Anyone can contract a sexually transmitted infection (STI) during oral, vaginal, or anal sex, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. However, for several reasons, bisexual persons are typically at greater risk of contracting STIs, including HIV.
At Yoxly, we don't care what your sexuality is! But we do care about your sexual health.
With Bisexual Pride Day on September 23rd and Bisexual Awareness Week from September 17th–23rd, we wanted to celebrate and do our part to raise awareness of bisexuality and the increased propensity for developing STIs.
Bisexuality and STIs
Lesbian and bisexual women are as at risk of catching an STI as their non-bisexual and non-gay counterparts. They can catch STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhoea during sexual activity where bodily fluids are exchanged. Using the same hand to touch yourself and your partner can also increase the risk. Even skin-to-skin contact can transmit infections such as genital herpes, genital warts and monkeypox.
For bisexual men, the risk of contracting an STI is even greater because unprotected penetrative sex is the most likely way to pass one on.
Fortunately, there are several ways of reducing the risk of STIs.
How to Reduce STI Risk
STIs don't care about your sexual orientation or preferences. However, taking precautions during and before sex reduces those risks.
Keep sex toys clean using soap and water between sessions. You can also use condoms on sex toys to add extra protection; just be sure to use a new condom each time and for each partner.
To reduce the risk of transmitting or catching an oral STI, you should use a dental dam for all oral sex. A dental dam provides a thin layer of protection and acts as a barrier to help prevent passing STIs such as chlamydia and genital herpes. If you have any sores or cuts on your mouth or lips, the risk of acquiring an STI from an infected partner increases.
Wash Your Hands
Some infections can be passed through touching. Be sure to wash your hands before and after sex and between touching different partners.
Wear Latex or Protective Gloves
We're not just talking about condoms (of course, you should wear those too!), but consider wearing protective gloves over your hands and using a water-based lubricant for activities such as vaginal and anal fisting.
Have Regular Checkups and Tests
Checkups are essential to understanding your own sexual health. Fortunately, you can find STI tests online that will come straight to your door privately and help you avoid an extra trip to the clinic.
If you believe you do have an STI, see your healthcare provider immediately for treatment. Early detection is the best way to reduce the effects of STIs and prevent spreading.
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5 Questions You Might Have About Being Bisexual and STI Testing
Here are some common questions we've heard regarding bisexuality and STI testing.
Question #1 - I'm a woman who has had sex with a woman; what STI testing should I do?
Women who only have sex with other women are at low risk of STIs; however there is still a risk of:
- Genital herpes
- Genital warts
There is limited data on HIV, hepatitis and syphilis transmission between women, and it is unclear if these infections can be transmitted via sexual contact between women.
Some test kits offer comprehensive results, while others focus on specific infections. Be sure to choose the correct one.
Question #2 - My boyfriend is bisexual. Am I at greater risk of STI?
Any form of unprotected sex can leave you at risk. Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at risk of all STIs, including:
- Hepatitis A, B, and C
- Non-specific urethritis (NSU)
- Genital herpes
- Genital warts
In addition, MSM are found to be at greater risk of contracting certain STIs, particularly HIV.
If you or your partner(s) haven't been tested in a while, or have had other partners between testing, consider checking in on your sexual health.
Question #3 - Should I get tested more often if I have sex with both men and women?
If you have multiple sexual partners, you should get tested at least once every three months. If you have a high-risk encounter, get tested sooner. Otherwise, it's suggested to have an STI test once every six months to a year.
Question #4 - Can you get an oral STI from cunnilingus?
It's a common misconception that oral sex is "safer" than sexual intercourse. However, there is still STI risk involved if precautions are not taken. You can contract an STI such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and genital herpes via oral sex.
Question #5 - Having oral sex with both men and women, what STIs am I at risk of?
There is less risk of contracting most STIs from oral sex than vaginal or anal sex, but there is still a risk for transmission. Having oral sex with both men and women can cause:
- Genital herpes
Unfortunately, not all symptoms from STIs will present themselves immediately. But that doesn't mean they won't cause health problems and damage. So finding out sooner rather than later can potentially save your life.
Have more questions? We'd love to answer them. As we said earlier, we care about your sexual health, and you can Contact Us anytime about anything.