How To Talk To A New Partner About Safe Sex

April 16, 2024

At the beginning of a new relationship, there is so much excitement!  You are getting to know someone new which is exciting and the late-night conversations are engaging and fun.  However, having a talk about safe sex or asking if your new partner has been tested for STIs isn’t always that much fun.  Yet, it is very necessary.  According to WHO, more than 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are acquired every day worldwide, the majority of which are asymptomatic.

The Importance Of Safe Sex

There is more than one reason why safe sex should be taken seriously.  If you are not planning on being pregnant anytime soon you should practice safe sex. Also, as we mentioned earlier more than 1 million STIs are acquired every day worldwide.  

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can lead to severe consequences that can last beyond the initial infection.  (Examples of these consequences are provided by WHO.)

  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like herpes, gonorrhea, and syphilis can increase the risk of acquiring the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
  • If a mother has an STI, it can be transmitted to the child during childbirth and lead to stillbirth, neonatal death, low birth weight, premature birth, sepsis, neonatal conjunctivitis, and congenital deformities. 
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection can cause cervical and other types of cancer. 
  • Hepatitis B resulted in an estimated 820,000 deaths in 2019, mostly from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Additionally, STIs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia are major causes of pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in women.

The safest form of sex is abstinence.  However, if you use a condom correctly and consistently it is the best way to protect yourself from STIs.  Although condoms are effective they do not offer protection from STIs that cause extra-genital ulcers – like syphilis or genital herpes. Genital herpes for instance is very contagious and even if there are no visible symptoms it can still be contracted.  That is why we recommend getting tested for STIs and asking your new partner to be tested as well.  

How To Talk To Your Partner About Safe Sex

Keep in mind this conversation doesn’t have to be a conversation you dread.  You can have fun with it.  Seriously, start by talking about your interests when it comes to sex.  Ask your new partner, “Does it take some time for you to get in the mood for sex or does it only take a certain look to get you in the mood?”  Also, if it takes you a romantic evening or something similar to get you in the mood for sex, tell your partner.  Talk about your likes and dislikes when it comes to sex.  

After you are done talking about that portion of sex, you might feel more comfortable talking about getting tested or asking them when was the last time they were tested.  Here we will share some more tips to help ease any stress or anxiety you feel about the conversation of safe sex.

Tips for Having a Productive Conversation:

1. Be Honest: Openly share your own experiences and concerns, and encourage your partner to do the same.

2. Stay Calm: Sensitive topics can evoke strong emotions, so try to remain calm and level-headed throughout the conversation.

3. Listen Actively: Pay attention to your partner’s thoughts and feelings, and validate their experiences without judgment.

4. Offer Support: Reassure your partner that you’re both in this together and committed to practicing safe sex for the benefit of both of you.

Having safe sex and protecting your sexual health is crucial to your overall well-being.  Be sure to get tested for STIs even if you are not showing any symptoms and always practice safe sex.  

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us here at GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch.  We care about your health.  Schedule your appointment today.