For many people, it may be uncomfortable bringing up the topic of condoms with their partners. It is likely your partner will be relieved that you are taking the lead to use condoms to protect each other from HIV and other STDs.
Here are some tips for starting the conversation:
Know Yourself: Think through what feels right for you so you are clear about how you feel and can talk about it with someone else.
Get the Facts: Read up on STDs, pregnancy prevention and using condoms correctly and consistently so you are prepared if any questions come up.
Talk Before it is Too Late: Talk about condoms before you are in a situation when you might need one (before you take your clothes off). Find a time and place where you are comfortable and can talk without other things going on.
Be Confident: Be up front and direct about wanting to use condoms each and every time you have sex. There is no shame in wanting to protect yourself and others from STDs or pregnancy.
Explain the Risks: Using condoms does not mean you have trust issues. STDs often show no symptoms and many of those who are infected do not know it, so condoms are good common sense.
Be Respectful: Respect yourself, your partner and your relationship. If part of why you want to talk about condoms is to tell your partner about an STD you have, just say so. Talking about it will it help you take the right precautions to protect you and your partner’s health.
Love Yourself: If your partner refuses to use condoms, be firm. No condom, no sex. If your partner does not want to protect you and his/herself and does not respect your wishes, you might want to ask yourself if you really want to have sex with this person.
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