6 Unexpected Ways You Could Get An STI Without Sex

Most of us are aware you could contract a sexually transmitted infection from unprotected sex. But there are a few cases when sometimes the culprit is a completely unexpected source – like a routine bikini wax or maybe just growing a beard.

Unusual Ways A Sexually Transmitted Infection Can Spread

1. Waxing

Waxing salons can transfer STIs if safe methods are not practiced


Sometimes, waxing can also spread STIs. Bikini waxing forms a regular beauty regime for many women. If the waxers do to practice safe and hygienic methods while waxing, you could catch an infection. For instance, when waxers double-dip the stick or spatula into wax, it may contaminate the wax and spread an STI.

Body hair exists for a good reason. It acts as a barrier and prevents bacteria from infecting the body. Removing pubic hair can reduce the effectiveness of the mucocutaneous barrier allowing viruses or bacteria to penetrate the body. This risk is further compounded when women opt for Brazilian waxes. The complete removal of hair can make them more susceptible to small cuts and tears on the skin, which increases the chances of catching an infection.


2. Tanning Beds

Tanning beds are capable of passing STIs from one person to another

Artificial tanning in the solarium has become a popular practice. Tanning beds can be hotbeds for bacteria and deadly virus. It has been observed that ultraviolet light does not destroy bacteria. On the contrary, overexposure causes the virus to become more resistant. Many types of bacteria and virus such as the herpes virus, fecal bacteria, human papillomavirus (HPV), and staphylococcus bacteria can tolerate the heat of a sunbed. When people use the sunbeds, infections can be easily passed on from one user to another through small cuts or wounds in the skin.


3. Lip Balm

STIs like herpes can spread when sharing lip balms

One of the things that you must never share is the lip balm. Using a lip balm that is already used by someone else can cause herpes. Herpes is an infection caused by herpes simplex virus, which affects the external genitalia, anal region, mucosal surfaces, and skin in other parts of the body. Both types of herpes – simplex type 1 (oral) and simplex type 2 (genital) – can spread through direct contact.


If a person who has oral herpes applies the lip balm on or around an infected area, or applies the balm right after performing oral sex, the virus is transferred to the lip balm. When another person uses the same lip balm, the virus is passed on to them. Although viruses that cause STIs can’t survive for long on lifeless objects, one must never share a lip balm.

4. Tattoos And Piercings

STIs can spread while getting tattoos and piercings


Infectious diseases can spread even when you get a tattoo or piercing. Tattoo needles and piercing instruments must be sterilized after each use to eliminate any bacteria or virus that can carry deadly diseases like HIV or Hepatitis B or C. Though the people providing these services practice cleanliness, persons getting them done must be aware of such risks and ensure that the equipment is hygienic.

5. Dry Humping

Dry humping can also spread STIs


While unprotected sex is a sure shot way to catch infections, even dry humping can make it possible to contract the herpes virus. Although no penetration or bodily fluids are involved, virus or bacteria from warts can pass on. Cuts and open wounds increase the chances of infections. Dry humping even with the clothes on can cause the spread of infections while kissing.

6. Beards

Unkempt beards may harbor bacteria and spread STIs


Sporting beards is a fashion statement for some. Unkempt bushy beards are the perfect breeding ground for various germs that cause fungal infections including herpes. Some people’s beards may even carry pubic lice, which are tiny insects that infect the pubic hair area and lay eggs there. These lice can also be found in armpit hair and eyebrows. Thick beards can also often conceal symptoms of skin diseases, which can be easily passed on when they come in contact with others. Bearded men must ensure that their beards are well groomed and maintained in a hygienic condition.