When it comes to sexual health, there are lots of things you can do to minimise the risks of contracting STIs and HIV.
What steps you can take to reduce risk will largely depend on the type of sex you enjoy having.
Check out the information below to see the risk associated with different kinds of sex.
Fucking without a condom is a high risk for the transmission of HIV and other STIs.
In terms of HIV, the risk of transmission is high because the virus can pass through the wall of the anal passage and the head of your cock.
If you’re regularly fucking without a condom, you may be eligible for PrEP, a daily pill that can protect you from HIV (though not from other STIs). PrEP is available on the NHS in Scotland to men who meet certain eligibility criteria. You can find out more on our PrEP page.
If you have been at risk of HIV within the last 72 hours, you may be able to access PEP to reduce your chance of becoming infected with HIV. It’s important to act as quickly as possible to reduce the chance of you becoming infected.
HIV treatment is another way of preventing new HIV infections. There is now clear consensus that a person living with HIV, on treatment and with an undetectable viral load cannot transmit the condition to their sexual partners. This is sometimes known as U=U or Undetectable=Untransmittable.
If you are regularly having sex without condoms, and with a lot of guys, then you should be getting a sexual health check-up every 3 months.
For Trans men
In terms of HIV, the risk of transmission is high because the virus can pass through the wall of the anal passage, the walls of your front hole, and the head of your cock (if you've had phalloplasty or metoidioplasty).
Front hole sex can be an increased risk for HIV and STI transmission because of the reduced lubrication associated with testosterone therapy and hysterectomies. This is because reduced lubrication increases the risk for small tears in the skin during sex.
Fucking with a condom is a low risk for the transmission of HIV and most other STIs.
You can keep the risk low by making sure you are using the right size and type of condom for you. This reduces the risk of the condom slipping off or failing. Check out the Condoms & Lube section for advice on choosing and using the right condom.
You can also use PrEP and condoms together in case of a condom failing or slipping off during sex. This means that you wont be exposed to HIV but it does not protect against STIs.
If you have had a condom fail during sex during the last 72 hours you may be able to access PEP to reduce your chance of becoming infected with HIV. It’s important to act as quickly as possible to reduce the chance of you becoming infected.
If you are regularly having sex with lots of guys, then you should also be getting a sexual health check-up every 3 months.
Oral sex is a low risk for the transmission of HIV. However, there have been a small number of reported cases where HIV transmission has occurred (usually affecting the guy that’s sucking).
You can lower the HIV risk of oral sex even further by using condoms but, most guys in Scotland consider the risk so low that they don’t.
Risk factors include having cuts in your mouth, bleeding gums and mouth ulcers. You should also avoid brushing your teeth or using mouth wash before sucking as these can expose blood in the mouth.
Oral sex is a high risk for other STIs, including gonorrhoea, syphilis and chlamydia. These infections can be transmitted easily between both partners.
If you're having condomless oral sex then you should be getting a sexual health check-up every 3 months. Check out our service finder to find your nearest testing centre.
Wanking is a very low risk for the transmission of HIV and other STIs.
Wanking alone carries absolutely no risk and it’s very unlikely that you will pick up an infection when wanking with a partner.
The only instance that risk may occur would be when rubbing someone else's cum or precum on your cock. If someone else's cum or precum comes into contact with the head of your cock or gets into small cuts and tears along the shaft of your cock, it can potentially transmit HIV or STIs.
For Trans Men
For trans men mutual masturbation can carry a risk of HIV and STIs, if someone's cum or precum or genital fluid comes into contact with any cuts, sores or areas of damaged skins around your front hole.
Rimming another guy or getting rimmed is a very low risk for transmission of HIV.
However, there is a risk associated with other STIs including gonorrhoea and chlamydia. There is also a risk of hepatitis A and B, which you can be vaccinated against at your local sexual health service.
If you want to be extra safe you can use a dental dam (which comes in different flavours) to protect you and your partner. This is just a latex sheet that you can place over your partner's ass hole.
Fisting can be an enjoyable consensual and pleasurable experience when done properly. It requires a lot of lube and a lot of time to do it right. However, there are potential risks with fisting if you aren’t prepared or don’t take care of the person being fisted.
In terms of HIV risks, fisting is low risk. However, in the event that the fister has cuts or sores on his hand or arm, and the fistee is HIV positive, the anal mucus or any blood in the ass could provide an opportunity for HIV transmission. If there is a group of guys being fisted, HIV and hepatitis C can be passed between them by using the same pot of lube, not washing hands or not changing gloves between partners.
By using gloves, and by not sharing lube, you can reduce your risk of transmission.
Oil based lubes such as Crisco are often used in fisting but they come with some risks. Oil based lubes will damage most condoms and lead to the potential of transmission of HIV or hepatitis C. If you are likely to fuck after fisting we recommend that you just use water based lube or a non-latex based condom.
Communication with your partner
When being fisted, it is important for you to be able to trust your partner and comfortably discuss the activity. It is important for you and your partner to work together and use things such as safe words to ensure you have the best sex you possibly can.
Issues with your asshole
Fisters say that fisting done right won’t change the ability of your asshole to fully close. If your asshole isn’t fully closing you should seek medical attention. To avoid this, it is best to communicate fully with your partner and ensure you are using plenty of lube in, and around, your asshole.
If not enough lube or patience is being used, the lining of your ass can tear. A little tear (enough to turn the lube pink) probably isn’t too serious. However, bright red blood is a sign of more damage and you must seek medical attention straight away. From little tears or cuts in your ass, bacteria can get into your bloodstream and lead to an infection which could be fatal.