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Is It Possible To Have Safe Casual Sex or a Risk-Free One Night Stand?

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Updated April 09, 2014

Question: Is It Possible To Have Safe Casual Sex or a Risk-Free One Night Stand?
If you're a single man, or a single woman, and you want to have sex, you may find concept of a one night stand appealing. The problem, of course, is that casual sex comes with a number of potential risks - only one of which is the possibility that you might contract an STD.

You can't tell who has an STD by looking at them, assessing their hygiene, or knowing who their friends are. If you're concerned about your sexual health, the only way to make a smart choice about whether someone is an appropriate partner for your casual encounter is to engage them in a decidedly non-casual conversation.

Answer: You can't actually have safe casual sex, but you can make your one night stand safer by following a few simple rules:
  1. Be responsible for your own sexual health by undergoing regular STD screening, and be up front about discussing your STD status with any casual sex partners.
  2. Ask your potential one night stand when they were last screened for STDs, and what their test results were.
  3. Discuss how many sexual partners you have each had since your last screening tests, and also talk about whether you always practiced safe sex.
  4. Ask about any particularly risky behaviors your partner may have engaged in, such as unprotected anal sex or drug use, and discuss your own.
  5. Always practice safe sex, including safe oral sex - not just with casual sex partners, but with everyone.
  6. When choosing a partner for a one night stand, pick someone who places a high value on safe sex and says they always practice it themselves.
  7. Use the information you have learned to make an informed choice about whether you want to sleep with someone, but understand that there may still be risks involved that neither of you know.

The truth is that all sex has risks. These risks can be reduced, but, particularly in the context of casual sex, they cannot be avoided. Although following these rules will not make your one night stand safe, doing so will probably make it safer. If nothing else, you will be far more aware about risk.

In the end, every person has to make their own decision about what risks they choose to expose themselves to. Only when you acknowledge the potential dangers of one night stands - including pregnancy, STDs, and assault - can you start to intelligently determine whether, and how, you want to cope with them. As a single man, or single woman, the rewards of casual sex may be worth the risk, but ignorance isn't the road to sexual bliss.

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