Picture the scene. You’ve found a great new partner, had a few dates and everything seems to be going great. They’ve met your friends and family, and you’ve even discussed names for your future cat, not to mention they are a generous and caring lover. Until one afternoon you discover a few bumps or lumps down there, and you find you are a bit red and sore. That’s enough to put a downer on your planned night of passion! Now you’ve just got to work out how to break the news to your new Mr or Miss—embarrassing right? Wrong!
Yes, it might be a tough topic, but change is afoot. Gone are the days of turning the lights off and keeping what goes on between the sheets under wraps. Sex is no longer taboo, and you shouldn’t let your sexual health fall by the sidelines. Discussing any concerns, or even if you think that you have contracted an STD, with a new partner can be daunting, scary territory to charter. Don’t let it be that difficult. Just as your regular medical health check-up, having a smear, swab or even peeing in a cup as part of a sexual health screening are equally important aspects of your overall well-being. So don’t be a shy and retiring wallflower—be open and you’ll find that discussing your sexual health shouldn’t be a turn off. Make sure that you are keeping your sexual health in check.
Maintain an Open Dialogue
First and foremost, make sure you are clued up about the difference between an STI and STD. STI stands for sexually transmitted infections, whereas STD stands for sexually transmitted diseases. Many STIs don’t come with symptoms, and are often easier to treat than STDs—that said, neither are pleasant if you find that you are suffering from one.
Even if you are in an exclusive relationship, you should still be using condoms and making sure you are practicing safe sex. Sure, it’s what your Mom told you, but it still applies in adulthood. Not a fan of condoms? Why not investigate and make it fun—you could spice it up by using flavored condoms—remember sex is an important part of your relationship, and safety doesn’t always have to mean boring.
Before discussing your partner’s sexual past, why not give your own a quick review. Have you been tested recently? How many partners have you had? Have you felt a bit off lately, or do you feel that something isn’t quite right? Pick your moment carefully; discuss testing in a relaxed environment. Try not to get embarrassed, and keep your reasoning for discussing getting a test at the front of your mind. Remember not to lecture your partner, and explain that you both getting tested is beneficial to the future of your relationship.
If either of you have noticed any unusual odor, discharge or pain when peeing, then don’t delay in making an appointment for a STD test. Bleeding after sex, blisters or sores on genitals, a rash and itching are all symptoms that could be a result of an STD. If you have picked something up from your partner then make sure that you both are thoroughly tested, and encourage them to be honest. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. Instead, the more freely and willingly that you can support your partner in talking about their sexual health, the quicker and easier it will be for you both to be treated.
If you’ve never had a test, then don’t worry. It’s not something to be scared or anxious about. Getting tested won’t hurt, and you definitely won’t lose hours of your life at the clinic. There are a range of testing options available to you, depending on your lifestyle and availability. Whether you decide to order a home testing kit or would prefer to go to a clinic and talk to a doctor or health professional, you are taking the first step towards wellness. The occurrence of STDs continues to rise across the US, so don’t make yourself another statistic. You just need make sure you are always aware of the risks. Why not book in for a test today? It will guarantee your peace of mind if nothing else.
From New York, to Alaska, or even the sunshine state, California, why not find out where your nearest clinic is and make yourself and your partner an appointment. You can find more info regarding free std testing here.
Keeping the Spark Alive
The worst-case scenario is that you’ve both been tested and you have both been diagnosed with an STD. That could be a disaster for your relationship and flourishing new sex life. As unpleasant as this scenario is, if you can both be adult about the situation and work through your symptoms together then you can stand anything. Just because your partner has an STD, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have been unfaithful to you—symptoms can be undetected for years in some cases. Don’t let an infection ruin your intimacy. From simple gestures to giving your partner a massage or cooking them a delicious dinner, make sure to make them feel special and use other gestures to keep the spark alive.
Sex after an STD can be delicate territory to navigate, so take it slow. Don’t put too much pressure on picking the perfect moment as that could be too much of a turn off. Make sure that you are both fully symptom free and feel comfortable and ready to get intimate. Remind your partner why you got together in the first place, and make sure to reassure them that the worst is now over. Sex is a really important part of any relationship, no matter how long-term, so make sure that you are both keeping it safe and fun—it’s better for the both of you.
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