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Health & Sex

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Sex Ed for the Suddenly Single

Experts help the newly single cope with changing sexual attitudes.

Safe Sex

Using a latex condom every time you have sex is the best way to protect yourself. That includes oral sex.

Many people balk at using condoms on the penis or a latex barrier (sometimes called a "dental dam") over the vulva for oral sex. But you can get or spread STDs if you don't. For example, herpes viruses can pass from the lips to the genitals, and vice versa.

The CDC estimates that one in five adolescents and adults in the U.S. has genital herpes.

Anyone intending to be sexually active should buy a box of condoms and keep it in the bedroom. If you go out and think you might go home with someone, take along a condom. Just don't make the mistake of keeping one in your wallet, which over time breaks down the latex, or the bottom of your purse, where it might get holes poked in it.

"If you've never used condoms, get a condom out and play with it," Queen says. Familiarity lessens the likelihood of using them incorrectly.

Lastly, if there's anything you have questions about, get answers. There is no shortage of accurate and accessible sex information on the Internet. You could also take a class in sexuality at a college or a local health organization.

"If people haven't had a basic sex education, they should go out and get one," Queen says.

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Reviewed on December 05, 2005

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