How to Talk to Your Partner about STDs

If you’re like most people, you believe that STDs could never happen to you. But the reality is that they may. There are thousands of new cases every year, and those people, like you, believed in not catching a STD. When you’re planning on having sex with someone, you should talk to him or her about STDs before you jump into bed. If you’re like most people, shy and not sure how to bring this subject up, here’s some help.

The first thing you want to do is get familiar with STDs, or in the case that you yourself are infected already, come to terms with your disease. Research the symptoms, treatments and causes of the STDs. You’ll feel more comfortable knowing that you can have a conversation on a topic you’re at ease with.

Secondly, you need to figure out what you expect to get out of this dialog with your partner. You can’t tell if someone has or has had a STD just by looking at them or by learning their sexual history. You probably want for both of you to agree on using condoms or other forms of protection and get tested. If, by chance, your partner leaves you just because you dared to open this conversation, then clearly you’re better off, and your partner isn’t someone that you should be with anyway.

Thirdly, you want to plan your conversation. Do a few run-throughs on how you’ll bring it up. Practice what you’ll say either with a trustworthy friend or in the mirror. Remember to stay calm and maintain a composed tone; you’re trying to have an exchange of information not to accuse anyone. Keep in mind that this should be a personal, private moment, where you two would be sharing things about each other, in the aim of bringing you closer together.

Once you’re ready, pick a time to have this discussion. You should choose the moment well before you have sex and definitely not in the heat of the moment. Choosing the wrong time, for example when you’re already in bed, may have negative repercussions. You need to have a clear mind, and not end up saying things that you would both regret later.

Next you want to actually start the conversation, as a matter of fact and very calmly. You should wait tolerantly and see how your partner responds. The aim of the dialog should be to both agree on the usage of condoms and getting yourselves tested.

It’s normal to feel anxious about having this talk. To make yourself feel better you could discuss STDs with your doctor. This way you’d get a better understanding of the diseases, their spread, symptoms and treatments. You could also consider this your rehearsal talk.

Having the STD chat can be uncomfortable at first, but it’s less painful than realizing you have a STD after you have had sex, or discovering that you gave one to your partner. It’s also a fantastic way to acquire more information about your partner and test your relationship.