A PanAfricanist Queer Womanist Collective
That’s what most women are saying after they have learnt about the myths and facts of lesbian (woman to woman) sex. While most women find out the hard way by being infected or affected by either STI’s or HIV and AIDS. Funny enough others still think woman to woman sex is safe. It bothers me how women whom by nature are declared the most intelligent species still endanger themselves by having unprotected sex.
Sex is a wonderful thing one cannot deny that, and it is more special and significant when you do it with someone you love, but what if you’re faithful and she is not? I know it is one of the questions you try to avoid as much as possible in your head. Fact is there is a possibility in a scale of one to ten that seven go through that. It is either they do not know or they just turning a blind eye to the possibility of being cheated upon by their partners. As painful as that discovery might be, it could be your great escape from STI’s or HIV and AIDS.
I know most of you still believe that woman to woman sex is not safe only when that woman is bisexual or straight, which it is not true. Lesbian women are not safe either. Nonetheless, many of you might want to argue that fact but it really helps to update your IQ with things that affect our daily lives as women who sleep with other women in the 20th century.
Another thing that caught my attention is how much woman who sleep with other women have lack of knowledge when it comes to barrier methods when engaging in sexual acts. I mean don’t you think there should be more ways to educate about safer sex for women who sleep with women? Gay pride is a one day event and people just want to have fun there, it is always good seeing most you at the stalls to take safer sex packs and pamphlets. Even so, I have to put pressure on the issue of equipping ourselves with knowledge concerning issues that affect us as lesbians/ women who sleep with other women.
We have LGBT organizations throughout South Africa. In Johannesburg we have FEW, OUT LGBT Well-being in Pretoria in Hatfield, Durban Lesbian and Gay Centre, Triangle project in Cape Town, SOHACA in Soweto and many more places where you can get more information on safe sex for Lesbians and more services that they offer.
Testing yourself for HIV has nothing to do with your sexual orientation. It is a choice that you make to know your status as a person. By so doing you are taking charge and responsibility of your life and the lives of those you engage with sexually. Knowing your status helps you to protect yourself, partner and your loved ones. It also helps you to look at life at a broader scale and make informed choices about your sexual life. I’m sure we are all aware of the risks of unsafe sex amongst heterosexuals as it is everywhere in the media. Now as the LGBT community we are rather sidelined to be taught about our risks in the media which will hopefully change in the near future. All I’m saying is, women who sleep with other women are at risk of contracting STI’s and HIV and AIDS. The risks might be minimal to those of heterosexuals but they are there. You can get infected through the exchange of virginal fluids, sharing toys (vibrators) and I know how most of you love going down on it (rimming), that too can transmit STI’s or HIV and AIDS so next time you think of engaging in unsafe sex also think about the risks you are taking for just 15minutes of pleasure.
OUT LGBT well-being and many other LGBT NGO’s have safer sex packs that consist of: latex gloves, dental dam, water based lubricant and male condoms for your toys. You can also buy them at selected pharmacies nation wide or get them at selected lesbian and gay clubs for free.
I wish you could have seen some of the facial expressions I got when I spoke to some lesbians about protection; it was as if I’m speaking in tongues. Others seemed interested while others had comments like: “these things kill the mood”, “these things will only cause problems to my relationship in terms of trust” and so forth. Well that may be true to some extent, but think back when condoms were first introduced. People had all kinds of negative comments such as “how can one eat a banana without peeling it?” but look how they got used to them. I guess we can do it too my sisters, lets reduce the growing number of lesbian/ women who sleep with other women who get infected by HIV and AIDS.
Here are some of the symptoms to look out for:
* Virginal itching or irritation
* Strong virginal smell
* Yellow or greenish frothy discharge
* Frequent urination
* Thick white discharge
* Light virginal bleeding
* Pelvic pains
* Small painless bumps
If you recognize one or more of the above mentioned symptoms, I’ll advise you to go see a Doctor immediately. We often take these things for granted not realizing the terrible effects they might have on our lives. Over the counter medication and creams are not bad, but it is best to consult a Doctor first so you can know what exactly what to buy.
Now here are some tips to prevent transmission of either STI’s or HIV and AIDS:
* Be faithful
* Correct use of (dental dams, latex gloves/ finger cots and condoms) all the time when having sex.
* Tell your partner if you have STI to protect her and yourself from re-infection.
* Do not have sex if you or your partner are taking any kind of treatment for STI
* Look for signs and symptoms on you and your partner.
* Wash your genitals with soap and water before and after sex
* Always urinate after sex, this may help clean away some germs before they infect you
* Regular check up (at least twice a year)
Since it is the beginning of the festive season for 2012, start it with a different sexual attitude and protect yourself and your lover from STI and HIV.
Read this and other AMAZING post on Miss Pamstar’s blog No Limits
For a website giving more advice on safe sex for LGBT women click here
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