TrichomoniasisThis article is part of an ongoing series about STI's as they relate to swinging. You can read related articles at

Trichomoniasis is a very common STD that affects the genital tracts of men and women. It is caused by a single cell parasite. Many people, especially men have no symptoms, but can still pass the parasite to their partners. If there are symptoms they include pain or burning with urination, pain during sex, discharge from the penis or vagina or itching. This is one STD that does smell bad!

Trichomoniasis is spread through vaginal sex, sharing sex toys or women rubbing genitals.

An estimated 3.7 million people in the US have the infection, but only about 30% develop any symptoms.

A sample of fluid from the penis or cervix is examined under the microscope.

If you have symptoms or have had sex with someone diagnosed with trichomoniasis you should be tested.

Trichomoniasis is easily treated with antibiotics. Partners must be tested and treated or it will recur.

Condoms used during vaginal sex are effective in preventing the spread of trichomoniasis.

When sharing sex toys cover them with a condom and change it between people. Or clean the toys between use. Jelly type toys are porous and can not be cleaned. They should not be shared (as an aside, the jelly material contains phthalates which are toxic and actually illegal in Europe). Silicone, hard plastic, stainless steel and glass toys can be cleaned.

Use gloves and change them or wash your hands well after fingering someone, before touching yourself or someone else.

If you encounter someone who's coochie smells bad, don't play with them. Do not make fun of them. Do suggest they see their doctor.

If you are diagnosed with Trichomoniasis tell your partners so they can be tested and treated. This will help prevent you from being infected again and their other partners from becoming infected.


Lisa and her husband have been married for 16 years and non-monogamous for 4. They live in a swing state and are active in their local community organizing events. Lisa's passions include reading, writing, crochet, aquariums and building an amazing local and online swing community.

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