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Communication is Key
It's important to know that it's okay to talk about sex. In fact, communication is a key way to make sexual activity, well, sexy. There are so many things to talk about when it comes to sexual health and sexuality! Check out some of the important conversation inspired by the American Sexual Health Association below.
What type of relationship?
There are all types of relationships that people engage in - friendships, partnerships, familial relationships. Some are sexual and some are not. So, it's really important to be able to talk to other people about the type of relationship they're expecting.
- Do you want a committed or non-committed relationship?
- Open or non-open?
- Friendly or romantic?
- Sexual or non-sexual?
- Monogamous or non-monogamous?
STIs and Birth Control
Both big topics! So, it's really important to have discussions around them.
When talking to a partner about STIs you may consider asking: When were you last tested for STIs, and what were the results? Which STIs were you tested for? How many sexual partners have you had since your last round of testing? What were the STI statuses of those partners? What is your history of STI infection? Can we go together to get tested? How do we want to protect ourselves from STIs?
When talking to a partner about birth control, you may consider asking: Can we become pregnant (sperm/penis and egg/ovaries)? Are you on birth control? Are you open to a pregnancy? What form of birth control works for you and us? What precautions do we want to take?
Sexual activity should be pleasurable for all people involved. But, if you don't ask what is pleasurable for somebody (or share what's pleasurable for you) it's hard to really know if everyone is experiencing pleasure. Here are some questions you can ask before or during sexual activity.
- What kind of touch feels good to you?
- Where are the places that you especially enjoy being touched?
- How do you want to be touched, caressed, kissed, and/or held?
- Can I _____ to your _____?
- Do you like______?
- I'd like to go further, can we______?
- Is this ok?
- Does ____ feel good?
- Are you comfortable with_____?
People have different wants, desires and needs when it comes to sexual activity. If you want to be on the same page as your partner(s) about their sexual desires. You may consider asking:
What are sexual activities you
- know you like and want to do?
- have never done but think you might like to try?
- might be willing to try?
- might want to talk about, role play (pretend to act out), or act out?
Much like sexual desires, many people have sexual boundaries. A list of things they are not willing to do or try with partners. It's important to learn what the boundaries are for you and your partner and abide by those boundaries.
Try making a Yes-No-Maybe chart:
- Off by yourself, make a list of the things you like to do (Yes!),
- are not open to trying or don’t want to try again (No!),
- and things you might like to consider doing (Maybe!).
Then get together and share your lists. You might be surprised by what you find!