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Safe Sex Guide

(If you see something disrespectful, offensive, or incorrect about this information, contact an HEP staff member at healthed@wku.edu or call (270) 745-4491)


Why Does it Matter?

You may be curious why a Safe Sex Guide was curated and tailored specifically for Rainbow Youth? Or maybe you want to know what could be different from the Sexual Wellness info on our website. The answer is INCLUSIVITY!

Did you know that not one state in the U.S. mandates a sex education curriculum that incorporates the LGBTQIA+ community?

At HEP, we value giving students the appropriate content needed for them to make informed choices - a goal that is only possible when we acknowledge and celebrate the diversity on and off campus.


No Rainbow Spectrum

Most safe sex guides do not have the vocabulary, diagrams, or information that reflects same-sex and queer relationships. Body parts are referred to as "male" or "female" when queer and some nonqueer folks do not see body parts as having a gender. Non-binary individuals are excluded when resources refer to "sex with women" or "sex with men". These mistakes can leave young LGBTQIA+ adults with more questions than answers.

The basics of safe sex apply to all individuals (obtaining clearly communicated consent before, during, and after sex, using protection, and no pressure/fear/violence involved). For same-sex and queer people, healthy relationships starts with getting to know yourself.


  • Body Mapping - becoming familiar with your body and what each part looks, smells, feels, and even tastes like.

    • Knowing how you do and do not like to be touched is both affirming and pleasurable

    • If you have a partner and you both plan to be sexually active, they can only pleasure us best if we are able to communicate our desires

  • Masturbation - sexual stimulation of one's own genitals for pleasure or arousal

    • This is one way to connect with your body and be more confident with self-image

    • It is typically more sexual than body mapping because the common reason for masturbation is to orgasm

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

The only way to not get an sexually transmitted infection (STI) is to not have sex. If you are having sex, you are at risk of contracting an STI. No one is immune to STIs. You can only know your status if you get tested.

If you or your partner has HIV and you want to be sexually active, consider taking PrEP.

HIV        HIV and PrEP


For someone to get pregnant, you only need sperm and an egg. Keep in mind:

  • People assigned female at birth and on testosterone could still get pregnant.

  • People assigned male at birth and are taking estrogen or going through other hormone replacement may still be able to get partners with a uterus pregnant.

Unless your health care provider says that you are sterile - unable to get someone pregnant - then you must assume pregnancy is a risk.

We have provided some picture diagrams on how to use each type of barrier method!


How to Use Condoms: Outside or Inside, Dental Dam, Lube, and More

How to Use Condoms: Outside or Inside, Dental Dam, Lube, and More

External Condoms: How to Use, Effectiveness, and Types


You can also visit our Sexual Health webpage for links on how to use barrier methods of protection.




For more information, visit:

Health Navigator - Safer Sex for Rainbow Youth

Villainesse - The Real Sex TALK

LGBT Foundation

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Plus (LGBTQ+) Resource Center

Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 4/19/22