Yes, it's often uncomfortable and not as pleasurable as bare-backing, but it's still the simplest way to prevent the spread of HIV, gonorrhoea, syphilis, chlamydia and a host of other nasty infections that will not only put a damper on your sex life, but can even shorten life itself. Being a bottom generally carries a higher risk of STD infection, though it happens to tops as well. Always take condoms with you when you go to a gay cruising spot, whether you plan to give or receive.If Possible, Don't Swallow
Sucking cock carries a somewhat lower risk of contracting STDs than anal sex, but you still have some risk if you swallow. It can be tempting, especially if the guy is hot and you're into him, but you may just avoid contracting gonorrhea, chlamydia or HIV.Don't Go Cruising With Cold Sores
If you have a cold sore, wait until it heals before you go cruising for gay men. It means you have Type I herpes simplex and can pass it to your partner if you give him head.Find a Gay Male Physician and Visit Him Regularly
A straight physician is unlikely to fully understand all the health implications that come with gay men's sex lives. Gay doctors are more likely to test for certain infections, and they're also more likely to talk openly with you about ways to protect your health while cruising for sex.Lower Infection Risks From Giving Head
If you give head, don't brush your teeth for at least a few hours before and afterwards. Brushing can cause tiny tears in your gums that allow STDs to enter your bloodstream. Also don't go cruising and suck a guy off for a couple of days after you've been to the dentist.Take a Good Lubricant and Use it
A good water-based lubricant will prevent small tears in the anal cavity during sex, and it's also recommended for fisting and fingering. Even if you don't feel them, these tears can allow the transmission of all sorts of STDs.Clean Up Before Rimming
Before you give the guy a rim job, have him wash with soap and water. You can even offer to do it for him.Don't Hook Up If You Have an STI
This should be common sense, stay home and follow your doctor's orders if you've been diagnosed with any STI. Spreading it around while cruising will only make others' lives miserable.Check Your Hook-up Partner's Dick First
If he has any noticeable sores or lumps, it's best to take a rain-check and advise him to get them checked out. It's a disappointing situation, but it's not worth the trouble of your contracting an STD.Know Your Limits
It's fine to have a little liquid courage, but know your tipping point when it comes to alcohol consumption. Too much to drink too often leads to engaging in unprotected sex acts that will have consequences down the road.
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