Q: I am a male who plans to have sex with another male for experimental reasons and I was wondering what can I do to have safe and protected sex since this person that I plan to have sex with is new to me.
A: it's always a good idea to consider ways of protecting yourself before you have sex, so I'm glad you're already thinking about this! Using protection is pretty much the same whether you're having sex with a man or a woman: Use condoms. Condoms are the only way to prevent the spread of STIs during sex and should always be used with new partners. I would hope that you could also talk with this person about their past sexual history and whether or not they have an STI before having sex with them. Although, people aren't always honest about this, so it's always a good idea to use condoms regardless.
Beyond using condoms, another way to protect yourself against HIV/AIDS specifically is by taking the preventative medication, PrEP. This is a once-daily pill that can greatly reduce your chance of contracting HIV if you come in contact with the virus. It's often recommended to men who have sex with other men on a regular basis, especially if they're having sex with multiple partners. PrEP is a prescription medication and it does have some side-effects, so it's a good idea to talk about this with your doctor if you're interested.
Answers provided by Dr. Ross Avilla
Dr. Ross Avilla has been teaching Human Sexuality since 2013 and has a PhD in psychology from UC Davis. Dr. Avilla is not a clinician and all information and advice offered on this website is for educational purposes only.