3 Questions You Need to Ask Your Sexual Partner
Safe sex might not be as safe as people think it is these days since there are so many variables in between. Some might even be unsure of what safe sex entails. Is it keeping the condom on all the way? Does it require testing before any kind of sexual activity with a new partner? Whatever the circumstance may be, it’s always best to have an honest conversation with your partner about your sexual history and the last time you tested.
Before things get hot and heavy, take a breather and talk about sex as openly as you can with these essential questions. It might be an uncomfortable conversation for some, but it is necessary for your assurance that you have a healthy vagina or penis before engaging in physical contact.
Question 1: Have You Gotten Yourself Tested for STDs?
Be prepared to receive a quick “yes” to this question, and be ready to probe deeper. Most people believe that annual general physical examinations suffice as a screening method for STDs, which is not the case. Patients need to ask their physicians to conduct the tests since they cannot be assessed by visual and physical examination alone.
When getting yourself tested, ask your doctor for two tests, which are counted as the bare minimum for STD testing: chlamydia and gonorrhoea. If you can go ahead and get tested for other common STDs such as syphilis or trichomoniasis, then do so to ensure peace of mind and clean genitals.
When faced with an uncertain “yes” from your partner, probe further by asking them what they have been tested for. Most who are being dishonest about their testing history will not tell you with confidence which STDs they have been tested for, and they may have mistaken their physical examination for testing. You can also probe further by asking your partner to provide their test results, but ensure that you approach this carefully with a trusting and caring partner.
Question 2: When Was the Last Time You Tested for HIV?
Most people might not know that HIV is a sexually transmitted disease and can be detected along with the standard STD screening procedures. Unfortunately, there is a stigma associated with having HIV. For women who have tested positive in the past, partners are quick to step back and ask if they have a clean vagina. The same goes for men and their genitals.
HIV testing is very important and remains a part of primary care. It is recommended for anybody who has had any possible form of exposure, whether it’s bodily fluids, unprotected sex, or sharing needles. A general rule of thumb to follow is to get tested if you aren’t sure of your status. Most states will test you anonymously, and many providers offer the testing procedure for free.
As much as you want to be trusting, it’s safer to be doubtful of someone who claims they’ve never been tested. People who are dating and engaging in physical contact have no way to be sure unless they are tested, so it’s better to make sure your partner has gotten tested before committing to any physical intimacy with them.
Question 3: Are You Seeing or Sleeping With Anybody Else?
Knowing who your partner has or is still sleeping with is important in determining your risk for exposure. Getting tested means very little if they continue to have sex with other people because this increases their chances of contracting STDs.
One of the best ways to avoid this is to remain in a monogamous relationship>. However, if you are in a polyamorous setup, then you must discuss safe sex with multiple partners. Your partner should not only be practising safe sex with you, but they should also be engaging in safe sex with their other partners. While responsible non-monogamy is no less safe than serial monogamy, it’s the latter that poses the lowest risks to your sexual health.
Sex education does not stop when you’ve left school. It continues throughout your life for as long as you are sexually active. Taking responsibility means asking your partner the uncomfortable questions before things get caught in the heat of the moment. By knowing which questions to ask, you’ll be able to protect your health, peace of mind, and sexual experience.
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