Although the California Healthy Youth Act requires sex education in California public schools to be inclusive of LGBTQIA+ teens, many sex ed programs continue to heavily focus on the health needs and behaviors of heterosexual people. Maddie Cole, a Peer Educator with Planned Parenthood Mar Monte in Sacramento, says this can leave many LGBTQIA+ teens curious about how sex among same-sex partners works and how to keep it safe, especially for women who have sex with women (WSW) or individuals that identify as lesbian or bisexual.
Here’s more from Maddie who just finished up her sophomore year of high school
The most important aspect of all sexual activity is consent. Just because you have consent for one thing, doesn’t mean you have consent for something else. Plus, consent can always be taken back. Consent is communicated through a “yes” and must always be Freely given, Reversible, Informed, Enthusiastic, and Specific – remember the acronym FRIES. This video offers a good visualization of consent.
How can two cis females have safer sex?
- First, it’s always good to understand your anatomy, for a detailed description of female anatomy check out this Teen Vogue article: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/vagina-anatomy-diagrams
- You can use your fingers to stimulate your partner in a way they would like: this can be by stimulating the clitoris or the opening of the vagina.
- Safety Tip: Some people trim their fingernails as to not injure their partner with long nails.
- Oral sex is also very common among WSW. Remember: Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) can be passed through vaginal fluids, so it’s important to use protection, especially if you know that you or your partner has an STD. You can also give or get STDs such as herpes, gonorrhea, and HPV (genital warts) through sexual skin-to-skin contact.
- Safety Tip: To have safer oral sex, you should use a dental dam. Dental dams are pieces of latex placed on the vagina or anus to protect from STDs that can be transmitted through vaginal fluids. Dental dams can be hard to find in stores, but you can always make your own by cutting the ends off a condom and cutting along one side.