SHAG Week

What is SHAG Week?

SHAG stands for Sexual Health, Awareness and Guidance. Our aim is to share and provide useful information so that you can keep yourself sexually healthy.

Throughout the week we’ll be sharing info all about having safe sex, STD’s, sexual health, and how to get tested and why it’s so important.

Why is it important?

Sexual health and wellbeing are equally important as your physical and mental health and wellbeing, despite being often overlooked. Prioritising and looking after your sexual health can have a variety of positive impacts on both your physical and mental health.

 The risk of catching a sexually transmitted infection or disease is highest amongst the 16-24 age demographic and so we want you to enjoy yourself safely and responsibly.  

What we want to achieve?

During SHAG Week we hope we can encourage students to consider the ways in which they may be having sex and ensuring safety is in their mind.

Where to get tested?

You can find out more info about sexual health and order a home testing STD kit from Frisky Wales

 

Safe Sex
What is safe sex? Safe sex is the act of having sexual contact with another person that does not involve the trade of semen, vaginal fluid, or blood between partners. The most effective way of adhering to the act of safe sex is the use of a condom as this reduces the risk of unplanned pregnancies and STDs. Why is safe sex important? Safe sex is important because it protects your body from the risk of transmissible diseases and unplanned pregnancy through the act of sexual intercourse. Complying with safe sex keeps yourself and others safe from these risks.
Maintaining Healthy Sexual Relationships
There are a range of ways in which you can maintain healthy sexual relationships which in turn protects yourself and others from risks to your body. Some ways that this can be done are as follows: 1. Sexual Aftercare – This ranges from procedures that individuals can do such as urinating after sex to avoid UTI’s, to working together as a couple or two individuals by discussing and acknowledging the encounter to ensure that all participants are comfortable with what occurred. It is crucial that all parties involved undergo personal care such as showering, urinating, and keeping hydrated. 2. Communication – This is an essential factor of any sexual encounter because communication ensures that each party is comfortable, happy, and secure with their sexual encounter. Communication is important to establish boundaries in sexual encounters and in turn helps partners understand one and other better as well as each other’s likes, dislikes, limits and what each feels comfortable with. 3. Boundaries – Sexual boundaries are how far an individual is willing to take what they do within a sexual encounter or physically. It is essential that partners understand each other’s boundaries before a sexual encounter to avoid any risk of feeling uncomfortable or overwhelmed. Boundaries can be established through communicating with your partner, it is therefore important to understand and respect other’s sexual boundaries as well as your own. 4. Contraception – Contraception is an effective and safe method to use during safe sex, it significantly reduces the risk of unplanned pregnancies, STD’s. To be used effectively, condoms must be used correctly and every time you have sex so it would be encouraged to read the instructions on the box and make sure you have a condom handy if you are going to have sex. 5. Safe Words – This is an extremely effective way in which boundaries and communication between partners comes into play. Establishing a ‘safe word’ is a way of ensuring that both partners understand and respect the other, and the mutual agreement that once the safe word is spoken, the interaction must stop. Some couples choose humorous words as their safe words to make light of the situation whereas others choose direct words to assure the end of the encounter.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
What are STD’s? STD’s are known as sexually transmitted diseases that spread through unprotected sexual interactions such as vaginal, oral and anal sex. What is the importance in regular testing? Regular testing ensures that the health of yourself and others is preserved during sexual encounters. It also prevents the spread of STD’s and if an individual has an STD this can be treated as early as possible and recovered. Where can I get tested for STD’s? If you think that you have an STD, contact your GP, local sexual health clinic, or genitourinary medicine clinic. Some places in Swansea that offer these services are: • Central Clinic • Info-Nation • Cervical Screening Wales • Singleton Hospital • University Health Centre Swansea How to avoid STD’s: • Use condoms during every act of sexual intercourse • Get regularly tested • Test after every different sexual partner • Avoid sharing towels or underwear • Wash before and after intercourse
Consent
What is consent? Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, Consent to sexual activity refers to the agree by choice and having both freedom and capacity to make that choice. Sexual consent can be granted to one activity but not to another and can be withdrawn altogether at any time. Why consent is important? Consent is a large contributor to maintaining a healthy sex life. Sex should always be agreed on and enjoyable for those involved. Unwanted sexual activity without consent is rape or sexual assault and can have devastating implications on a person’s mental health and wellbeing. Communication and Consent Open conversations between you and your sexual partner are very important to maintain healthy sexual relationships for all involved. These conversations ensure that all parties are comfortable with what is going on and are happy to proceed. Communication, honesty and respect for your sexual partner can positively impact your sexual relationships and make them better. Obtaining your partners permission before engaging in any sexual activities shows your respect for them and your relationship. When instigating a conversation, ensure you are both at a location you are comfortable in, and the person is ready for the type of conversation. It’s important to voice any concerns and be clear with what you are / are not comfortable with, and your partner should be understanding of your decisions. Just because someone doesn’t say ‘no’, it does not mean that consent has been given. If your partner is visually uncomfortable or not in sound state to give consent, then you should not continue with the activity. Even if consent is initially given, your partner also as the right to change their mind at any given point. Pressuring or attempting to convince your partner is also not consent.