It feels great to fall in love with someone, but before you get to that point in your relationship, you have to get to know each other emotionally and physically, which raises the awkward dilemma of asking some very relevant health and sex questions.
She may well turn out to be the woman of your dreams, but your date might also turn out to have something that you don’t want, causing you look for nearby centers in order to get an opinion on your suspected STD.Better to ask than to assume when you are talking about sexual health, so here are some of the questions you might want to be asking her before you become lovers, as it is better to be safe than sorry.
Honesty is the best policy
It is obvious why you might not want to start asking questions about your date’s previous sexual history or whether they might have an STD as far as they know, as this line of questioning can definitely be a bit of a passion-killing moment.
However, when you think of the potential consequences if there is an issues that you should definitely know about, it is better to be safe than sorry and therefore you should bite the bullet and try to have an open and honest conversation about both of your sexual histories.It might even surprise you, if you find that she has a greater level of respect for you because you were prepared to ask some searching questions that are not just for your benefit, but hers too.
Before you get down to it
One of the key things you want to know from your potential sexual partner, is the last time they were tested for HIV and whether they have had a sexually transmitted disease at some point or being tested for an STD in recent times. Granted, this is not an easy series of questions to introduce casually into the conversation, and certainly not within a few minutes of making that all-important first connection and deciding if you want to pursue the relationship, and of course, have sex, when that offer is on the table.
If you attempt an interrogation style series of questions, good luck on getting much further than a few lines in on your list. A subtle and more collaborative approach is going to be needed if you are going to exchange information and views on the subject of sexual history and STDs. The best way to start is almost certainly to start by sharing your history, which will demonstrate your willingness for openness in the relationship, and should make her more receptive to talking to you and hopefully giving you the answers you want to hear.
If you have reached the point in your budding romance where you have both decided that you would like to sleep together, there are a few practicalities to get out of the way to start the conversation about sex and sexual health. It is prudent to ask if your partner is using any form of birth control at the moment. As it is always advisable to wear a condom, even if she is taking the birth control pill for example, it makes perfect sense to ask if she has any object to you wearing a condom and if she might be allergic to latex.
Asking whether your intended partner has ever tested positive for an STD is a trickier question, but one that needs to be asked, and is further justification for the condom approach, almost regardless of the answer you get back. If she tells you that she has tested positive for an STD, you will obviously want to know when this was and what it was they had. Herpes and genital warts require a period of ongoing treatment, so you will definitely want to know where things stand on that score.
Communication is the key
Everyone is hoping for great sex with their partner, the common goal amongst most of us is also surely to ensure that not only is it great, but it’s as safe as it can be for both of you. Safer sex is only achieved through the art of communication, which means talking to your partner about their past activities, what their sexual preferences are what they are comfortable with and where they draw the line in terms of risk.
When you first meet someone and the conversation turns to the subject of sex, remember your health and ask those important questions.
Thomas Palmer is a contraceptive and sexual health nurse who works primarily with male teens and young adults. He is also extending his knowledge to an online audience through his informative and thought provoking articles.