How to catch an STI (the complete guide)

If you really wanted to catch an STD, what would you do? Here’s our helpful guide on catching an STD.

Step number 1 – find someone with an STD to have sex with

But who, you ask?

Choose your STD type

It depends what STD you want to catch.

Herpes, for example, is with you for life, so finding someone who knows they have herpes shouldn’t be that hard to do (it’s pretty common), but finding someone with uncontrolled herpes or an outbreak of herpes might be harder (herpes is usually controlled with medication). Finding someone who has herpes who will have sex with you while they are infectious is another story. (Good luck.)

Something like chlamydia is easier to catch, sort of like catching a cold. This bug lives in your urethra, and a dose of antibiotics gets rid of it. It’s a good beginner STD, since it’s easily cured, and if caught early, not a big deal.

You can then decide if you like it, and would like to move on to a more permanent STD like HIV or herpes.

Choose the highest infection locations

You may want to choose your location by highest infection rates, to increase your chances.

Places with high STD infection rates include the southern states of the USA (where sex education is poor or nonexistent), Iceland, or Russia. The UK does alright too.

If you want HIV, your best bet is to head to Africa or South America.

You have the least chance of catching an STD in Europe, however, where sex education is excellent and safe sex is considered the norm.

Finding someone who hasn’t been checked

The thing is, most people won’t tell you if they have an STD because they don’t know they have an STD because they haven’t been checked. With this in mind, it makes it easier to find someone who may have an STD but isn’t aware of it.

This increases your chances of catching an STD.

Find someone who

  1. has unprotected sex with quite a few people, preferably both men and women;
  2. without a condom; and
  3. never gets STD checks.

To narrow it down, guys are usually far less likely to get STD checks than women, since women have to get a pap smear reasonably regularly, and STD checks are often done then.

This means having sex with a man is more likely to give you your STD.

Step number 2 – have sex!

Have penis-in-vagina sex where the guy ejaculates into your vagina (so no condoms). Let it swill around in there for a while.

If you want to really make sure it sticks, make sure you have bacterial vaginosis or another vaginal infection first, as these make it easier for you to catch an STD.

Step number 3 –  do it again

Have penis-in-vagina sex with them again, or maybe choose another suspect. You have to make sure you give yourself the best chance of catching an STD by having as much unprotected sex as you can with as many people as you can.

Etiquette while trying to catch an STD

Remember you can also be spreading STDs to other people during this time (in between when you have sex, and when you get tested, unless you get a test after every sexual encounter, which is usually too hard).

That means you should tell each person what you are doing before you do it, since it’s not fair if you pass it on to someone else. Nobody told you they were trying to catch an STI when they had unprotected sex with you, but that’s effectively what everyone who has unprotected sex without a condom could be trying to do.

This means if you are not trying to catch an STD, you should make sure the guy always wears a condom, or agree – out loud – to the risks by being tested before having unprotected sex.

Tips and tricks for catching an STD

  • If you want to get pregnant and get an STD at the same time, don’t use any other form of birth control and you are set!
  • Learn how to put on a condom for the times you want to just relax and enjoy the sex, or the person you are having sex with definitely does not want to catch any STDs you might have.
  • Don’t forget that HPV and BV are sexually transmitted, and still count as an STD.
  • Also don’t forget you can catch STDs without penetrative sex, because the bacteria live in the juices, by wiping the penis around your vulva.
  • You can also catch many STDs via oral sex, and the same STDs can be caught via anal sex as vaginal sex.

Jessica Lloyd - Vulvovaginal Specialist Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)