About Last Night:Agree on your safe words before you play

October 8, 2018

Q: Rosie and I enjoy using sex toys with each other as part of foreplay. We’re both experimenting with some larger, more extreme toys, both by themselves and as part of double penetration play. Other than discomfort when it really is too big, are there any risks we should be aware of before insertion?

A: The kind of play you describe can be safe if you apply the mantra ‘‘Safe, Sane, and Consensual’’.

As a rule of thumb, never put anything in your vagina that you would not put in your mouth, so think carefully about what it is you are using. For example, if it is a sex toy, is it made from safe, non-irritating materials? The safest material is medical grade silicone, which is non-porous, does not release chemicals, and is somewhat flexible. Surgical glass, stainless steel, and hard plastic toys are not porous, but must be used carefully to avoid bruising. Never insert normal glass, as there is a risk of it shattering.

Cheaper toys made of latex, vinyl and jelly can absorb bacteria, so ensure they are perfectly well cleaned with toy cleaner, or soap and water, but avoid harsh cleaning agents, as a residue may remain. It can be a good idea to put a condom over such toys to be safe. This is also a good idea if you plan to share toys. Change the condom for each person. If you want to play with other objects, such as vegetables, cover these with a condom as well.

If you are experimenting with larger objects, take it slowly to allow time for muscles to stretch. This is particularly important with anal play, as this area is less flexible, and can be torn. Never go from the anus to the vagina without changing the condom, or thorough cleaning, as there is a great risk of introducing bacteria and getting an infection.

Always use generous amounts of a good quality personal lubricant, especially for the anus, which has no natural lubrication. Keep in mind that cheap lubricants can contain a range of irritating chemicals. High-grade silicone lubes, which stay slippery longer, are great, but they can break down the surface of silicone toys.

Only use toys, or objects, with a flared base for anal play. It is easy for fingers to be slippery, and the muscles can take the object in, requiring an embarrassing trip to A&E.

When engaging in more extreme play, it is important to be in your right mind, so do not get out of it on alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications. If your senses are impaired you can be clumsy, or go too fast. If you are receiving, you might not be aware enough to tell if you are being stretched too far, which could result in an injury. For this reason, also be cautious about using products that claim to numb, or relax, the anal muscles.

You cannot give informed consent if you are out of your head. You need to be able to employ your ‘‘safe words’’, to maintain communication with your partner.

Most people agree on using the colours of the traffic lights in order to communicate quickly and clearly. Agree on your safe words before you play. Green means all is well. Keep checking in to make sure this is still the case, or repeat it regularly to let your partner know how you are. Orange or amber means that you are close to the edge, and need to button back, take a break, or slow down. By respecting an ‘‘orange’’, you will build trust, and be able to stay relaxed.Red means stop now, so the situation can be assessed. It might mean a break is needed, but if it means the end of play, that must be respected, regardless of your disappointment. Stay with the person, and find out what aftercare they might need. Your respect and consideration will make it safe to play again another day.

Email your questions to abtlastnight@gmail.com


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