Kiss, make out (frenching, necking, sucking face) Go ahead and make out with as many guys as you want. Kissing brings absolutely no risk of HIV transmission, as long as there’s no blood exchanged (as a result of lesions in the mouth, for example). The risk of contracting other sexually transmitted infections by kissing is also extremely low. Giving or getting head (mouth to penis contact, fellatio, sucking cock, blow job) Giving and receiving head is a low risk activity for HIV transmission, whether you’re with one partner or several. But the virus can still get into your system through lesions, ulcers and infections in the mouth, so it’s important to have good oral hygiene. Although blow jobs are not a high risk activity for the transmission of HIV, be aware that they can put you at risk for other STBBIs.   To protect yourself and reduce risk: Keep your mouth healthy and avoid oral sex if you have sores, lesions, ulcers, gingivitis (inflamed gums) or any other infection. Avoid brushing your teeth, or using dental floss or mouthwash for an hour BEFORE and an hour AFTER oral sex. This reduces the likelihood of lesions, irritations or blood in your mouth. Avoid oral sex on the same day as a visit to the dentist. Avoid taking cum in your mouth (see To swallow or not to swallow, it’s a question of taste). When you’re getting tested for STBBIs, ask the doctor to take a throat sample. You could also use a condom for oral sex; it can be flavoured or one without lube.   Rimming (anal/oral contact, anilingus, rim job, ass licking) Rimming is a practice with a very low risk of HIV transmission, as long as there’s no blood exchanged (for example if one partner has lesions or irritations). The risk of other STBBIs is comparable to that of fellatio. This practice does involve an elevated risk for hepatitis A and B, but a preventative vaccine is available for both of these viruses. Speak to your doctor to find out more. To protect yourself and lower the risk of transmission, you should follow the same precautions as for a blow job (fellatio). You also have the option of a dental dam (you can use a condom cut lengthwise, to make a latex square).        

Anal sex refers to all sorts of practices, like fucking, getting fucked, rimming, dipping, and more. Some people are always up for it, while for others it can depend on the situation. The most important thing is to respect yourself. If you don’t want to do something or are not in the mood, it’s important to communicate this to your partner or partners. Sex is about pleasure, not coercion.   If you’re a bottom, relax, and go at your own pace – penetration should never be painful! These days there are many ways to protect yourself from HIV infection or reduce the risk.  

Barebacking (bb, fucking without a condom, raw, au naturel)   Do you find condoms to be a turn off? Do you like your sex to be raw? If you have bareback sex, make sure you do it because it’s something you like to do, and not because you want to please someone else or prove that you love or trust them. Being clear about your limits will help you make the most of your experience. New scientific data has shown that barebacking no longer represents an elevated risk of HIV transmission if you use one (ideally, more than one) prevention strategy. Some guys only fuck bareback with regular partners or with HIV-positive partners whose viral load is undetectable, others do it with casual partners or people they don’t necessarily know. The choice is yours!   Extremely important if you are living with HIV The information presented in the following section does not protect you from the risk of criminal prosecution if you do not tell your partner or partners that you are living with HIV. At this point in time, you must have a low viral load (fewer than 1,500 copies / mL of blood) and wear a condom if you do not disclose your status. For more information, visit the Criminalization of HIV Exposure section of the COCQ-SIDA website (in French).  

Fingering involves putting your fingers in someone’s ass, vagina, or frontal hole, whereas fisting involves inserting your entire fist. Both these practices carry a negligible risk of HIV transmission as long as there are no cuts or sores on the hands or anus. However, they can result in damage to anal or vaginal tissue if done incorrectly. Certain precautions can be taken to make these practices safer. Good communication is critical to ensure that you respect the pace of the person on the receiving end of your fingers or hand. Trim your fingernails to avoid injuring your partner. Wearing a protective glove is also recommended. In a group situation, everyone should stick to the following rule: “When you change holes, change gloves.” Changing gloves is important to avoid passing an infection from one partner to another. Use plenty of lubricant and reapply more as needed – especially for fisting. People who enjoy fisting often use Crisco because it lasts longer. Other types of oil-based lubricant can also be used. Latex gloves are not compatible with these two types of lube, so opt for polyurethane gloves instead. If that’s not an option, using latex gloves with a water-based lube will do the trick. An additional rule is important to follow: “When you change holes, change the container of lube.” Using a shared container of lubricant for multiple partners carries a risk of cross-contamination. If you’re planning to have group sex, ask each person to bring their own lube, or prepare ahead of time to make sure you have as many containers of lube as there are people.

