How to Talk About Sexual Health with a New Partner

November 25, 2020

Entering a new relationship can be quite exciting. If you are planning to take your new relationship to the next level, you need to consider discussing your sexual health with your new partner.
Being aware of the right ways to open the topic of sexual health and how to discuss this issue will protect you and your sexual partner from STIs (sexually transmitted infections) like syphilis, HIV/AIDS, and gonorrhoea.
It will also make sex more enjoyable and help you avoid unwanted pregnancy until you are ready to embrace parenthood. Read on to know how to talk about sexual health with a new partner.

What does it mean to ‘talk about sexual health’

What does it mean to ‘talk about sexual health’?

Talking about sexual health with your new partner involves sharing information about your sexual health and asking questions related to his or her sexual health.

You may ask questions to know the following about your partners:

  • Whether they have had a sexual health check recently. If yes, when was it done?
  • Whether they have a history of any sexually transmitted infection. If yes, whether it is cured or still being treated.
  • The preferences of your partner related to the safe sex practices for avoiding conception and using protection
  • What they like, what they don’t, and what they are or aren’t comfortable with during sexual activity.

Asking these questions will help you establish boundaries and ensure you both feel comfortable during sex. You also need to understand that it is not correct to spring any new sexual experience on someone who is not prepared or without the consent.

What doesn’t ‘talk about sexual health’ involve

What doesn’t ‘talk about sexual health’ involve?

While talking about sexual health for the first time with your new partner, it would not be appropriate to:

  • Feel anxious, pressured, or stressed. Make this an open chat so that both of you feel comfortable and at ease.
  • Ask questions to know how many sexual partners they have had. It is best to leave it to them to share this information with you when they feel ready for it.
  • Make judgements. Instead, you should respect your partner for being open with you. Do not make them feel guilty or bad about their previous sexual experiences and decisions.

During your discussion, if you or your partner has any concerns about sexual health, visit a doctor to discuss your queries. You can also consider undergoing sexual check-up at the sexual health clinic before you enter an intimate relationship.

How to start the discussion about sexual health with a new partner

How to start the discussion about sexual health with a new partner?

It can be, at times, too difficult to start talking about sexual health when you both have got to know each other recently.

A chat about your and your partner’s sexual health would not be an easy conversation. But, at the same time, it doesn’t have to be embarrassing or horrible either.

Read on to learn some ways that you can try to start the conversation and let it go smoothly:

  • Tell your partner you want to have a discussion about sexual health. Reassure them that their privacy will be respected.
  • Plan to have a discussion about sexual health in private at a time and place you will not be interrupted or disturbed.
  • Avoid talking in crowded places. Rather, choose a quiet place so that you can discuss it with a calm and relaxed mind and without having to speak loudly.
  • Safe sex requires a bit of planning. Hence, plan when you want to have the discussion ahead of time. It would not be a good idea to wait until you are aroused and ready to have sex.
  • Make it feel like an exchange of information about each other’s health and not of personal inquisition. It should not seem like an enquiry into your new partner’s previous sexual partners.
How to tell your new partner that you have an STI

How to tell your new partner that you have an STI?

If you have an STI, it is important to share this information with your new partner before you plan to have sex so that you can take necessary precautions to avoid the spread.

Having a sexually transmitted infection is nothing to feel ashamed of. Here are some simple things you can try to make it easier for you to share this information with your partner:

  • Talk in private, preferably when both of you are in a good mood.
  • Choose a form of communication that would work for you both. For example; if you think meeting in person can be difficult, send a private message such that no one else can see it.
  • Get your facts correct! Talk to your doctor or sexual health expert to understand the symptoms of the STI you are suffering from, treatment options, and precautions to be taken to avoid spread.
  • Encourage your new partner to get an STI check-up done, even if he or she doesn’t have any symptoms or you never had sexual intercourse. Remember that some STIs can even spread during oral sex or kissing.
Important things you should not ignore while talking about sexual health

Important things you should not ignore while talking about sexual health

It is common for people to feel awkward, offended, and embarrassed while talking about sexual health. They may also feel jealous, ashamed, angry, or being confronted. Some might feel worried and anxious.

Hence, it is advisable to be kind, honest, and considerate during the conversation. This will help your partner feel at ease and avoid anxiety. You can also let them know the benefits of talking about sexual health. A little bit of awkwardness and embarrassment now would definitely be better than having any STI later.

This information can help if:

  • You are thinking of having sex for the first time
  • You want to take your relationship to the next level and are planning to have sex with your new partner
  • You have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection and need to tell the partner

If you still feel stressed talking about sexual health with your partner, you can contact a sexual health clinic and have a chat with a doctor about it. You can even plan to have a joint session with the doctor so that he would be able to explain things in a better way and help both of you feel reassured.

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Is Stigma Health legal?

Absolutely. The process may seem new and different to how you usually go about medical tests, but we are in full compliance with Australian law and Medical Board of Australia Guidelines for Technology-based Patient Consultations.

Why Should I get tested with Stigma Health instead of going to my GP?

Convenience, pure and simple. If you want to skip the trip to the GP, then the Pathology Centre then the one back to your GP for the results then we’re your solution!
If you get tested with us we deliver your Pathology Referral online and you only have to make the one trip to the Pathology Centre and that’s it, your results are delivered to you safely, securely and privately directly to your mobile phone.
Not to mention we’re saving you the awkward conversation!

Can I get an STI Test through Stigma Health?

You can currently undergo a convenient and private STI test through us if you are in Australia and are over 16 years of age. Fit the criteria? Let’s get started.
If you are under 16 then we, unfortunately, cannot provide you with a Pathology Referral to get an STI test. We urge you to visit a doctor to arrange a test ASAP. Alternately you can visit an STI clinic or hospital clinic to get an STI test. If you want to talk to someone prior to doing so you will find the details for several Sexual Health info lines operating across Australia in our Resources section.

Who is Stigma Health?

We are an online healthcare service that aims to make your life more convenient by eliminating the barriers like embarrassment and inconvenience, which often prevent people from undergoing simple medical tests. We started with STIs because they are a serious problem in Australia and are for the most part easily tested for and treated, but we will be expanding our service offering soon so stay tuned!