It may not feel like fall in in some areas, so how do we know it's cuffing season? Pumpkin spice lattes are back. People are talking about their Halloween costumes. Football season is in full swing. And maybe you’re eyeing the cutie next to you in class. Cuffing season happens in fall and winter when people “pair off” into relationships and get “cuffed” to a partner.
The most important objective during cuffing season is to stay safe. That means getting or giving consent and practicing safe sex each and every time!
Here are some tips to help keep and your possible partners safe during the cuffing season:
- The key to success on and off the playing field? Communication! Make sure you and your partner are communicating openly and honestly including how you feel about taking things to the next level. Remember, consent is the MOST important thing to have BEFORE you have sex.
- Get a physical before you get physical! Find a clinic here, and follow these steps to make your clinic visit a success. Ask to be screened for STDs. Talk to your health care provider to find out what birth control, or barrier methods they would recommend for you. Bonus points for taking your teammates with you to get their own physicals.
- Make sure you have the right equipment, aka free CONDOMS. Just like helmets keep players safe on the field, condoms keep people safe from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). And just like we want to make sure all of our equipment fits properly on the field, make sure to find a condom that fits just right. That might mean experimenting with different condom brands, sizes, and lube. Did you know condoms also can be turned into dental dams for STD protection for girls who are dating other girls? Learn more here.
- Make sure you and your partner are protected. If you’re having sex that includes a risk of pregnancy (aka any sex practice where a penis gets in or even near a vagina!), make sure you’re using an effective form of birth control.
Keep our tips in mind for having fun and staying safe as the weather gets colder, the chocolate hotter and your relationships snugglier. Do you have ideas for staying safe this cuffing season? Share them with TeenSource on Instagram (@teensourceorg)!