The current study was designed as part of the development of an intervention program implementing safer sex for adolescent females. This study explored the ways in which relationships with male partners were associated with safe or risky sexual practices among young women. The study sample included 17 unmarried women, aged 17 to 25 years, recruited from the obstetric & gynecologic clinic. Participation was voluntary and anonymous. We asked open-ended questions regarding participants' sexual protective strategies and relationships with their male partners. The interview lasted approximately 15 to 30 minutes, during which responses of participants were recorded verbatim. Procedures for the protection of human subjects were approved by the institutional review board at the College of Nursing Art and Science, Hyogo before data collection began. The results indicated that the majority of women reported using only condoms, and experienced anxiety regarding the 10% failure rate associated with condom use. Moreover, subjects reported that, regarding sex without condoms, they were more likely to interrupt intercourse in this situation rather than refuse to have sex. Concerning sexually transmitted disease protective strategies, participants also reported trying to refrain from having sex with people they did not know very well. Nearly all of the women rated themselves to be at no risk for STDs and mentioned that they knew their partner very well even though they had not discussed STDs with each other. Many expressed the belief that their partner was at no risk because he did not show symptoms of STDs. Furthermore, participants reported that sexual intercourse lead to knowing more about their partner and establishing a more intimate and closer relationship. In conclusion, some of the sexual protective strategies identified by study participants were less than effective and leave young women vulnerable to infection with STDs.