(dildo, butt plug, vibrator) A sex toy has the same potential to transmit an infection as a penis. If you share your toys, you should be putting a condom on them. In addition, the golden rule applies here, too: “if you change holes, change condoms.” To extend the life of your sex toys, whether you use them on your own or with others, use a condom. Toys can be porous, and viruses and bacteria can make a home in them between uses. After each use, ensure that you clean your toys. You can use dish soap and hot water, with a thorough rinse afterwards. Specialty stores also sell specific cleaning products for different types of toys.    

Mutual masturbation (hand job, lending a hand), Masturbation, either alone or with a partner carries virtually no risk of transmitting HIV or other STBBIs. Still, there are two practices that do carry some small amount of risk: Using your partner’s sperm or pre-ejaculatory fluid (pre-cum) to masturbate. It’s recommended that you use lube instead. Masturbating by rubbing your penis against your partner’s penis can carry a risk of transmitting STBBIs.      

If you are a trans man, it’s important to know that having frontal or anal sex without a condom, either with a flesh-and-blood penis or with a sex toy, is high risk for HIV and for other STBBIs.   Using at least one and preferably several other prevention methods can help you to reduce the risk. To avoid bacterial infections, make sure to change condoms or clean the penis or sex toy if you alternate between anal and frontal penetration. If you use sex toys, cover them with a condom and make sure they are thoroughly cleaned between uses. If you take hormones, there may be a decline in the natural lubrication produced by your body, which can increase the risk developing a lesion or sore. Be sure to use plenty of lube. If you take hormone injections, be aware that sharing needles is high risk for transmitting HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. If you have frontal sex with a person who produces sperm, you can still get pregnant even if you’re taking testosterone. If you want to avoid getting pregnant, different methods of contraception aside from condoms can be used, such the birth control pill or an IUD (intrauterine device). If you are exposed to sperm by accident, you can also use emergency oral contraception (commonly known as the “morning after pill”) within 72 hours of sex with ejaculation. This is available in pharmacies without a prescription.   You can find more information in PRIMED2  A Sex Guide for Trans Men Into Men. You can also contact ASTT(e)Q (Québec Trans Health Action).

It may be that you mostly have sex with men, but sometimes also with women.   Regardless of the gender of the people you have sex with, the best way to avoid infection with HIV and other STBBIs is to use one or more prevention methods such as using condoms, taking PrEP, or getting tested on a regular basis.   To reduce your risk: Remember that you can’t assume you know someone’s sexual history based on their appearance or behaviour. Use latex or polyurethane condoms for vaginal sex. If you have both anal and vaginal sex, remember to change condoms when you change holes to avoid transmitting bacteria from the anus to the vagina. For group sex, the golden rule is still the same: “When you change holes, change condoms.” This means that if you’re having sex with more than one person, make sure to change condoms every time you change partners or switch to a different hole. For latex condoms, use plenty of water- or silicone-based lube and add more lube as needed – this is the best way to minimize the risk sores or lesions. Avoid oil-based lubes and any others type of lubricant that is incompatible with latex condoms. This information will be mentioned on the lubricant container. Some people are allergic to latex. Most pharmacies also sell polyurethane condoms that can be used with either water- or oil-based lubricants. If you put your fingers in your partner’s vagina to stimulate their G spot, or if you practice fisting, make sure to keep your nails short to avoid injuring your partner. Using latex or polyurethane gloves is recommended, especially if you have sores or cuts on your fingers or hand or if your partner is menstruating. Also, don’t forget that your partner could get pregnant. If you pull out before ejaculation in order to avoid pregnancy, remember that your precum also contains sperm, which means that it’s still possible for someone to get pregnant using this method. If your partner is living with HIV, PrEP could be a good way to protect yourself against HIV infection. Going to the doctor for a regular check-up is recommended if you are in a relationship with someone who is HIV-positive.   If you’d like, we can send you a reminder by text or email when it’s time to make an appointment at a testing centre. Use the “Testing reminder tool” situated in the right hand column.

