Smith College Admission Academics Student Life About Smith Offices
For Students
For Parents
For Faculty
Nutrition and Food
Mental Health
Student Affairs
Center for Work & Life
Center for Work & Life puzzle motif image
Wellness Education

SEX: Safer Sex Tips

Consider these safer sex tips:

Talk smart sex first. Have smart sex later.
STIs and unintended pregnancies affect both partners, not just one person. If you feel uncomfortable discussing sex and birth control with your partner, then you shouldn't be having sex. Be straightforward and talk about sex beforehand. It's easier to be rational and reasonable before you're in the "heat of the moment."

Know that you have a choice about whether or not to have sex.
Fear of hurting someone's feelings by saying no or fear of being the "only one" who isn't doing it. Everyone likes to fit in, but you should never compromise your values to be "part of the crowd." If you don't want to have sex, be honest, discuss the reasons behind your decision with your partner and stay true to yourself.

Be safe about “social lubrication.”
Drug use or alcohol abuse interferes with decision-making, which can lead to date rape, forgetting to use contraceptives or contracting an STI. The lowering of inhibitions that often accompanies alcohol use might make you think you'll enjoy sex more, but in fact, for a variety of biochemical reasons, too much alcohol actually makes sex less enjoyable for both men and women.

Two are better than one.
To help prevent both unwanted pregnancy and STIs, you should correctly and consistently use a hormonal birth control method like the Pill, and a condom (to prevent STIs). Condom use is essential, especially in relationships that are not monogamous. If your partner says no to contraceptives that may prevent STIs (like condoms) it's probably time to rethink your relationship. Nothing is worth the potential lifetime consequences of a few minutes of unprotected fun.

Use the buddy system.
If you go to a party or a bar, go with friends and keep an eye out for each other. Agree that you won't leave with another person without telling someone. Sometimes a friend's "second opinion" could help prevent you from making decisions that you might regret later.

Remember that "no" means NO and passed out doesn't mean YES.
Being drunk isn't a defense for committing sexual assault. If you are too drunk to understand a person trying to say no; if you are too drunk to listen and respect a person saying no; or if you have sex with somebody who is passed out obviously drunk, it is rape.

Respect everyone's right to make his/her own personal decision - including yourself.
There is no imaginary "deadline," no ideal age, no perfect point in a relationship where sex has to happen. If your partner tells you that he or she is not ready to have sex, respect his/her decision, be supportive and discuss the reasons behind it. It is everyone's ultimate right to decide when and how they have sex - be it the first time or the tenth time.

Be prepared for a sex emergency.
Consider carrying two condoms with you just in case one breaks or tears while it's being put on. Both men and women are equally responsible for preventing STIs, using contraceptives and both should carry condoms. Sometimes things go wrong even when you try to do everything right.

The best protection doesn't mean less affection.

Make sexual health a priority.
Whether you are having sex or not, both men and women need to have regular check-ups to make sure they are sexually healthy. Women should have annual gynecological exams.



Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)


Safer Sex Tips



DirectoryCalendarCampus MapVirtual TourContact UsSite A-Z