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Drug and Disease Free (DDF)

Updated: MARCH 15, 2022
Reviewed by Dr. Sunny Rodgers
on March 3, 2022

Drug and disease free is a self-identifying adjective used to show someone is sexually active but does not have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or involvement with drugs. People who are drug and disease free cannot be receiving current treatment for an STI, even if the infection is in remission or asymptomatic. While drug and disease free suggests someone is free of all drugs and diseases, it usually refers to being free of HIV and AIDS and the intravenous drugs that can be a risk factor for contracting the virus.

The term drug and disease free is typically used in online dating situations. It is especially popular on websites and apps used for casual sexual encounters. It is also used in the sex industry to identify sex workers who are free of transmittable STIs. It is often shortened to various acronyms and abbreviations, including DDF, DD, D/D, D/D free, and D&D free.

The acronym DDF rose to prominence during the 1990s, when the internet was in its infancy. Its use has endured over the years as online dating gained more attention and acceptance. Today, it remains one of the most common acronyms used on dating sites.

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When someone states they are DDF, they are usually seeking a sexual partner who is also DDF. This is the opposite of someone who is looking for party and play, or PNP, who would prefer a sexual partner they can have sex with under the influence of drugs.

Despite its prevalence, people have criticized the term DDF because it is not sex-positive. It can stigmatize people who have STIs as unsafe sexual partners, even though this isn't necessarily the case. In some cases, people with STIs are safer sexual partners because they are conscious of their condition and diligent about minimizing the risk to their partners.

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More About Drug and Disease Free (DDF)

Many people prefer sleeping with partners who are drug and disease-free because they assume that lowers their risk of contracting STIs. However, there are some key problems with this assumption. When people state they are DDF, they give no context for their claims. Without context, there is a chance their statement is not an accurate representation of their status. For example, it is unclear which STIs they were screened for. Many STI screenings are not comprehensive, so there is a chance that someone claiming to be DDF has an infection they are unaware of.

As DDF is most commonly used to show someone does not have HIV or AIDS, there is also the potential for misunderstanding what someone means by the term. Someone may assume a hook-up that states they are DDF is free from all STIs, when they really mean they are free from HIV and AIDS. Someone could potentially put themselves at risk because they mistakenly believe they are hooking up with a person who is free from all diseases.

When people state they are DDF on their profiles, they also don’t provide any information about when their last STI screening occurred. Many people state DDF when creating their profiles and never update them. An STI test is only accurate, assuming the person hasn't had any sexual partners since taking it, which may not be the case.

There is also the chance that someone is lying about being DDF on their profile. Adding DDF can make someone more desirable to people looking for disease and drug free hookups. Knowing this, someone may claim to be DDF to increase their chances of finding a connection.

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Relying on the information someone else provides online or in person puts your sexual health in their hands. This is a risky practice, especially when you don’t know someone very well. Understanding this risk, rather than simply accepting the information you read online, can help you make the best decisions for your own sexual health. Using condoms for sex is the best way to reduce your risk of contracting an STI. You could also ask a partner for proof of their last sexual health screening before hooking up with them. Taking time to speak to someone at length before sex can help you assess whether they may have drugs in their system.

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