How do we know it's cuffing season? Pumpkin spice lattes are back. People are talking about their Halloween costumes. Football season is in full swing. And plenty of teens are eyeing the cutie next to them in class. Cuffing season happens in fall and winter when people pair off into relationships and get “cuffed” to a partner.
Here are some tips on how to keep you and your possible partners with safe throughout the cuffing season:
The key to success during this season? Communication! Make sure you and your partner are communicating openly and honestly… including how you feel about taking things to the next level. Remember, consentis the MOST important thing to have before you have sex.
Get a physical before you get physical! Find a clinic here, and follow these steps to make your clinic visit a home run. Talk to your health care provider to find out what STD tests, birth control, or barrier methods they would recommend for you. Bonus points for taking your teammates with you to get their own physicals.
Make sure you have the right equipment, aka CONDOMS. Just like helmets keep us safe on the field, condoms keep us safe from unintended pregnancy and STDs. And just like we want to make sure all of our equipment fits properly on the field, make sure that your condom fits just right. That might mean experimenting with different condom brands, sizes, and lube. Plus, condoms also can be turned into dental dams for STD protection for girls who are dating other girls. Learn more here.
You'll want to make sure your partner is equipped with the right equipment. If you are having sex that includes a risk of pregnancy (aka any sex practice where a penis gets in or near a vagina!), make sure you are using an effective form of birth control. Ultimately, the best equipment gets the best results!
So those are our top tips for having fun and staying safe as the weather gets colder, the chocolate hotter and your relationships snugglier. Do you have ideas for staying safe this cuffing season? Share them with TeenSource!
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This blog was reposted from TeenSource.org, a project of Essential Access Health. TeenSource.org is an online hub for comprehensive and teen-friendly information on birth control, STDs, relationships and teen’s rights to accessing sensitive services. The site features youth-developed blogs and videos, a clinic finder, a Condom Access Project and links to TeenSource social media where youth can stay updated on relevant sexual and reproductive health information and news.