• I have had the STD talk with perhaps 50 different girls I have dated over the years, and I have talked with lots of girls, guys and couples about STD information, risks and awareness. I think the talk has gotten easier over the years, but it is still an issue that causes a bit of anxiety and pause. I often wonder what the other person will say.will react, what they know, and if they will be honest with me as well. It’s never easy going into this talks, but I believe it is of the utmost importance early in the relationship, while dating, and before things lead to sex.

    Sometimes i get into the discussion on the first date, sometimes it’s before we have even had the first date. Recently I waited until we had spent several days together, either way, I always have the talk before we have sex. There are many ways to start the conversation, with so much news and information on the internet, it is easy to start off with something like “The other day I was reading online that eight out of ten people in the US have on of the 50 or so types of HPV, and that HPV along with a couple other STDs can not be protected against 100% even with condom use.” – there are other ways to start the conversation, I sometimes use “I just got a routine STD checkup three weeks ago, have you been in for  checkup recently?”, however you start the conversation, it needs to be started, and discussed.

    After the conversation is started, I try to establish that honesty is paramount, that we are both in a safe place to discuss out knowledge of sexually transmitted diseases, and that I will not laugh or chide them for knowledge or lack there of with this subject. I also offer some past dirt on myself to let them know that they can be honest with me, and show that I am giving them trust to keep my private life private, and that they can do the same with me.

    Honestly, I’d rather be dating someone that has had an STD, and has had to go through the entire process of checkups, treatment, lack of sex, and having to tell their partner(s) about it. If you have not been through that process at least once, you may be a bit more careless, and I don’t want that. I need honesty, even if we decide to be risky, we need to be honest. We need to know that there are risks, even if we are being monogamous, and even if we use condoms, even if we have both been tested, that unless we are both virgins, there can still be risk.

    Not all STD checkups check for every STD. One of the clinics that I have been to will not test for herpes or HPV. they do not consider them to be a big issue, and you can get a clean STD checkup, with paperwork, and haven’t been tested for HPV or herpes, probably not for crabs either, but that I understand. If you and your potential partner get tested, get the paperwork, see what was tested for and what was not. There are “full panel tests”, and others to inquire about.

    I don’t judge people, and I let them know that if they have had an STD in the past, or even if they find that they currently have an STD such as HPV or HSV (herpes types 1 or 2) that it does not mean that we could not have sex, it just means that we need to communicate with doctors and each other about the risks, and safer ways to be physical intimate with each other. If more than fifty percent of the population has some type of HPV, and I have had sex with at least two people in the past year or so, then odds are I have come into contact with HPV, so why judge the person I want to get closer to?

    Offering my sincere openness and understanding often gives the other person the chance to spill any dirt without worry. I have had people tall me that they dated someone with herpes in the past, or have had unprotected sex with another female and had not seen the need for a checkup. Sometimes it is good to get on Web Md STD center, or another site and do some research together. Either one of you could have been exposed to an STD and it not even give you any symptoms for years, or ever at all. Sometimes STD tests show false positives or positive negatives. Sometimes people are ignorant about the contagiousness of diseases, or how safe safe sex is or isn’t.

    Shedding light and gaining knowledge about STDs together can shed light on things we may not have known about disease, things we may not have known about each other, and can lead to healthier, more intimate, and trusting sexual relations. I believe the STD talk is not only very important for safety, but leads to better sex, a deeper understanding of one another, and less stress in dating and intimacy.

    Even after years of sexual partners, countless trips to STD clinics, reading tons of literature about safe sex and disease, reading online, and having good classes in school about STDs, I sometimes learn new things that I had not considered. I recently learned that herpes type one (the variety that generally breaks out around the mouth, sometimes called cold sores or fever blisters) can be transferred from the mouth to the genitals. I know a girl that got her pussy infected with genital herpes after her ex lover went down on her and performed oral sex on her. She now has type one HSV infecting her genitals. It is painful for her sometimes, it’s a major drag on her emotionally, but she has learned much more about it, and is currently in a happy healthy relationship with someone who does not have herpes.

    There is much more I’d like to write about herpes, and will do that soon I guess, I have yet to find one definitive resource for that explains everything I have learned over the years about it, and I’d like there to be more pictures of herpes outbreaks show online, perhaps in wikipedia so that people will realize that it doesn’t always look like the extreme pictures you see, sometimes it can look like a minor pimple or razor bump. Luckily herpes and HPV do not pose serious health risks for the most part.

    HPV has become quite prevalent in our society, the past year I have known many people who have been diagnosed with it. Several of the HPV varieties can lead to cervical cancer in women, but a majority of the HPV infections are left untreated, and considered pretty harmless, left to go away on their own. I read that at one college, the staff doctor said that anyone having sex with 2 people while in college pretty much has a 100% chance of contacting this STD. It is basically genital warts, and can be a very minor inconvenience with no symptoms, or it can be quite painful for other people. I know girls that have had several surgeries to remove the genital warts from inside their vaginas, and I have seen a guy that had painful warts all around the head of his penis. I know other people that were told by doctors that a good diet and quitting smoking could lead to it simply disappearing in a few months.

    No one wants a wart on their hand, much less their genitals, and no one wants to think that they have had sex with someone who had genital warts, but the odds are that we have all come into contact with it, and that every other person we have sex with may have it. We could be carriers with no symptoms, and our partners could be infected and not know it. Apparently it can be transferred from one to another during oral sex, and even between lesbian women.

    Condoms may help prevent HPV and herpes to some degree, but they are no 100% effective, it is suggested that people use dental dams or condoms even when performing oral sex. I prefer not to, but I do so knowing there is risk. Knowledge is power, and all people involved in risky behaviors should have full knowledge of the risks involved.

    This post isn’t meant to be an end all knowledge base about STDs, but more of a springboard for people to engage in discussions about STDs. I encourage everyone to learn more about STDs, even if you think you know it all, you may learn something knew, which may give you more to talk about.  Talking about STD has given me much relief in knowing what others know, knowing that others know there are still risks, even if all precautions have been taken. that gives a sigh of relief, helps me to relax, and I assume others as well. It adds some layers of communication and trust, and makes for a much more satisfying sexual experience. It’s not always easy to start the STD talk, but the benefits are enormous, and I have been glad every time I have had one.

    Posted by Steven @ 11:05 pm for Dating Advice, Fantasy and Reality |

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