Ten Questions and Answers About BDSM and STDs

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1. What is a sexually transmitted disease or STD?

Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) is the politically correct term for what used to be called "veneral disease (VD)". These are diseases that are transmitted through or as the result of sexual activity (not just sexual intercourse). There are no BDSM specific sexually transmitted diseases but like any other sexual activity BDSM activity CAN spread STDs.

Heterosexualsare a lot less STD aware than the homosexual world is, but they shouldbe just as educated on the subject. As a result, the current risk groupsfor any STD are heterosexual women.

There are many different sexually transmitted diseases and certainly not all are directly related to the genital organs.

Generalinformation is freely and widely available from doctors, hospitals,first aid centers, pharmacies and of course on the Internet.

2. How does one get STD infected?

Somesexually transmitted diseases are viruses, others are caused bybacteria, some by plain and simple dirt. As a result, there aredifferent ways, in which people can get STD infected. An important formof STD infection is the contact between bodily fluids (most importantlyblood, sperm, vaginal fluids and mother milk). This is especially truethe most lethal ones in the Western world: such as Hepatitis (around indifferent varieties) and HIV (Aids). As a result, contact with bodilyfluids should be avoided by anyone who has more than one partner (evenif that is only incidental) and partners who have not been solelytogether for MANY years (not months). Incubation time (the "lead" timebefore the actual infection shows itself), in the case of HIV forexample may be as much as five to seven years.

Another well knowncause of STD infection is lack of hygiene. In the BDSM world especiallyquite a lot of personal hygiene is neglected. Toys that have been on thefloor or in a toy bag should not be used unless cleaned and - whenbrought into contact with the genital area - protected. One should wearlatex gloves during penetration, especially when in a (more) publicenvironment.

3. What do I do when I (think I) am STD infected?

Thereis only one answer: visit your doctor as soon as possible. Bear in mindthat your doctor is not there to judge you, but to cure you. And yes,doctors have seen it all before and many times. If you feel troubled byhaving to go to your doctor, turn to a first aid center or a specificSTD center if there is one in your area.

Every STD spreads likewildfire! They are among the most contagous diseases. In most cases ifyou are infected, you do not only have a responsibility to yourself, butalso to your partner(s) and to an extent to you entire environment.

4. Can an STD be cured?

Somecan, and some cannot. There are no cures yet for HIV, hepatitis C andvarious forms of herpes, for example. HIV and hepatitis C arepotentially lethal. So is syphylus, but there is a good cure for thisdisease.

5. Does an STD only effect me?

Every STD willeffect you but most will also effect your partner and maybe others (suchas unborn children) if not properly taken care of. Sometimes an STD canbe the cause of dead babies or incurable medical problems. Some willnot really effect the bearer, but will badly effect the partner and -for example - cause infertility (in males especially).

6. How do I protect myself against STD infection?

Yourfirst line of defense is strict personal hygiene. Wear latex gloves anduse condoms, also on penetrating toys, such as dildos and vibrators.Regularly clean equipment and - for example - wash bondage ropes.

The second important line of defense is to educate yourself. Again, know what the risks are and avoid them.

7. Does an STD spread quicker, because of BDSM activity?

TheBDSM community is very open. It is not unusual to temporarily exchangepartners, people switch partners frequently and such things as BDSMparties open an easy risk for infection. Besides, BDSM activity impliesmuch more physical contact than most other forms of sexual behavior andthere is the frequent use of toys and equipment. So, there indeed aremore opportunities for infection, compared to a standard vanillarelationship. As a result - although no real research has been done inthis area - there should be a higher risk of spreading an STD.

8. What BDSM activities are likely to spread an STD?

Allforms of penetration, genital or by means of toys, fingers, fists orthe mouth are activities that can transmit an STD. In terms of BDSMthere are also other activities. Whipping may occasionally cause smallsuperficial skin wounds and any breakage of the skin is a serious crackin the bodies main line of defense against diseases, including manySTDs. Bondage ropes, used in the genital area, are a well known vehiclefor sexually transmitted diseases and so are internal toys (vibrators,dildos, Ben Wah balls, vibrating eggs, etcetera). Nipple clamps may alsocause small skin wounds. In general, BDSM activity is much morephysically intens and physically demanding than most other forms ofsexual activity. As a result, you should be more careful.

9. Why do governmental and health organisation hardly ever mention BDSM-acitivity in their STD information?

Mostforms of what is generally known as "alternative sexuality" (such asBDSM) are overlooked by governmental and health organisations, when itcomes to information and education about STD risks. The reason for thisis largely in the fact that such organisations simply will not believethere are that many practitioners and that such organisations have noclue about BDSM. "Alternative sexuality" in the entire education ofhealth care professionals usually takes up as much space (and attention)as ONE PAGE IN ONE BOOK! That is, if alternative sexuality is beingmentioned at all!

10. How can I help to inform people about STD risks?

Ifyou happen to be active in a local BDSM community, or for example have apersonal website about BDSM, try and devote some time and space tosexually transmitted diseases occasionally. For example, next toworkshops about flogging, bondage or needle play, a workshop about STDprevention will be very helpful. But, since this is not a popularsubject you may also want to settle for having leaflets available,writing something in your magazine or newsletter if you have one andputting information on websites.

About The Author

Hans Meijer, a Dutch former journalist and government spokesmen, is the chairman for the Powerotics Foundation. This organisation is dedicated to provide quality information about alternative lifestyles.

Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Hans_Meijer/48759