Sadomasochism (S&M, BDSM) Role playing games, S&M, bondage, whips, chains, clamps or just pouring hot wax on your partner’s skin are not activities where  HIV and other STBBIs can be transmitted. You can act out your preferred scenarios without worry, as long as you keep in mind the precautions mentioned in the other sections of this site when the scenarios you play out involve other, higher risk sexual practices. Hard core practices causing skin lesions or bleeding, as well as practices involving surgical tools, can carry a significant risk of bacterial infection, as well as HIV or hepatitis C transmission. Make sure you’re familiar with the universal precautions you should be taking, and play out these scenarios with an experienced partner. For more information on safe S&M practices, click here to check out the “Safer kinky sex” pamphlet on the CATIE website. To familiarize yourself with some of the codes used in kink, visit the Wikipedia article on the Handkerchief code.   ………………….. Some images used on this site were created in collaboration with Priape.

Golden shower (watersports, GS/WS) Play involving urine carries no risk of transmitting HIV or other infections as long as it consists of urinating on healthy skin. Try to avoid getting urine in your eyes, or on cuts or lesions. Drinking urine carries a very low HIV risk. It’s only risky if the urine contains blood. On the other hand, some bacterial infections, like chlamydia or gonorrhea, can be transmitted by getting urine in the mouth or eyes.   Brown shower (scat, chocolate shower) Contact with fecal matter doesn’t carry any risk of transmitting HIV as long as there is no blood, and the contact is with healthy skin. However, this practice can involve significant risk of bacterial infection, as well as the transmission of hepatitis A and B, and parasites.    

You like to have sex in public places: bathrooms, parks, parking lots.   Even if this turns you on, it’s important to remember that it’s against the law and you could be arrested by the police for public indecency. As well, the people you meet in bathrooms or parks might be mainly interested in your wallet or keychain. To reduce the risk of being robbed, keep your valuables in the inside pocket of your coat or in a pocket that you can close with a zipper or button. If you’re in shorts and flip flops, leave your money in your car or at home, and keep your keys in your hand. Never leave your keys unsupervised. Hiding them in a tree trunk, under a rock, or on the wheel of your car isn’t necessarily a good idea. Someone could see you, and steal them. The same goes for your clothes. Getting stuck in the nude or not being able to retrieve your clothes could leave you in an embarrassing situation. If you have anal sex in public places, don’t forget condoms and lube. If you tend not to have any condoms on you or you don’t like to use them, look into other prevention methods such as PrEP or testing. Giving someone a blow job or a hand job is low risk for HIV infection. However, there is some risk of contracting or transmitting other STBBIs like chlamydia or gonorrhoea. If you’re a trans man and you like to engage in sex in public places, you can find more information in PRIMED2  A Sex Guide for Men Into Men. You can also contact ASTT(e)Q (Québec Trans Health Action).

Saunas (or bathhouses) are places where men go to have sex, in many cases so that they can have anonymous sex with no expectation or commitment.   You can rent either a locker or a room with a lock where you can leave your personal items. In some saunas, you’re not allowed to walk around with your clothes on and you have to wear a towel, underwear, or some type of fetish clothing or accessories. The same rules apply in saunas as anywhere else: the risk of infection varies depending on what you do. To learn more about different ways to reduce the risk of infection and how to choose the ones that best suit your needs, check out the Getting Some Action section. If you like to take drugs when you have sex (pnp, long session, slam, etc.), be aware that drugs affect your perceptions of risk and this could lead you to make different decisions than you would make when you’re sober. Knowing the risks and identifying ways to reduce or avoid them ahead of time is very useful. This makes it possible to fall back on choices that you’ve already made once the drugs start to affect your judgment.   To learn more about substance use, sex, and gay culture, see the booklet from RÉZO, Drugs, Alcohol and Gay Men.

