These are just suggestions…outcome is not guaranteed.
STI Testing can be done at any clinic or doctor’s office. Herpes is not normally tested for unless you have been raped. You have to specifically request a Herpes test – some people do not exhibit symptoms and never know that they have it.
Routinely get tested individually or as a couple every 3-6 months.
Women should not douche after intercourse. It does not protect against STI. And, it could spread an infection farther into the reproductive tract, and may wash away spermicidal protection. (Stanford Health.)
Some good questions to ask someone before having sex with them include:
- Do you know if you have any STDs?
- When was the last time you were tested for STDs?
- Do you usually use condoms and/or dental dams?
- Have you ever shared needles with someone for tattoos, piercings, or shooting drugs? (You can get some STDs like HIV this way, and then they can be passed to partners during sex.)
- Have you had any STDs before? Which ones? Did you get them treated?
- Do you use any medications that prevent the spread of HIV such as PrEP and PEP?AHF Specialists recommend PrEP should be accompanied with the use of a condom in order to reduce the risk of transmitting STDs while having sex.
The information in this section came from Planned Parenthood.
Helpful talking points:
- Consent is a process between two people
- Consent is specific to each activity
- Consent can be given or retracted at any time
- Consent can only be given in a clear mindset
- Consent is ongoing
- Both partners need to feel safe and comfortable
- Consent does not exist if pressure or coercion are used to gain it (PsyCom)
You do not have consent from another person if:
- they’re sleeping or unconscious
- you use threats or intimidation to coerce someone into something
- they’re incapacitated by drugs or alcohol
- you use a position of authority or trust, such as a teacher or employer
- they change their mind — earlier consent doesn’t count as consent later
- you ignore their wishes or nonverbal cues to stop, like pushing away
- you have consent for one sexual act, but not another sexual act
- you pressure them to say yes
WAYS TO TALK ABOUT CONSENT:
You could get right to the point and ask:
- Can I kiss you?
- Can I take this off? What about these?
- Do you want to have sex, or would you like to wait?
- Can I [fill in the blank]?
You can also take the opportunity to use open communication about sex and boundaries as foreplay. Here are some ideas:
- I think it’s hot when we [fill in the blank], do you want to do this?
- It feels so good when you [fill in the blank], do you want to do this?
- Can I take your clothes off?
- Can I kiss you here?
If you’re already in the heat of the moment, you could say:
- Are you comfortable with me doing this?
- Do you want me to stop?
- How far are you comfortable going tonight?
To find out more information about consent, check out Healthline.
Remember condoms go on dildos too!