How to talk to a new partner about STIs and safe sex?
When initiating sexual relations with a new partner, it is important to consider both “rational decision-making in sexual encounters and obscure the non-rational nature of arousal and desire and the unequal power relations that exist between men and women engaging in sex” (Hillier, Harrison, & Warr, 1998). Thus, the conversation with a new partner should be not assertive. It is important to receive a consent of a new partner. For example, it is natural to inform a partner that you are ready for sexual relations, but only in a manner that would not put pressure on him or her. It is important to assure your partner that you would wait until they are ready too. Secondly, explain to your partner the importance of safety using phrases like “safety is important for both of us, and protection is not a sign of the lack of trust, but an assurance that nothing would spoil the experience.”
Should people with STIs always inform their partners?
Informing their current and ex-partners is one of the main responsibilities of people with STIs (Patton, 1999). Firstly, in such a way, they would help their loved ones to test their health and get help if it is needed. Secondly, if their ex-partners intend to have sexual relationships with other people, informing them about the possibility of STIs would prevent the spreading of an infection.
Rising incidence of STIs
The main reason for the rising incidence of STIs is the lack of discussion of the decision related to sexual life among teenage girls (Altman, 2008). Today sex education should focus more on psychological aspects rather than merely explaining means of contraception. All vulnerable social groups should be aware of how to insist on using contraception during sexual intercourse.
Altman, L. (2008). Sex Infections Found in Quarter of Teenage Girls. New York Times. Web.
Hillier, L., Harrison, L., & Warr, D. (1998). Negotiating Competing Discourses about Safe Sex. Journal of Adolescence, 21(1), 15-29.
Patton, C. (1999). Fatal Advice: How Safe-Sex Education Went Wrong. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.