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The start of a new sexual relationship is a good time to talk about safer sex. Whether you are dating, hooking up or beginning a new relationship, you can plan for safer sex.
Talk about safer sex
Talking about safer sex beforehand can make it easier to use protection in the heat of the moment. Starting the conversation may be awkward, but it's worth it. Bringing up safer sex can open up other conversations, such as what you like sexually and what kinds of protection you prefer to use.
If you are not used to talking about sex, it can help to think about what you want to say before you have sex. Learn some tips on how you can talk with partners about safer sex.
Get tested when you start dating
STI testing may not be the sexiest topic, but talking about it can show that you care about keeping each other healthy.
Some partners choose to get tested together. Other people prefer to do it on their own. Ideally, you and your partners would get tested and wait for the results before you have sex. If you are having sex before you have been tested, use condoms until you get your test results. If you have already started to have sex, it's still a good idea to get tested.
Some people assume that they do not need to get tested because the person ‘looked okay’. But you can’t tell if a person has an STI just by how they look or act. Many times, STI symptoms go unnoticed and often there are no symptoms. It is possible to pass on an STI without meaning to. The only way to know for sure is for you and your partners to get tested.
When do you tell your partner you have an STI?
If you are living with an STI, such as HIV, genital warts or herpes simplex, you may be wondering if, when, or how, you should tell your partners. There are a few things you may want to think about:
- Do you have a plan for how to tell someone you have an STI?
- How will you talk about using protection?
- When is the best time to talk about this?
- What will your partner(s) need to know about the STI so that they can think about what kind of protection works for them?
- Will it turn into a dating or long-term relationship?
If you still have some questions or need more information, ask us and we can help you figure out what is best for you.