What Else Are We Sharing Besides a Good Time?
You may know the feeling. You’re out with friends, have a connection with someone or maybe you’re just starting to date again after a breakup. No matter what, you might be thinking about taking the relationship to the next level.
The problem is, you’re not sure how to bring up the idea of having satisfying, consensual sex while protecting yourself from STI’s.
#1 You’re not alone
This is hard (pun intended!) It’s so much harder to talk about sex than to have sex. Don’t layer shame on yourself, just know that these conversations are actually really rare among couples. So don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t asked in the past.
#2 Now you know!
Have the conversation away from the bedroom. Lunchtime and daylight are the best times. You might even have the conversation over the phone. I wouldn’t advise texting, you need to see your partner’s reactions because you’ll learn a lot about them from how they respond.
#3 Access is limited
You are worthy of a good partner, one who cares about you and is as concerned about you as they are with themselves.
Think of your body in the same way, almost as being a very special club, where access is by invitation only. Not everyone has access, which is just how it is. You have a right to ask anyone who wants to be with you to be tested before you share your body and your time with them.
#4 No judgment
Asking someone to be tested does NOT imply that you think they have something contagious, it’s just being responsible. Oh, and by the way, you’re going to be tested too.
Here’s a sample script:
“ I think you are….. amazing, hot, sexy (fill in the blank here). I really enjoy being with you and keep thinking about the 2 of us together…… (fill in the blank here too). Before we do though, I’d like to find out what else we might be sharing besides a good time. So I’d like for both of us to be tested for STI’s.”
#5 Raise the Bar
This typically works. As Matthew Hussey, of How to Get the Guy says when we raise the bar and have standards for what we want in a relationship, the other person will usually rise to the occasion.
#6 What if They Say No
Sometimes a person will say, “no” and other times, they’ll promise to “do it later,” after you’re intimate. Ask yourself if this person is unwilling to be tested prior to having sex, is this really someone you want to be with?
People who refuse to be tested first are giving you a gift. They’re showing you what they’re willing and not willing to do for you and how much respect they have for themselves and for you. They’ve just revealed their character.
#7 Taking the High Road
So there you are with a potential partner who you’re very attracted to. Should you or shouldn’t you let them off the hook. What do you do if they won’t get tested or say that they’ll just use a condom? Remember you have a right to protect yourself and should not feel pressured to have sex unless you’re 100% comfortable.
Here are some words you might use to diffuse the situation and maintain your boundaries.
A. Ok, well that’s your choice. I wish I could sleep with you, but it’s just one of my rules. I don’t sleep with just anyone. We’ll just dial this relationship back. (Said with a smile.)
B. I’m disappointed. Gosh, I was having so many fantasies, but I guess you’ll have to stay in the friend zone. (Said with a smile)
C. Oh, I know, no one likes needles, not even big strong guys/girls/people like you. Condoms? For sure, but it sounds like we want different things from a relationship. It’s too bad, but we’re not going to be hitting the sheets anytime soon. (Said with a smile)
I’d love to hear from you about what has worked and how your partners responded.