Whether you’re playing around, dating or married, it’s vital that you talk about safe sex with your partner. And our guide also deals with another potentially awkward discussion: what to do if you have, or get, an STD.
Talk to your partner about safe sex before you have sex! If you are virgin, it’s not very likely that you can infect your partner. However, your partner may have had sex before. And even if they’ve only had sex once without a condom, there’s still a chance they have an STD.
How to start talking about safe sex with your partner
Don’t assume a guy always has a condom in his pocket. Ask. Once you feel comfortable with the person and have started talking about making love, you can say something like:
‘I’m glad we’re talking about sex as I was wondering condoms and contraception.’
Then you can see their response and talk the different options for contraception. Read more here about all the different birth control methods.
It can be hard to find the moment for this conversation. Perhaps you can broach the subject in a light-hearted way if you’re watching a film with a romantic scene.
‘I wonder if they’re going to use a condom?’
Wait for your partner’s response. If they say that they don’t know or don’t think so, then show you know the risks carried with not using a condom or other birth control.
‘Well, I hope they don’t get pregnant or catch an STD!’
How to tell your partner if you have an STD
It’s vitally important that you tell your partner if you have an STD. And if you pick a good moment and tell them in the right way, there’s a good chance everything will work out.
- Pick your time: Timing is key. Don’t tell your partner during foreplay or sex. It’s a conversation for when nothing is unbuttoned. Bring it up in general conversation just like any other development in your relationship.
When it’s just the two of you and you are in position to see your partner’s reaction, ask if they’ve ever had an STD or know what they are. They may have even had the same STD before. Be open – it lets your partner know that they can be honest with you too.
- Language: Tell your partner you have an STD in a way that makes the problem sound even worse than it is. DON’T start the conversation like this:
‘I have TERRIBLE news!’
‘I have something awful to tell you.’
Your partner will panic before you have even told them what’s the matter. Instead introduce it gently and say, ‘There’s something really important I need to tell you. I found out, I have an STD [and tell them the name of the STD].’
If you’re already getting treatment, let them know and explain if they need to get the same treatment and how.