Many healthcare professionals talk a lot about “safe sex,” but the truth is that many people don’t understand this concept. In broad terms, sexual contact, which doesn’t include the exchange of semen, saliva, or vaginal fluid, is considered “safe.” However, you can still get certain STDs –– like herpes –– through skin-to-skin contact. On the other hand, the risks of having unsafe sex include chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV or hepatitis B, mycoplasma genitalium, or unplanned pregnancy.
Responsible adults should discuss their sexual history when they begin a physical relationship. That includes disclosing STDs. Unfortunately, there are many reasons the partners do not disclose their STIs.
Although it is wrong on their part, the truth is that sharing your STD issue with someone, even if it’s your beloved one, is difficult. Here we’ll explain how partners can discuss this issue and avoid some common pitfalls:
Don’t Make Assumptions
You can’t tell if someone has an STD or not just by looking at them. As such, people in new relationships must take the time to get to know each other appropriately. Merely assuming that someone does or doesn’t have an STD based on their age, race, gender, or social status isn’t just wrong –– it can be dangerous as well. That’s why new couples must visit Same Day Std Testing centers to ensure their well-being at the outset of the physical relationship.
Pick the Right Time
When exactly is the right time to discuss STDs? Admittedly, it isn’t easy to find the right time and place to talk about this sensitive topic. However, you can’t afford to wait too long –– lest you put yourself or your partner in needless danger. Just make sure that you each have plenty of privacy and that you have enough time to discuss the matter. You should tell your partner that you are suffering from a sexually transmitted disease as soon as possible.
It is best to tell that to a current partner as soon as you find out so that you can take the necessary steps in time.
When it comes to a potential partner, you must tell him or her before having sex. However, this does not mean that you are obliged to speak about your intimacy as soon as you meet. It’s quite okay to wait a while until you get to know the person a little better and evaluate if you feel safe sharing something like that.
In both cases, it is entirely inappropriate to tell a person that you suffer from a sexually transmitted disease immediately before sexual intercourse (i.e., during foreplay). In such a situation, there would be an unpleasant surprise and confusion with your partner, and you would probably be unprepared and calm to state what you want.
Be Honest, but Firm
If STD testing is essential to you, then you need to make that fact known to your partner ASAP. Honesty is the best policy in this regard. Yet, sometimes you need to be more than honest. It would be best if you also stood by your convictions. Voice your concerns and make it a point to emphasize the seriousness of the situation to your partner. If they care about you, they’ll listen and respect your wishes.
For starters, you need to know for yourself what your options are and what your limitations are when you are sick from determining a sexually transmitted disease to understand how to proceed. You must gather information in trusted and legitimate places and from authorized experts.
Your partner will also want to be informed and safeguarding your health, so you must have ready answers to various questions that may arise and show that you have acted responsibly for your health as well as for your partner’s health. In addition to being essential for your health, your partner will appreciate this approach.
It has already been noted in the previous section that it would not be pleasant for you or your partner to inform him or her of your STD during foreplay. Generally speaking, it would be a good idea if it were not a passing and unexpected moment and that it did not take place in a place full of various distractions (noisy, many passers-by, etc.). It is useful to prepare the situation in some way but to keep the atmosphere as relaxed as possible. It can be, for example, during a walk, dinner, or a drink; in any case, it needs to be discussed in person so you can see your partner’s reactions and react the right way.
Let the conversation flow naturally. Follow your partner’s reactions – whether he wants to hear more from you or wants to ask a question, does he want you to clarify something, or might need a moment to settle the information. Also, don’t expect yourself to know that you answer every single question. It’s completely okay not to have all the answers, and you can try to find them together later. It is a good idea to give your partner space to think.
Sexually transmitted diseases are common, especially among sexually active teens and young adults. Talking openly about sexual health is an essential aspect of taking care of yourself because the stigma that accompanies sexually transmitted diseases and tabooing this topic increases the incidence of transmission of these diseases, causes people to avoid seeking treatment, and therefore harms health.
Talking about STDs is undoubtedly challenging, but it’s something that all sexually active adults should do from time to time. Thankfully, the more you discuss the matter, the easier it will be to find solutions that work best for you.