Here is a term we hear often, but what does it actually mean?

Safer sex refers to intimate contact with others that avoids passing on or catching a sexually transmitted infection. Click here to learn about STIs.

Some sexual activities are more risky than others in terms of catching an infection and therefore use of acondom (male or female condom).  Click here for more information about condoms (male or female condom) Condoms and water based lube would be considered ‘safer sex’ if having penetrative sex (anal, vaginal or oral sex or sharing sex toys).

When performing oral sex on female genitalia (cunnilingus) or on the anus (rimming) a dental dam would offer some protection against infection.

Safer sex isn’t just about condom use though, and often people will be imaginative in what they engage in in order to avoid passing on infections.

Low-risk sexual activities include:

  • Kissing

  • Fondling — manual stimulation of one another.

  • Body-to-body rubbing, or ‘dry humping’, or ‘outer course’.

  • Playing with sex toys with a partner.

  • Hugging.

  • Touching.

  • Mutual masturbation.

  • Sharing fantasies.


Regular STI screening and limiting the amount of people you have sexual contact with are also considered part of a safer sex life, particularly if you and your partner have both had an STI screen and remain monogamous.

If you are over 15 years, you can also order your own self test kit via here