Everyone loves sex so its natural to want as much as you can get. As with most good things there’s a few catches and with sex they are called a Sexually Transmitted Infection or a STI. From rest homes to parked up cars to fancy houses in the burbs, STI’s are a fact of a sexually active life. Few people avoid them and they don’t stop us having sex. No matter who you have sex with, no matter where you have sex and no matter how careful you are – picking up an STI is part of a package that will probably effect you. It’s not the end of the world if you pick up an STI but knowing about them and what to do helps.
If you think you might have an STI, you need to find out if you do or not.
Here are a few ways to do that:
1. Go see your usual doctor at a Medical Centre OR
2. Phone your local Sexual Health Centre first for an appointment. In Christchurch our SHC is located at 314 Riccarton Road and its good OR
3. Come see us for the weekly Clinic that’s especially for guys into guys and run by the Christchurch SHC here at Menfriends, 427 Tuam.
To help prevent getting a STI, take a look at this Sexual Health Tool Kit
No.1 Regular Sexual Health Checks
The sooner you treat an STI the better, for you and for anyone else who is close to you. Passing STI on to others is not cool but that’s how STI’s work. Ignoring or hoping something is not there wont make it go away. For this reason we have a free and anonymous Sexual Health Clinic at Menfriends every Thursday night from 6:30 – 9pm. The clinician will check to see if you’ve picked up anything you might not know about. If something is found, you will be given options for fixing it. The clinic is operated by a fully qualified sexual health specialist from the Sexual Health Centre (CBHD) who knows pretty much all there is to know about a guys sexual health. Keith is a good guy and totally professional. He’s not judgmental and he knows all about guy to guy stuff.
Appointments are not necessary, just turn up and wait your turn in the most amazing clinic waiting room you’ve ever seen! A lot of guys combine a health check with a venue visit but you are welcome to come in for a health check only, free of charge. This is a popular clinic so we suggest you arrive early.
Why is it so popular?
+ No names necessary + No addresses +
+ No linking with your GP patient notes +
+ You can ask ANY questions + Free + Anonymous +
Let’s face it, some of us would prefer not using condoms but truly, they are the only and most effective way of preventing the transmission of almost every STI.
Condoms come in all shapes, sizes and colours. It can be awkward putting one on during sex so its a good idea to practice and have a plan for putting one on, especially with a random stranger. Its all about minimising your risk of the transmission of every STI.
The stronger a guy tries to persuade you to have sex without a condom the more you need to be worried. Amongst other things, it means he is not listening to what you want.
No. 3 PrEP
The one STI that is universally unwanted is HIV and PrEP is a tool to prevent getting it. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus which left untreated or controlled can becomes AIDS – not good. PrEP stands for Pre-exposure prophylaxis and comes in the form of a pill that you take every day, like the pill women take daily to prevent pregnancy. It is recommended that condoms and PrEP be used together for maximum HIV protection. Ask Keith at our Sexual Health clinic if PrEP is for you and how to get a prescription for it. Currently in NZ it costs about $1000 per month for the real deal but with a doctors prescription you can import a generic or a copy for a lot less.
No. 4 HPV Vaccine
HPV stands for Human Papillomavirus – most guys have never heard of it but it is very common and easy to catch. You can get it through sexual touching without even having sex. Many guys who have it don’t show any signs and can pass it on without knowing. HPV can cause cancer of the cock, butt hole and throat plus genital warts. The good news is that you can safeguard yourself permanently with one vaccine and for guys under 26 its free. Again, ask Keith about it. This vaccine is strongly recommended..get it get it get it!
No.5 Check Your Balls
Problems in this part of your body are quite common, particularly for guys in the 16 – 30 age group. Every guy should check his balls monthly but especially if you are in this age group. Checking is best done after a hot shower when you’re hanging low and the skin of your sack is soft. Using both hands gently roll each ball in your fingers and check for lumps or malformations that seem different or new. Try to find the epididymis, the point where the chord attached to the ball and check for lumps or anything weird. Also check for lumps under the skin of your sack. Don’t be shy about asking your GP or sexual health nurse to take a look if you have any concerns.
No.6 Avoid Bare Backing
Bare backing is anal sex without using a condom. Most guys will slip up and have condom-less sex in a moment of hot sexy passion but that’s different to condom-less sex pretty much every time. There can be a lot of pressure not to use condoms at all; from the porn we watch, the people we meet and the things we read. What it comes down to is the guys applying the pressure to BB are happy to risk passing on to you any STI they may not even know they have. Bare backing with randoms on a regular basis guarantees that you will catch STI’s regularly. As a venue we discourage condom-less sex but we are not the sex police. We recognise that it is your choice and we will not hold your choice against you.
Never forget. The more a guy tries to persuade you to have condom-less sex, the less he cares what you want.
No. 7 Douching
Douching is less about sexual health, a lot more about comfort. Men and women who enjoy backdoor sex the most are those who are not scared of it and who prepare for it. The ‘hope and pray’ method can get messy and awkward. Douching is also known as Colonic Irrigation is a way of cleaning out your colon of shit that avoids discomfort pain and SDS. At Menfriends we have douching facilities within our Private Shower. We sell portable douche kits like the one shown here so you can douche anywhere anytime with a water supply. Key things to remember: use tepid/warm water and don’t ‘over douche’. One irrigation will last approximately 4 hours.
No.8 & 9 Hepatitis A & Hepatitis B Vaccine
Not all but most forms of sex involves a lot of up close and very intimate body contact. Exchanging body fluids is part of that – imagine kissing without saliva, blowjobs without pre-cum.. Vaccines are the only way to stop diseases getting established in your body, some permanently. Vaccines are not available for every disease but are for some of the more common ones. Hepatitis is one of the more common diseases out there and its the A & B strains that you will likely come into contact with. We recommend the Twinrix vaccine to all sexually active young people.
No.10 Common Sense & Having Fun
Last but not least. Sometimes we throw caution to the wind and go a bit crazy. Most of the time we get away with it and sometimes we don’t; that’s called risk-taking and that’s what we do. A good item for your tool kit is that little voice in your head that shouts Warning! from time to time. Learn to trust your judgment not theirs, learn to back yourself and your decisions. Listen to what your body is telling you – pain is not a requisite part of sex but it can be part of it. Learn how to spot the difference. Not everyone wants to bottom not every one wants to top…its always your choice. Sex is supposed to be fun, supposed to give you and your partner insane levels of pleasure, supposed to be something everyone does. You can have an awesome sex life if you play your part, so be adventurous but play smart.