So you’ve found an awesome partner (or partners), and you want to have sex with them, but you don’t know where to start. Maybe this is the first time you’ve ever had sex, or the first time you’ve had sex with your partner(s). Maybe this is a casual encounter, or maybe you have concerns about STIs and protection. If you’re not quite sure how to talk about sex with your partner(s) before you have sex, this entire conversation can be a source of stress and anxiety.
The ideal sex talk can be broken down into two parts. The safer sex portion, which covers your basics on how you and your partner(s) protect yourselves, and also how you intend to move forward when having safer, more risk aware sex. The second part though is the part of the talk where you discuss what you like and dislike in bed. Both are very important to bring up before you have sex, and both can be very awkward. I am here to break down the two parts!
Part I- The Safer Sex Talk:
Reid Mihalko uses an “Elevator Speech” when it comes to having a talk with someone about their STI status that I highly recommend. Practice it in front of a mirror, or with a friend over and over until you know what you’re going to say. It may seem awkward at first, but it’s surprisingly useful. This speech also covers talking about what you like and dislike in bed!
If you have an STI, talking to your partner(s) can be an even bigger source of stress, but it’s just as important to have these discussions. Ashley Manta of Sex Ed with Ashley Manta prefers a more straightforward approach. Let your partner(s) know what STI you have, your STI treatment plan, and asking them what questions they have about their transmission risks.
If your partner(s) tells you that they have an STI, be kind, and know your limits. It’s completely acceptable to turn someone down if you are unable to be with a partner(s) with an STI, but be kind about it. Many people who have STIs already feel high levels of shame about sex and their bodies, there’s no reason to make anyone feel worse. A simple “Thank you for sharing, I appreciate your honesty. Unfortunately, I am not comfortable having a sexual partner(s) with an STI” will suffice. Make sure that you’re honest about your expectations, and what you are able to handle.
Talk to your partner(s) about their STI status, and be prepared to share yours. If you prefer to wait to have sex with a partner(s) until you have a hard copy of their most recent STI test in hand, be prepared to let them know that, and also have a copy of yours ready to go! Make sure that before you start having sex with anyone, that you think of the ways you want to protect yourself. Do you want gloves for digital stimulation? How about finger cots, Do you need a specific type of condom? Make sure you know what forms of protection you want to have with you, and then make sure you supply your own! It’s great when a partner(s) brings the safer sex supplies, but it’s always best to have the supplies you use and want, just in case they don’t.
Part II- The Sexier Sex Talk
This is the easier part! Simply be honest with your partner(s) about what you like. If you know you don’t like being on top, let them know that ahead of time. I like to try and anticipate things I might experience with a partner(s) in that specific circumstance. For instance, my casual sex partner(s) might need to know that I like having my nipples played with gently, but probably doesn’t need to know that I enjoy being flogged.
Be specific and direct, and let your partner(s) know how you react to things you don’t like in bed. Are you the type of person who, when your partner(s) is doing something you don’t enjoy, will be vocal about telling them you’d prefer something different? Tell them. Do you physically correct your partner(s) by moving their hands or body into a different direction? Tell them. Make sure you talk to your partner(s) about your likes, dislikes, and habits before you have sex and ask about theirs! You can always change your mind while you’re in the moment, but talking about them before sex means that you have mutual knowledge of the things you enjoy. No one needs to be having bad sex when we can all just communicate!