Dating sites and mobile apps are often where you’ll get in contact with other guys, whether it’s to hook up, meet new people, or to keep in touch with your friends or acquaintances. For various reasons, people don’t always share everything about themselves on these sites. Don’t be shy to ask questions if there are things that are important for you to know. The fact that you’ve made contact with someone, exchanged a few messages, decided he’s your type, and confirmed that he’s into the same things as you does not guarantee that you’ll be safe from HIV and other STBBIs. Using one or more prevention methods such as condoms and lube or taking your partner’s viral load into consideration is still the best way to prevent infection. Depending on the number of guys you hook up with and which practices you engage in, you’ll need to figure out how many times a year you should get tested as part of your regular health routine. To do this, check out the Take the Test section found in the right-hand column of this page. People who hook up online often use acronyms or special terms to communicate certain preferences. For example, here are a few of the terms that are often used to say they’re into using drugs during sex: PNP: party and play, in other words, having sex on drugs Long session: another way to indicate an interest in having sex on drugs Slam: taking crystal meth by injection 420: smoking pot Chemsex, chempiss, chemload: “chem” refers to sexual activity on drugs Other terms that are commonly used: bareback, BB, raw, au naturel: having sex without condoms TGM: trans man TGF: trans woman  

You like to get high when you have sex (PnP “Party and Play”, long session, slam, chemsex, etc.).   You like to do this because it sharpens your senses and prolongs excitement. Taking drugs can definitely make you feel good, but be aware that they also affect your perception of risk and could lead you to make decisions that you’d never make when sober. Knowing the risks, finding ways to reduce or avoid them, setting limits, and preparing yourself ahead of time are all useful strategies. This makes it possible to fall back on choices that you’ve already made once the drugs start to affect your judgment. It’s very important to keep in mind that fucking for hours or days at a time can irritate the genitals, anus, or any other part of the body that is touched, licked, or penetrated for long periods of time. In addition, drugs can affect your ability to feel pain or fatigue. These types of irritations create an entry point through which HIV and other STBBIs can be transmitted. A good way to slow down the development of skin irritations is to use plenty of lubricant and frequently apply more. Using a condom can prevent the skin of the penis from getting irritated and significantly reduce the risk of transmitting HIV and other STBBIs – for the top as much as the bottom. For a long session, make sure you have plenty of condoms, lube on hand, as well as latex or polyurethane gloves if you practice fisting, and make sure to keep adding more lubricant to reduce irritation. If you are into barebacking, the only way to reduce irritation – and the risk of transmitting HIV and other STBBIs – is to use lots (really a lot!!) of lube, Crisco, or other oil-based lubricant. However, remember that using lube is not enough to protect you from an infection. Using an additional prevention method such as PrEP can reduce your risk of getting infected with HIV. PrEP is strongly recommended in these situations because you can take it before getting high, making it less likely that you’ll forget. For group sex, when you are using a condom or latex gloves, remember to use a new condom or glove whenever you change partners or holes. The golden rule is simple: “When you change holes, change condoms.” The same applies to lube. If you are using a container of lube rather than a bottle or pump, it’s important not to put your hand back into the same jar if you are lubing up multiple partners. If you use Crisco for fisting, do not use latex condoms or gloves. Polyurethane condoms or gloves should be used instead. If you are living with HIV, prepare your medication in advance and find a way to remember to take it such as setting an alarm on your phone. Remember that certain HIV medications such as Ritonavir can enhance the effects of drugs. Wait at least 30 minutes after taking your medication before you take more drugs, and start with half a dose. If you don’t know whether your treatment interacts with drugs, ask your doctor or pharmacist. If you use syringes, don’t share them. From an overall health perspective, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, go to the bathroom often, and make sure to eat something from time to time. To learn more about substance use, sex, and gay culture, see the booklet from RÉZO, Drugs, Alcohol and Gay Men.