Talking to Your Partner About Protection

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The thought of talking to a partner about sex makes a lot of people feel uncomfortable - whether you’re in a new relationship or a long-term one. That’s normal, but in order to protect our sexual health these are really important conversation to have. Here’s some advice for talking to your partner:

1. If possible, bring up the topic before things get passionate.

2. Learn the facts. Do some of your own research about different kinds of protection. Check out Ways to Prevent STDs and Pregnancy for example or MTV's GYT (Get Yourself Tested) site

3. Think about what you want to say. Maybe write it down or practice the conversation in front of a mirror or with a good friend.

4. Just do it! We know it can be a hard conversation to start, and it is scary for a lot of people but just start talking...It might seem like a mood-killer, but nothing will ruin sex faster than spending the whole time worrying about pregnancy or picking up some disease.

5. Decide as a couple what’s easiest, most effective, and what level of pregnancy/ STD risk you are prepared to accept.

6. Talk about getting tested for STDs as a couple. Nothing beats knowing that you both are free from STDs before having sex. And if one of you learn that you are positive for an STD, remember this - most STDs are curable and all are treatable (even HIV). Learn more about what STD testing is like.

7. If your love interest isn’t receptive to you wanting to talk about these things, maybe they wouldn’t be a responsible sex partner.

Because of the risks of pregnancy or disease, sex is a big responsibility. So, if you find that you’re way too uncomfortable to talk about these things with your partner, think about this: Maybe it’s a sign that you’re not totally ready to have sex with them yet.
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