Trade Sexual Health

Free, confidential health advice, information,
services & support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual
and trans communities of Leicester,
Leicestershire & Rutland

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Woman to Woman Sex

Current research shows that sex between women carries a very low risk of HIV transmission. However, there is the possibility that other STIs and sexual parasites may be passed on.

There is more information about specific STIs and HIV in our Sexual Health section of the website. The 'Calling all Divas' booklet, which contains a variety of information about health issues that may affect women, can be download the here. You can also request a copy from the Trade office or pick one up from the postcard racks in some of Leicester’s gay venues.

If you want to use an oral barrier to protect you and your partner, particularly if you or she gets cold sores and could transmit herpes; use a dental dam.

Sharing sex toys can be risky. Do make sure that you use them with condoms or wash them thoroughly between partners.

Different forms of sex and risks

Touching and kissing

Touching and kissing are just what they say they are; responding to each other and exploring each other's bodies.


  • Touching and kissing are safe, although there is a possibility of transmission of STIs and HIV if you have open sores and cuts.

Mutual Masturbation

Mutual masturbation is masturbating your partner and having your partner masturbate you; this can be part of foreplay or you can continue to orgasm.


  • Mutual masturbation is safe as long as no vaginal fluid gets into any cuts or sores.

Oral sex

Oral sex is using your tongue and mouth to stimulate your partner's clitoris and vulva. The full name for this is cunnilingus.


  • There is a risk of HIV transmission, particularly if you have cuts or ulcers in your mouth.
  • Brushing your teeth can easily give you small cuts around your gums. If you may have oral sex, chew gum or use mouthwash instead.
  • The herpes virus can cause cold sores and genital herpes - so if you have a cold sore around your mouth your partner can catch genital herpes. For more info on herpes click here.
  • Some women choose to use an oral barrier such as a dental dam; this is a small square of latex, which forms a physical barrier and so stops transmission of STIs.
  • It is also possible to use a cut up condom, although this is fiddly. Other barriers such as Clingfilm have not been designed to stop the transmission of STIs, and so they should not be used in place of an oral barrier.


Fingering is using your fingers to stimulate the clitoris and labia (the lips of the vagina) and also using fingers to penetrate the vagina and anus.


  • There is a low risk of STIs being transmitted during fingering, especially if body fluids or faeces are passed between partners.
  • If it's forceful or your nails are sharp you could tear the skin inside or outside of the vagina or anus, increasing the risk of STIs being transmitted.
  • If you prefer, use a latex glove, going slowly using lube.


Rimming is the same idea as oral sex, but instead of stimulating the clitoris and labia, you stimulate the anus with your tongue.


  • Rimming carries a risk of infection though it is unlikely that HIV will be transmitted, it is best to use an oral barrier, such as a dental dam.

Sex toys

Sex toys come in many shapes and sizes, with batteries so they vibrate (vibrators) or without batteries (dildos/beads/butt plugs/etc.). The accessories and ranges are too vast to list.


  • When swapping between partners either use a fresh condom onto the toy or wash it in hot soapy water to avoid the mixing of bodily fluids.

Tribadism (Tribbing)

This is the stimulation of your partner’s genitals through rubbing on any part of your body or your genitals, and vice versa. This is often a more intimate sexual act which can be done in a range of sexual positions.


  • There is a low risk of STIs being transmitted during tribbing, however as there is no barrier that can effectively prevent transmission, the best way to protect yourself is through regular sexual health checks and a good self-awareness of any changes that occur to you genitals.


Fisting is the same as fingering the vagina or anus, except inserting more fingers, the rest of your hand, and perhaps a small section of the arm.


  • Fisting has a low risk of transmitting STIs, however as it’s so invasive, it's more likely that you will damage the lining of the vagina or anus, which may increase the chances of STIs being transmitted.
  • Wear a latex glove if wanted, and use lots of water-based lubricant, going slowly and carefully. Fisting requires a great deal of gentleness, care and patience.

Whether you have any of these types of sex, or you can think of 1001 other ways, it's important to remember that it's your body: be free to do whatever makes you and your partner happy, whilst at the same time remembering that you can always say "No".

You can order free Diva packs from Trade here. If you would like latex gloves, dental dams or other types of condoms, then please contact the Trade office.

Sexual health