6 Things You Must Discuss With Your Partner Before Getting it On

by Dee Rene

Salt-N-Pepa never told a lie. It is amazing—and disturbing—how many people feel comfortable enough to share such an intimate experience with someone, but get shy when it comes to asking the important questions before having sex. If you feel comfortable enough to engage in sex with someone, you should feel comfortable enough to protect your body, heart, and mind as well by having conversations about testing, preferences, consent, and so forth.

Below is a list of things to know before you get busy.

1. Consent

Consent should be the first thing that partners discuss with each other before engaging in any sexual activity. Instead of waiting or assuming that the other person will say “no,” both individuals should check in with each other about how they feel and if they want to have sex. Once everyone has asserted “yes,” then they can feel free to move on in getting it on.

2. Status

Having sex can bring great pleasure, but having unprotected sex can also lead to many negative consequences. At this point, we’ve become familiar with the HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns and initiatives, and other STD prevention efforts. Yet as much as we know, many of us still carry a sense of invincibility or false sense of safety with certain partners. Knowing someone’s status is much more than asking them, “Have you been tested?” Most people don’t know or understand that testing should be done every six months, and that even if they test negative for an STD, it may take awhile to show up in their system. Instead, partners should go get tested together. Ask to see their results, and present them with your own. And use protection. If you choose not to use protection, take care of yourself by getting more frequent check ups. The sooner you know something may be wrong, the sooner you can address the issue.

3. Pregnancy Prevention

If engaging in vaginal sex, it is important to know the person’s views on what they would want to happen if a pregnancy should occur – prior to laying down with them. Be sure to talk about to your partner about birth control and other prevention methods. But also know that condoms and birth control are not bullet proof. What would your partner want to do if a pregnancy did occur? It’s better to have that conversation ahead of time, when you’re both level-headed and calm, instead of after a positive pregnancy test and anxious.

4. Other partners

Are both of you sexually exclusive? Are either you sleeping with other people, with or without protection? These are just a few of the things you need to address before having sex. It’s not about trying to pressure someone to only be with you; rather it’s about protecting yourself and making informed choices. Although it can sound taboo, it’s OK to ask about past partners: Were they using condoms or other forms protection? Were they exclusive? Were they in love? Were their other/previous partners tested? Asking about the past can give you an idea of how this person operates in sexual situations, which can help you protect yourself physically and emotionally.

In addition, we often assume that if someone is sleeping with us, that they are only attracted to our specific gender. However, you may want to clarify how your partner identifies sexually and romantically. Get to know whether the person you’re having sex with is heterosexual, bisexual, gay/lesbian, or anything in-between to save some confusion later.

5. Preferences in the Bedroom

Do you like to smack it, smack it in the air? Or do you like something more gentle? Many people enter sexual relationships with a new partner trying to pull the same moves they did with their old partners. Having a conversation about what each person likes and/or dislikes can not only build intimacy and be a form of foreplay that builds anticipation, but it can save you some awkward moments when it’s time to get down to business.

6. Emotional Consequences

Sex is more than physical, so you must be ready to handle the emotional consequences as well. If you are not the type to separate who you’re having orgasms with and who has your heart, be sure to ask your partner about his or her intentions beyond your sexual relationship. Do they have intentions to be in a romantic relationship too? Or just friends with benefits? You can avoid an awkward “What are we?” conversation down the line if you are clear about your intentions, listen closely to your partner’s, and be willing to leave if and when you are no longer aligned.

What other things do you think are important to discuss before having sex with someone? Let us know in the comments!

Photo: Shutterstock

Dee Rene is a connoisseur of snacks and brunch. Her focus is holding onto faith in all the things that make us laugh, cry and cuss. Follow me her on Twitter: @deerene_.

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