No matter how old you are, whether you’re having sex for the first time or you’re a parent, talking to your partner about sex can be embarrassing.
When you first get together, talking about condoms, vaginal rings and contraceptive pills can be a passion killer. So, in the heat of the moment, you put off the conversation.
This frame of mind has lead to an increase in sexually transmitted infections (STI) in the UK. According to Public Health England, there were 448,422 STI diagnoses made in 2012, which is a rise of 5% from 2011.
As embarrassing as it may be to talk about safe sex, it’s not quite as bad as discovering you have caught a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or are pregnant.
In the heat of the moment, it is still possible to raise the issue. ‘Let me grab a condom’ or ‘do you have any condoms?’ can be the easiest and most direct way of starting the conversation.
Ideally, your partner will say yes, or they’ll have a different form of contraception handy.
However, if your partner objects to using condoms or any form of contraception, do you want to take the risk?
When talking about sex think about the following:
- Pleasure. Safe doesn’t mean boring. When you are both feeling protected, you will both feel more relaxed and able to enjoy yourself. Remember that there are different varieties of condom available which can offer different types of stimulation during sex. You can also incorporate putting on a condom or inserting a diaphragm as part of your routine.
- Sexual history. Is either of you seeing other people? Have you had unsafe sex with other partners? Disclosing your history can give you a better idea of the risks involved with having unprotected sex and what sort of contraception you will need.
- The ‘What Ifs’. For same-sex and opposite-sex couples alike, the main risk of having unprotected sex is STIs. For heterosexual couples, it’s important that you discuss what you will do if contraception fails and you fall pregnant. Are you willing and ready to become parents? Are you both okay with having an abortion?
If you’re unable to agree, it would be wise not to have sex. However, it’s your choice to make.