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Safer sex refers to any sexual activities that include precautions against the spread of STIs. This may include the use of condoms during anal or vaginal intercourse as well as during oral sex. The use of a dental dam during cunnilingus or analingus and the use of latex or nitrile gloves during manual stimulation can also protect against STIs. Safer sex may also refer to sexual practices that do not involve the exchange of bodily fluids such as mutual masturbation or frottage.
The term safer sex, along with the term "protected sex," has become preferred over the previously used "safe sex" because, even with protective measures, it is still possible to transmit STIs making no sex truly "safe."
It should be noted that some STIs can be transmitted during non-penetrative sexual acts even when a condom is in place due to the areas of skin that condoms leave exposed. These STIs include herpes and HPV.