Low/No Risk Sexual Practices
There are a number of sexual practices that present no or low risk for HIV transmission that you and a partners can enjoy. These include the following:
Massage and rubbing bodies against each other presents no risk of passing on HIV.
You cannot acquire or pass on HIV by rimming (licking or eating out someone’s arse). However, hepatitis A and gut infections such as shigella are easily passed on this way.
Saliva does not transmit HIV meaning kissing is completely safe.
The terms ‘watersports’ and ‘piss-play’ refer to sexual acts involving urine. HIV is not present in urine so watersports carry no risk of HIV transmission.
Oral sex carries a very small risk for HIV transmission. For more detailed information, check out our Oral Sex page.
Playing with someone’s arse or vagina with your fingers is a low risk activity for passing on HIV. However, trimmed fingernails and thorough hand washing is a good idea to help prevent damage to the wall of the anus or vagina and to lessen the risk of passing or acquiring a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Fisting means inserting your fist in someone’s arse or vagina. Fists can create serious cuts in the lining of the arse or vagina, which can allow HIV to be passed on if the person being fisted is then fucked without a condom. The person doing the fisting could also get HIV if they have any cuts or scratches. Latex gloves are important for protecting both participants. Surgical gloves are best.
HIV can be transmitted from person-to-person via sex toys such as dildos, vibrators and butt-plugs, if they are being shared. When PrEP or treatment as prevention are not being used, putting a condom on toys and changing the condom before using it on a different person will prevent HIV being passed on. Alternatively, you can wash sex toys thoroughly with soap and hot water after each person. Sex toys that are shared but not covered with a condom or cleaned between uses can also transmit other STIs.
Douching is a way of cleaning your arse or vagina before being fucked and is done by inserting a tube or douching bulb into your arse and flushing it with water. Douching can increase the risk of HIV infection because it removes the mucous lining leaving you vulnerable if having sex without a condom, when PrEP or treatment as prevention are not being used. Also, using a douche with a nozzle can cause tiny cuts.
The letters BD/SM stand for bondage and discipline, and sadism and masochism, which refer to practices involving dominance, submission, discipline, punishment, bondage, sexual role-playing, sexual fetishism, sadomasochism, and power exchange, as well as the full spectrum of mainstream personal and sexual interactions.
Fantasy and role-play are where people act out particular fantasies or role-play characters during sex. Not all role-playing actually involves sex, although some of it does.
These activities are generally no riskier for HIV or STI transmission than any other kinds of sex and the same guidelines around safe sex apply. For people who may be into ‘blood-sports’ extra precautions should be paid to ensure HIV and other blood-borne viruses such as hepatitis C are not transmitted.
Many people find body and genital piercings a turn-on. There are a few things about piercings to be aware of:
• Genital piercings such as a Prince Albert (a ring through the bottom of the head of the penis) can cause tears and abrasions in the anus or vagina during fucking
• Be careful that piercings on the cock don’t tear the condom
• New piercings do occasionally get infected: if this happens to your genital piercing, avoid sex until it has healed as the infection can increase chances of passing on or getting HIV
• Like tattooing, getting a piercing involves penetrating the skin with a needle and so could pass on HIV or other STIs if the needle is not adequately sterilised between piercings.