Black couple talking

How to bring up STDs with your partner

A healthy sex life sometimes involves having tough conversations around sexually transmitted diseases and a lot of time it gets hard for couples to talk about it in an open and honest manner.


I was so excited to see him when he came to visit, I missed him so much. I think he missed me too because he didn’t miss a beat. He kissed me so passionately, I was in cloud nine and would give him the keys to all I owned if he asked me right then.

It all happened so fast and we were already being intimate before the thoughts crossed my mind.

Oh no! I had just been with Paul unprotected last week and everything didn’t feel quite the same just yet. I had a strange burning sensation and discharge. I saw Paul after this, and he had no complaints. Maybe it is one of those infections where symptoms present only in women? He may never find out. But if we have sex again, I may now get re-infected How do I tell him to treat himself after this?

People expect sex to happen spontaneously with passion even mysteriously and sometimes romantically. We fantasize sex happening this way (and the movies haven’t helped either) so it makes it seem awkward to make plans regarding sex or have conversations about it beforehand.

Sex is better and safer if you plan — at least you can focus on intimacy and pleasure without worrying about the dangers or having regrets after.

Discussing sexually transmitted infections with a partner may not be the easiest conversation to have but it is necessary to protect yourself and the next person. There is no textbook way to start the conversation but here are a few suggestions for discussing STDs.

  • You can be direct

    “Let’s get tested before we have sex. I have been feeling some changes and I want to make sure everything is okay.” There is no blame put on any party just a desire to be health-conscious.

  • Propose exclusivity

    “I really care about you and since we have decided to be intimate, I want to make sure we are both healthy.”

    “I don’t want to have worries when we have sex, just pleasurable moments.”

    “I want you to be able to trust me completely.”

    Getting tested with your partner helps to track down the source of infection.

    Staying faithful within the confines of a mutually monogamous relationship allows for the pleasure of sex with fewer risks of sexually transmitted diseases. It is also important to discuss your sexual history less focus on numbers but incidents and exposure to keep each party safe.

  • Propose STD testing

    Getting tested means facing up to the idea that you may have an STD, a test also reveals the exact infection so you can get the right treatment. Getting tested together removes some of the burden of having to discuss the infection without a preamble. You will definitely feel better and more relieved.

  • Prevention

    Take steps to protect yourself by getting vaccinated against HPV (human papillomavirus) and carrying your own condoms.

    Condoms protect against sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy.

  • Know your limits

    No matter how attractive your partner is or how much you enjoy sex, you must stick to your principles. There are a lot of things that could hold one back from these sorts of conversations, but you must not be afraid of being impolite, hurting someone’s feelings or getting rejected that you endanger yourself. Make sure you and your intended partner agree about contraception and preventing STDs.

Try to stay calm and remember that people have dealt with this successfully. If you’re afraid that your partner might overreact or cause harm, you’re probably better off not discussing this in person, a text or phone call will suffice.

Remember it is important to take care of you.

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