROTECTION OPTIONS for you to use in order to reduce your chances of obtaining an STI (or getting pregnant) and to increase your sexual pleasure.
Coconut Oil can act as a natural lubricant. It can also be used externally if you want to give your partner an oil massage.
*Make sure to use organic coconut oil and do not use it in conjunction with a condom, as anything oil-based will break down latex.
When used properly, condoms are 98% effective. They’re incredibly affordable, accessible, easy to use, and are the only option on this list that have the added benefit of preventing STIs. Conventional options are usually full of toxins, chemicals, and even carcinogens that can harm your health & upset your natural hormone balance. However, there are now increasing varieties of vegan & non-chemical condoms on the market that are non-toxic and more sustainable, too. Some good options include Sustain Natural, Glyde, L. Condoms, Sir Richard’s, b condoms, and FAIR SQUARED.
The FemCap is a cervical barrier contraceptive that’s reusable, latex-free, and hormone-free. This is a great option for preventing pregnancy compared to hormonal methods such as the birth control pill, as hormonal contraception can interfere with your natural hormonal balance, causing weight gain, mood swings, and other symptoms of imbalance such as lowered libido. The FemCap does not prevent against STIs, however.
As an alternative to spermicides (which are full of chemicals), ContraGel is a gel that is used alongside a barrier method. It changes vaginal pH, creating an unwelcoming environment for sperm to survive in, and also traps sperm which prevents them from reaching an egg to fertilize. These two actions make it a very effective option for preventing pregnancy when used with condoms, FemCaps, or diaphragms. ContraGel has non-toxic ingredients and won’t irritate the reproductive organs.
GETTING TESTED regularly is a key component to staying safe and making sure you’re maintaining a healthy sex life. Whether you’re in a committed relationship or having casual sex, you should get tested for STIs every 3 months. This is generally done with a swab of your feminine area or through a urine sample and can be conducted with your doctor or at a local clinic.
Alternatively, ABSTINENCE is the only for sure way to not obtain an STI. Considering this option can be difficult for some people, but the option is always there!
ALKALIZE the body by following an anti-inflammatory diet. A diet full of fruits & vegetables gives your body the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants & fiber it needs to recover from a virus such as an STI or inflammation from intercourse. By alkalizing the body, we are providing a less stable environment for infections and bad bacteria to thrive. Consuming excess sugar, processed foods, alcohol, red meat, and caffeine put the body in an acidic state, which will only feed STIs.
A glass of warm lemon water drank immediately upon waking up will help digestion and start the body off in an alkaline state first thing in the morning. Alkalizing the body will also help digestion move more smoothly and increase your energy levels, therefore providing you enough energy and libido to maintain a sexual relationship with your partner or with yourself.
AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET is ideal not just for a healthy sex life but for a healthy body in general. The best way to consume anti-inflammatory foods is through local, organic fruits & vegetables. Focus on eating the rainbow and adding an abundance of plant foods to your daily diet.
Along with fresh produce, turmeric is specifically an excellent option for reducing overall inflammation in the body. Consuming turmeric in a stir fry, in a smoothie, or even as a turmeric shot (juiced) with lemon juice and a dash of pepper will help your body to absorb all of its wonderful benefits, including aiding in digestion and overall good health. Ginger and rosemary are also great options.
When trying out the following supplements, it’s important to focus on high quality and bioavailability in order to encourage maximum absorption by the body. You can purchase all of these supplements at your local health food store.
ACIDOPHILUS (PROBIOTIC STRAIN)
Often times, when an STI has been contracted, we are prescribed antibiotics of some sort to rid them from the body. Antibiotics destroy the healthy balance of bacteria in the digestive system, contributing to various health issues such as decreased digestion and lowered immunity. Ultimately, antibiotics do more damage within your body than good, so supplementation with a good quality probiotic is recommended in order to restore healthy bacteria, ultimately helping the body to dismiss the STI. Use a non-dairy formula in order to put less stress on your digestive system.
GENERAL DOSAGE: A probiotic with 10-20 billion CFUs can be used daily to help restore a healthy balance of bacteria within the gut.
Zinc is a mineral that’s important for the health of the reproductive organs. It also increases the time of wound healing and boosts immune function to fight a broad range of microbes and free radicals, promoting the body’s resistance to infections such as STIs. Zinc can also improve and increase your libido and sexual pleasure, as it helps the body to maintain proper testosterone levels and prevents testosterone in the body from converting to estrogen by blocking the enzyme responsible.
