Two sex-related posts in a row? Have I gone mad? Probably. But I’m still gonna do it. Mwahaha.
Did you know, before I have sex with any new partner, I ask them if they’ve recently been tested? You probably didn’t know that, unless we’re friends or we’ve had sex, but yeah, it’s true!
I’ve actually been tested after every partner and before every new partner. Because my school provides free (!!) testing, it’s super easy for me to get discreet test results. My parents don’t see them, and they call me personally on my cell and don’t leave voicemails about my vagina being all nice ‘n healthy. If you have such services at your college or university, what are you waiting for? You get swabbed or pee in a cup or have an eensy bit of blood drawn and shebang – back to banging!
If you don’t have access to a uni health center, you can definitely check out Planned Parenthood. If you have health insurance, see what’s covered under your plan. There may also be a free clinic in your area that will test for free or cheap. There are dozens of ways and places to get tested, and it can all be done very privately.
Why am I such a stickler? I love all ’em reproductive organs all up in my body! I love my brain, too! But syphilis! Gonorrhea! Crabs! HPV! I don’t love those!
“But Sarah, it’s so awkward to be like, ‘Hey, I really want you in me but first, can we please talk about the health of your penis?'” Why, yes, dear reader, it can be. (An interjection: yes, condoms do protect against STDs. But because it’s not a 100% guarantee (some skin is still exposed, after all), I still bring it up. Every time.) I like to start by saying, “I’m kind of a stickler about my health, so I promise you, this isn’t personal. I would really like for us both to get tested, unless you’ve recently been tested and you know you’re clean.” My honest opinion? Anyone who can’t react positively to something like that is not someone I want to be sleeping with! I’ve honestly had that sentiment work with several past partners, and they were all very kind about it.
To be completely honest, I have an IUD, so if I’m in a committed monogamous relationship, I don’t insist on condoms. When I was on the pill, I still did, but of course that’s up to you and your partner(s) and your gyno. I’m definitely not here to give out medical advice! But, when sleeping with a new partner, it’s definitely no glove, no love over here.
I’m not going to try to scare you with statistics. I have a love/hate relationship with statistics anyway. But, if you respect your body, yourself, and your partner, you should get tested. It’s not shameful – it’s healthy. It doesn’t mean you’re a tramp (and remember, we don’t slutshame here) – it means you’re informed.
Good luck. Go get ’em, tiger.
Safe & sexy,