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Spectrum of Risk


Sexually transmitted infections are spread through a variety of different activities. Some activities carry less risk than others. Below are examples of activities that are low, moderate, and high risk.

Low Risk Activities

  • Kissing/Making out

  • Masturbation or mutual masturbation

  • Touching or massage

  • Fondling or body rubbing (this includes dry humping or anything over-the-clothes); outercourse

  • Using clean sex toys and/or using a condom on sex toys

  • Phone sex, cyber-sex, dirty talk, or fantasy

Moderate Risk Activities

  • Manual stimulation of one another (i.e. using fingers and hands)

  • Vaginal intercourse with an external (male) condom or internal (female) condom

  • Anal intercourse with an external or internal condom

  • Oral sex on a penis using a condom (flavored or not)

  • Oral sex on a vulva or anus using a dental dam or Saran wrap

High Risk Activities

  • Vaginal intercourse without using a condom

  • Anal intercourse without using a condom

  • Oral sex without using a condom, dental dam, or Sarah wrap

*Please note that this list is not all inclusive. There are many behaviors that you and your partner may engage in that are not included here. It's important to remember that all sexual activity comes with some level of risk - so know what you can do to help protect yourself and your partner!

Related Educational Resources

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