The first step in preventing STIs is understanding that STIs are passed in different ways. You can read more about that here.
Condoms and dental dams have been an effective way to prevent the transmission of STIs that are passed through body fluids, like semen, vaginal, and anal fluids. These can include chlamydia and gonorrhea. Using condoms and dental dams can also prevent STIs that are passed skin-to-skin, including orally if you’re into rimming.
If you aren’t using condoms, using lube can help reduce the risk of creating small tears in your skin that increase your chances of coming into contact with STIs. If you can’t access lube or condoms, you can find out more about alternatives here. Some STIs, like Hepatitis A and HPV, can be prevented with a vaccine before you come into contact with them. You can find out how and where to get a vaccine here.
If you're HIV negative, there are incredible new ways to prevent HIV. PrEP is a daily pill you can take before you have sex that prevents HIV infection. If you think you’ve already come into contact with HIV, you can also take PEP within 72 hours of the exposure to prevent HIV. PrEP and PEP only prevent HIV and not other STIs.
As always, no matter how you have sex, getting an STI test every 3 to 6 months helps you stay on top of your STI status. Find out where to get tested here, and then get back to doing what you love.