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Frequently Asked Questions - Health

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Questions about health and well-being while sex working

Don’t panic! Accidents happen, so try not to blame each other. If a condom breaks or slips off during a service:

  • stop the service
  • try to remain calm
  • look for the condom (is it still on the client’s penis, or has it disappeared inside you?)
  • follow the advice below depending on the service
  • seek PEP services if there is a risk for HIV transmission (more information on PEP can be found here)
  • go for an STI check after seven days, or earlier if symptoms develop.

A woman having vaginal sex should:

  • urinate to clear your urethra
  • remove excess semen by squatting down and squeezing with your vaginal muscles
  • wash the outside of your genitals by splashing them with water
  • not douche or wash inside your vagina because this can push any sperm and bacteria into the cervix, which is more likely to result in a pregnancy or STI. Douching also alters the useful bacteria that protects your vagina from infection
  • get emergency contraception—such as the morning after pill—if no other contraception is being used. Emergency contraception is available at the chemist, or contact your sexual health clinic or doctor.

A person receiving anal sex should:

  • sit on the toilet and bear down to remove as much semen as possible
  • not douche because this can create tears in the anus and increase the likelihood of STI infection including HIV.

A person giving anal sex should:

  • wash the genital area thoroughly, particularly under the foreskin
  • urinate.

A person giving oral sex should:

  • spit out any semen quickly, or swallow it immediately—do not let it stay in your mouth
  • rinse and spit using water
  • not brush or floss the teeth for at least one hour after the service.

A man receiving oral sex should:

  • urinate immediately and wash the penis thoroughly, particularly under the foreskin.

You can find your nearest sexual health clinic on the NSW Health website or by phoning the Sexual Health Infoline on free call: 1800 451 624.

Sexual health clinics provide free testing and treatment for STIs. No Medicare card or other ID is required.

Some sexual health clinics in Sydney have language clinics in Chinese, Thai, Korean and Vietnamese. We have more information about these services on our multicultural pages.

No. Even though a dick may look normal, the client could still have HIV, hepatitis B, syphilis, chlamydia or gonorrhoea because these infections are carried in semen (cum) and pre-cum. Genital herpes, warts and syphilis can also be transmitted by skin-to-skin contact—from his dick to your lips, mouth or throat.

SWOP recommends you ALWAYS use condoms for oral sex as well as for vaginal and anal sex.

Remember: providing unprotected oral sex to sexual partners greatly increases your risks of contracting one of several infections in the throat—and passing them on to others. If you’re providing unprotected oral services make sure you have regular STI screens and always ask for a throat swab.

Here are a few tips for how to look after condoms and your health:

  • Store condoms in a dry, cool place—away from direct sunlight, fluorescent light, heat or moisture.
  • Always check the use-by date.
  • Take care when opening the packed—you might tear or damage the condom, especially if you have long fingernails or are wearing jewellery.
  • Do not use your teeth to open the packet.
  • Practise opening packs and getting the condom the right side up before you are on the job.
  • Try not to use clients’ condoms—they might be old or damaged.
  • Condoms come in different shapes and sizes. So do clients, so make sure you have a range of condoms with you.

For more condom information and tips, click here.