There is nothing wrong with wanting to be beautiful, or taking the time to care for your appearance. On the contrary! It is even a sign of good self-esteem. It is a way of telling yourself and those around you that you are worth it. The important thing is to find a healthy middle ground between recognizing your qualities and not being too hard on yourself.
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Audrey, age 39, is comfortable in her own skin. She likes meeting new people and having new experiences.
Calling your partners to tell them that you have contracted a sexually transmitted or blood-borne infection (STBBI) is not easy at all. However, there are lots of different ways to inform your past and current partners.
Even though it is difficult, it is important to tell them. This shows that sexual health, both yours and your partners is something you have at heart. Plus, it makes you an important player in the fight against STBBIs in Quebec.
To avoid lesions during vaginal and anal sex, use water- or silicone-based lubricant. Feel free to re-apply liberally, since this minimizes the risk of lesions. If you do not have any on you, opt for lubricated condoms.
Online world and in real life, feel free to initiate encounters and tell your partners what you want. Sex and pleasure go hand in hand, and being comfortable with yourself makes it easier to appreciate moments of pleasure even more. Communication is key in everyday life, more so when it comes to relationships and sexuality. It allows you to know where you stand in relation to the other person, to get informed, to seduce, to initiate sex, and to get aroused. It also gives you the opportunity to learn more about the other and about yourself. All good things!
You can then let your imagination run wild! However, make sure you are familiar with the recommended precautions before playing out any hard-core scenarios that might cause skin lesions or bleeding. It is also important to know and respect your limits. If you are trying something new and you do not like it, stop right away. You are looking for pleasure, not disappointment or discomfort.
Having condoms on you at all times can make it easier to negotiate condom use with your partners. Remember to also use a water- or silicone-based lubricant, to prevent lesions during vaginal or anal sex.
There is also post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), a treatment option that is recommended after unprotected vaginal or anal sex with a partner who is HIV-positive or whose status is unknown.
However, be aware that alcohol and drugs can affect your perception of risk. You should also plan to bring enough condoms, lubricant, and materials for drug use. If you use straws for snorting or syringes, do not share them.
Regular medical appointments allow you to maintain a clean bill of health. Getting a gynecological exam every two to three years will allow you to detect any abnormalities with your sexual organs.
Make sure you also ask your healthcare professional to test for STBBIs including HIV. How often you get tested depends on a number of factors, but the important thing to remember is that regular testing is the best strategy to quickly identify a sexually transmitted or blood-borne infection (STBBI), like HIV.
See the “Where can I get tested” section of this site to search for the nearest HIV testing center.