Just the Tip: Needful things

Carin Huber, Opinion Editor

Whether you have an intimate partner or are saving yourself for marriage, there will probably come a time you share physical pleasure with someone. With my 25-plus years of sexual experience, here are six things I recommend for a good sex life.

1: Knowledge.  Nothing is more important to good sex than good education. Even if your parents had “the talk” with you, I strongly recommend reading everything you can find about how – and how not – to have sex. Look for reliable sources that speak to health, safety and pleasure. There’s a lot of misinformation out there and it’s important to have the facts. Skip anything that mentions God for now. Religion is a different topic, and is unrelated to healthy physical relationships.

2: Sexually Transmitted Disease Tests. Even if you’re a virgin, you can incur some diseases by kissing. If you’ve ever had a blood transfusion there’s a slim chance that you might have picked up a disease that way. In any event, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re in a long term monogamous relationship, annual tests are probably sufficient. If you have multiple partners, either one-at-a-time or at the same time, more frequent testing is advisable.

3: Barrier Protection. This means condoms, dental dams and maybe exam gloves. In addition to protecting against STDs and pregnancy, condoms are handy for keeping sex toys clean. You’ll want non-lubricated condoms for that. A dental dam is a piece of rubber that is used to prevent disease transmission during cunnilingus or analingus. Gloves keep things clean and germ-free when you’re exploring with your hands.

4: Lubricant. As Orlando Jones said in the 2001 movie “Evolution,” “There’s ALWAYS time for lubricant!” Even if you’re not interested in anal sex, sometimes nature needs a little help. Make sure you get water-based lube. Silicone-based lube will damage both condoms and silicone toys. If you get a flavored variety make sure it doesn’t contain sugar, which can lead to bacterial infections.

5: Wet Wipes. It’s just not possible to have good sex without making some kind of mess. You’ll appreciate having wipes handy.

  1. A Sense of Humor. At some point things will go sideways, and it will be funny as hell. It’s okay, even helpful, to laugh with your partner. When you laugh, you relax. That helps you get right back into the rhythm.

Do you have a question about sex, sexuality or relationships? Email [email protected] and we may answer your question in the next Just the Tip.