GENERAL DOSAGE: A zinc supplement with 100 mg can be taken daily. Do not exceed this dosage when considering the amount in all of your supplements combined.
Colloidal silver is an antiseptic natural remedy that rapidly reduces inflammation and promotes the healing of lesions on an infected area, which are sometimes accompanied with an STI. Inflammation is a major component in all STIs, so lowering your body's overall inflammation and using this supplement’s powerful antiviral and antibacterial properties will speed up recovery time. Since colloidal silver is an antibacterial, it will help the body starve the virus or whatever is trying to fight the body.
GENERAL DOSAGE: A colloidal silver supplement with 10 mg can be used twice per day.
OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT
Olive leaf extract contains an extremely powerful compound called oleuropein. This compound is known to be a strong antimicrobial and is linked to the decrease of several STIs including gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. Oleuropein traps the virus or bacteria affecting the body and reduces its consumption of other cells within the body, cutting off its food supply and bringing it closer to its death. Olive leaf extract is also amazing for boosting the immune system, which is needed in order to fight and destroy any sort of infection within the body.
GENERAL DOSAGE: An olive leaf extract supplement with 15 mg can be used 3x per day.
Oregano oil is a very powerful antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, and anti-parasitic substance, making it an excellent option to consider when facing an STI or any virus for that matter. Oregano oil is able to kill bacteria within the body and is so strong that it can even destroy bacteria that are antibiotic-resistant, making it extremely powerful and a great option to help kill an STI.
GENERAL DOSAGE: Supplement with 50-100 mg of oregano oil 2-4x per day in dropper form. Do not exceed this dosage when considering the amount in all of your supplements combined.
One of the top women’s sexuality herbs and one of the most popular plant aphrodisiacs, damiana is an excellent herb to promote relaxation and a healthy sexual experience. It contains alkaloids that directly stimulate the nerves and organs. Damiana is an excellent herb for supporting the sexual organs and enhancing sexual pleasure, as well as promoting relaxation and supporting the nervous system. This promotion of relaxation can also improve sexual experience, as nervousness or anxiety around the topic can cause discomfort and a lack of desire.
HOW TO USE: Place a dropperful of damiana extract under your tongue an hour or two before sexual activity. You can also consume damiana for several days/weeks in order to reap its full potential. To make an infusion, use 1-2 tbsp in a quart mason jar. Cover with cold distilled water and a lid, then shake to mix and let it sit overnight. Try drinking 3 or 4 cups throughout the day. If no side effects occur, continue use. A batch can be stored for 24 hours. You can buy damiana root at your local health food store or through a reputable online retailer such as Mountain Rose Herbs. Damiana can be infused in combination with other herbs to gain more benefits.
A popular Ayurvedic herb, ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which means that it supports the adrenal glands and helps modulate the body’s response to stress. Being able to achieve a regular state of relaxation and receptiveness is key to a healthy sex life. Ashwagandha has aphrodisiac properties, and can increase sexual desire and satisfaction as well. It also supports healthy hormones and fertility.
HOW TO USE: Powdered ashwagandha can be found at your local health food store or online, and the root is also available in capsule form and as a liquid extract. Add the powder to smoothies, tonics, or elixirs. It can even be blended into a bulletproof-style coffee with some coconut oil, coconut cream, or MCT oil. The traditional usage is to mix ashwagandha powder with warm milk and honey before bedtime.
Maca is a known aphrodisiac that has been used for centuries to boost libido in both women and men. It’s also a hormone stabilizer, so it can reduce symptoms of hormonal imbalance such as PMS, sleep disruptions, and mood swings. Because it is rich in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and protein, maca is a great energizer that will support high energy levels throughout the day (and night!).
HOW TO USE: Maca root typically comes in powdered form and can be added to smoothies, tonics, elixirs, coffees, or teas including matcha lattes. Maca has a pleasant malt-like flavor, and can also be incorporated into baked goods or savory dishes.
By protecting yourself on both a physical and an emotional level, you’ll be able to experience the joys of sex in a healthy way. You should feel comfortable and empowered in your decisions. With proper consideration and support, you can move into your sex life confidently and without fear.