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Getting tested for an STI

The MixThe Mix The Mix HQPosts: 2,579 Staff Team

You might have noticed that we’ve been posting various threads in the Sex and Relationships forum recently and wonder why we’ve been doing this.

Here at The Mix we think Relationships are a really important topic. We hope these discussions will help to break down some of the taboo topics in relationships and give you a chance to talk about things that you might not be able to talk about elsewhere.

The overall aim of these discussions is help people strengthen their relationships, so look out for these threads each week and please do get involved!



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The research states that STIs can have serious long-term consequences such as infertility. Bacterial STIs (gonorrhoea and chlamydia) can be treated with antibiotics but can have serious consequences if left untreated. And even worse, there are no effective cures for viral STI’s.


Think we’d all agree that STI’s aren’t a very pleasant thought!


It can be easy to think that they’re only something that happens to other people. Until you start to develop symptoms of an STI yourself…eeeeek!


Now, this could be a bit of an awkward conversation to have with your partner!


In hindsight it’s easy to think – ‘arrrgh!! Wish I’d been more careful!!’


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So, what’s the best way to approach this subject with your partner?


This article has some tips about how to talk to your partner about STI’s if you get stuck!


You can find your nearest GUM clinic here

Look forward to hearing your answers to the question :)

Steph
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think we can all pretty much agree that conversations about STIs are not romantic. They are, however, necessary! :yes:

    Being down to talk about past partner history, contraception considerations, STIs, etc demonstrates maturity, self-respect, and responsibility. I don't know about you, but I find it super attractive when a guy is mature & responsible enough to talk about these sorts of things. :hyper: I also feel more inclined to be with a guy who asks all the right questions (past partner history, contraception considerations, STIs, etc), because it demonstrates he's got his head on his shoulders and not in his pants (for the time being!).

    I think the best way to start the conversation on STIs is to just do it (talk, I mean!). Talk of STIs is a definite mojo killer so it is best to have these kinds of conversations before you hit the bedroom. There's no need to feel self-conscious about talking about these sorts of things -- this is the nitty gritty of being sexually active and/or in a relationship. You can think of it as a relationship milestone!

    Talking about STIs doesn't have to be awkward or uncomfortable. It's a part of being with someone in an intimate way. In fact, I've had friends who have gone to clinics to get tested together before they became sexually active. I remember thinking that's some next level sh*t right there, and felt super impressed by it all! It also turned out to be a bonding experience for the couple, I guess because it made them feel more together in their relationship.

    A rule of thumb for me is: if I'm ready to get busy with this person, I'm definitely ready to have the necessary conversations about STIs and contraception with them too.

    It's best to ask about things like how many partners each of you has been with, what kind of contraception each of you has used previously, were there any kind of 'scares' before (like disease, pregnancy, etc), whether or not either of you has been tested for any diseases. It may also be a good idea to ask about any current or previous drug use. Intravenous drug use can lead to diseases like hepatitis or HIV, so it is best to know as much as you can about your potential partner.
  • StephSteph Moderator Posts: 448 Boards Initiate
    Thanks for your reply bouvier. Some really interesting point here. What is it you think that makes it so attractive for a guy to be able to talk about these things?

    Sounds like a good tip to have this conversation before hitting the bedroom as you say it can be a romance killer! Like how you called it a relationship milestone too!

    That does sounds impressive to go to the clinic together as a couple, nice to hear that it turned out to be a good bonding experience for your friends too!
    A rule of thumb for me is: if I'm ready to get busy with this person, I'm definitely ready to have the necessary conversations about STIs and contraception with them too

    Really like this point - does anyone else have any other views or experiences than Bouvier?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree with Bouvier's point too.

    From my point of view, the best way to approach it is, to simply ask them unless they have already told you. I know this is easier said than done. But with me, I have experienced that being in a relationship with my boyfriend, everything get shared between us. We were friends before we got together so that could make it different for other peoples' situation which I understand.

    We have always been open which each other and that has been the key to our relationship. I can only relate to this on a relationship level but sometimes, people will surprise you in the way that they might be first to actually bring things up. You want to feel safe and cared about and making sure you're comfortable and being able to talk about what contraception method could work best for you is an important topic to consider.

    Remember, there is no rush when it comes to having sex with someone. There is however the need to take cautious - if you're too scared or nervous about their response (if they give you one) you have a choice to step away. The topic of sex, partners and contraception came to us in conversation as our relationship grew but I did not find it necessary to rush into having sex just because I knew what contraception I decided to take, considering side effects etc. He wanted to make sure I was okay and made sure he knew all of my answers to his questions as I did with his.

    ​Having the knowledge of somebody else's past can help. But for others, they prefer not to know. Try to know what you are getting involved with.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Steph wrote: »
    What is it you think that makes it so attractive for a guy to be able to talk about these things?

    Hi @Steph! If a guy is able to talk about mature topics like past sexual history, being tested for STIs, and contraception use it's an indication that he is responsible, and I feel inclined to trust him a bit more than if he skirted around the issue or approached it in an immature way. The way to my heart (and pants) is through my head, for sure, so I can really appreciate when a guy demonstrates his maturity, responsibility, and thoughtfulness! :yes:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Tasha wrote: »
    We have always been open which each other and that has been the key to our relationship. ... You want to feel safe and cared about and making sure you're comfortable and being able to talk about what contraception method could work best for you is an important topic to consider.


    Hi there @Tasha! I'm really happy to hear that you and your partner share an open line of communication, all the best relationships have that in common I believe.

    In all my relationships, intimate or otherwise, transparency is a necessity. Of course, I respect boundaries and if someone doesn't feel comfortable disclosing something to me or it just isn't the right time, I don't press the issue or whatever, but there definitely has to be a foundation of trust.

    I can identify with the desire to feel safe and cared for, especially when it comes to just intimate topics!
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