Safer Sex

 Before Intimacy,
How To Discuss Everything

 

Some steps towards safer sex happen well before you get intimate. Once both you and your partner feel you’re ready to be intimate, do all you can to be sure you’re STD-free or take measures to prevent transmission. These ideas can help:

  • Be open. Discuss your sexual histories.
  • Get screened. Before having sex with a new partner, each of you should get screened for STDs and share the test results with each other. If one or both of you have an STD, get treatment before having sex. For a curable infection, avoid sexual contact until your health professional determines that you’re no longer infectious.
  • If you have an incurable STD, like herpes, tell your sexual partner about it before you have sex and allow them to decide what to do without any pressure. If you both agree to have sexual contact, use latex or polyurethane condoms.
  • Stick with one partner. Don’t have sexual contact with anyone but your partner to avoid exposure to an STD that, in turn, you could spread between partners.
  • Be aware about drugs and alcohol. They may affect your ability to make good decisions and lead to sex that you might regret or were pressured into because you weren’t thinking properly. You might not choose your partner as carefully. You may also forget to use condoms or use them incorrectly.

Resources: The Naked Truth and Women’s Health