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Lyne's
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Lyne, age 53, split up with her partner after being together for many years. Some time has passed, and she is ready to start dating again.

Arousal

Lube… don’t go anywhere without it!

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.

Self-esteem

Feeling beautiful, recognizing your strengths, and knowing how to celebrate your successes are essential to having good self-esteem.

The temptation to compare ourselves to others can be strong, and if we lack self-confidence, it can be very painful. It is easy to forget that we have all the resources we need inside of us! So what to do? Calling a friend, allowing yourself to experience life’s small (or big!) pleasures, or simply living out your desires can be great ways to take care of yourself, and by extension, to build up your self-esteem!

Healthy living

Taking care of yourself is about all the little things you do every day.

Among other things, make sure you have regular medical exams, including a gynecological exam. You should also ask your healthcare professional if an HIV or STBBI test is indicated.

Should you discover that you are HIV-positive, it is important to know that in 2015, living with HIV is nothing like it was in the 80s. If the infection is brought under control quickly, a person living with HIV can lead a long, healthy life. What’s more, effective treatment dramatically reduces your risk of transmitting HIV. All good reasons to find out your HIV status, and get tested regularly.

Pleasure

Putting a name to your desires is not always easy… Is it?

There is nothing wrong with speaking out, taking the initiative, and letting the other person know what you want. On the contrary! Sharing your desires, turning your partner on, and initiating sex are all healthy expressions of sexuality. Pleasure is an integral part of sexuality, and regardless of the activities, number of partners, or fantasies that get you going, the important thing is to live out your desires in a way that is respectful of your partners… And yourself!

Communication

What could be more exciting than meeting someone new!

For one night or a lifetime, part of meeting a new person is telling them about yourself – a little, a lot, or nothing at all! The early stages of getting to know someone online can be magic: you feel each other out, and see if you click – or not. It is all part of the game of seduction! Whatever happens, you should feel comfortable speaking openly and freely with your partners about your desires. It is always a winning strategy!

Regular medical care

Taking care of your overall health is important, but your sexual health is, too!

We know it can be hard to plan medical appointments. Still, it is important to make seeing your doctor a regular part of your health routine. Regular medical appointments are the only way to detect sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs) like HIV. Plus, it makes you an important player in the fight against STBBIs in Quebec.

See the Where can I get tested section of this website to search for the nearest HIV testing center.

Prevention

Always keep a variety of condoms on you – you never know when a good opportunity might present itself!

If you use condoms, remember to keep water- or silicone-based lubricant with you too, to prevent lesions during vaginal or anal sex. When you have everything handy, it is easier to negotiate condom use with your partners.

If you do not like using condoms or if your current partner tells you that wearing one makes him lose his erection, there is no need to panic. There are plenty of sexual play that you can do without a condom, that carry little risk of infection.

If you did not use a condom, or if the condom broke, one option is post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). PEP is a treatment recommended after unprotected vaginal or anal sex with a partner who is HIV-positive or whose status is unknown.

pleasure

Discover new ways to feel pleasure

If you are single and feeling aroused, it may not always be possible to find a partner to satisfy your sexual needs. So, why not learn to satisfy yourself? A new sex toy could be just the ticket!

If you plan to share your toys, you should use a condom on them, since a sex toy has the same potential for transmitting infections as a penis. Remember, if you decide to switch from vaginal to anal sex, you should also change condoms.