Look, we’re not ones to indulge in sappy relationship malarkey too often, but we’re ready to admit there’s nothing truly as blissful as the honeymoon phase.
It’s well before you’ve started plopping with the door open. You’re still applying highlighter for date nights. You haven’t begun to pick up on when they’re stealing jokes from a comedy special you haven’t seen. It’s heckin’ beautiful, your fresh luvah is still a perfect, faultless, mystical being.
Unfortunately, part of that mystery could be their history in the sack. You may know what Harry Potter character sparked their sexual awakening, however, you may not know whether they’ve had a previous brush with The Clap.
Although Boomers may like to believe we’re not doing it like they do on the Discovery Channel as much anymore (lol), STI cases are on the rise (and grind), which is ya know, not a surprise considering most of our sexual health education in school was deplorable.
Unless you’re a special breed of bold and can bring up topics like this without batting an eye, it’s kinda likely you’re dancing around asking whether your new special cuddle buddy has had an STI check recently – so here’s how to attack the topic without killing the vibe.
Check urself before you wreck urself
It could be a good idea to ensure your own cooch is clear before you start to question whether your new partner has gotten a clinical check-up on their own bits. If you’ve experienced delicious symptoms like genital blisters, pain during sex or pain whilst passing urine we’d recommend getting to the doc ASAP.
However, you can totally have an STI without experiencing any of the symptoms!!! Ah!!! So we suggest you get tested regardless of whether you do or do not feel the burn. Once you’re checked, and overcome the stress of your own situation, it could be easier to bring up in everyday conversation, and lead to a healthier future for you and your new bae.
Pick a good time to have the convo
The “meet the parents” dinner, a noisy bar or hanging with the friends for the first time are a few instances where it isn’t ~okay~ to ask whether your partner has had an STI check recently. If your Sunday arvo chill-out sesh is when your DnMs get most powerful, that could be a good time to bring up copping a test in the near future.
Basically, alleviate any inkling of awkwardness you can prior to having the chat to make it easier on yourself. If you’re looking for a way to break the ice and really crack into the topic, it could be a good time to whip out a crotch-ersation pun to open up the chat.
Get a pop-cultural helping hand
Having learnt everything I know about early adulthood from Beverly Hills: 90210, I can assure you TV (or film) is a solid option for broaching a topic you’re not familiar with. Watching our on screen-heroes engage with scenarios we might think are a little out of the ordinary helps us normalise things in our everyday lives.
For example, if you received your first frenchie to the sound of Pitbull’s ‘Hotel Room Service’, then it’s likely Glee also filled in the gaps to your knowledge of the birds and the bees where your parents failed. In the season 5 ep “Tested”, old mate Artie finds out he has chlamydia and makes a conscious decision to let his GF know immediately – a responsible, thoughtful and mature way to respond to the news.
Much like how the show made an effort to float the idea that high schoolers in the year 2011 were well versed in obscure 80’s pop material, scenes like this also remind us that having open and honest conversations about sexual health are an integral part of all healthy relationships.
Know what your boundaries are
Everyone’s boundaries are different – as long as your safety and comfort are at the forefront, you shouldn’t feel ashamed of asking your partner anything, especially when it pertains to health. If you’re worried about having or contracting an STI, not getting tested shouldn’t really be an option for your partner.
Mutual respect is always a must and if you’ve had previous sexual partners, getting an STI check is essential.