Don’t Be Afraid To Ask About STDs Before Hooking Up
So you’ve met this great guy on Tinder, went out for a couple of dates and you’re ready for the next step – SEX. Except that there is no guarantee he’s “safe” to sleep with, considering that you met him via a dating app and all. Sure, casual sex is fun but not till the extent of getting an STI. The question is first, how do you ask your Tinder date if he’s been tested for any sexually transmitted diseases?
Although it’s going to be an awkward topic (especially since you’re still getting to know the guy) this question has to be asked. You have the right to know because your sexual health is your responsibility and the only thing that’s going to be awkward is finding weeks later that your fling gave you more than just butterflies. No thanks.
If you’re sexually active, it’s essential for you to get real and find out if your potential sex partner is as responsible as you are. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people get tested at least once a year for STis and if you have multiple partners, every three to six months. This will help detect if you’re diagnosed with Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and even HIV.
What is STI?
So, STD stands for Sexually Transmitted Disease, which is a term that’s commonly used when it comes to medical infections transmitted through sexual contact. However, these symptoms or infections that’s infected by people, don’t always develop into a disease. Hence the modern term – STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections). This is because some STIs can be cured but there other STIs and blood-borne viruses, such as herpes and HIV, which can’t be cured. However, they can be treated.
Pick a time and place
Word of advice, as being sexually aroused can cloud your judgement, you want to have this conversation with an absolute clear state of mind. Avoid having this serious convo when you’re already doing sexy stuff like when you’re on couch, unbuttoning each other clothes. While some also resort to talk about this topic over the phone or via text, because it’s more comfortable, it’s best to talk it out face to face. That way, you’ll get to read his facial expression and body language or you might not be able to tell if they’re being dishonest about it.
Putting it out there
There really isn’t any gentle way to say it, so you’re going to have to be bold and just do it. ASK THEM. You have absolutely nothing to lose. Bring the topic up by saying how regularly you’ve been getting yourself tested and how you would like to know if they’ve gotten tested too. Better be bold than sorry.
Setting the boundaries
Now that you know whether your date has gotten tested, it’s time you set the boundaries. For example, always using a condom every time you have sex. Which is great! But condoms don’t really protect against all STIs. HPV for an instance, is spread through skin to skin contact, therefore it may affect areas that are not covered by condoms or dental dams.
Know the risks
If you’re someone who don’t really indulge in the hook up culture, do your research on the risks you’re taking. Should you choose to not practice safe sex like dental damns or condoms, at least you’ll be able to make an informed decision on the possible risk you might contract.
This includes oral sex, which might expose you to the risk of getting herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis or HPV. Our advice, choose to be safe by using a condom, an oral dam and avoid oral sex when either you have herpes or a cold sore outbreak.
Disclose your own experience — if you have any
Opening up about such taboo topics would be less intimidating if you’re sharing your personal experiences. At least they’ll know they’re not on their own. Don’t be defensive, aggressive, marginalizing or too judge-y, because STIs are pretty common, especially if you’re sexually active. Just know that it can be treated.
Having said that, untreated STIs can pose some major health issues which includes HIV. Remember, your sexual activities are your own responsibility, so please get tested and treated if needed. Most importantly, play safe.