How do you navigate safe sex with new partners?
February 9, 2013 7:11 PM Subscribe
I'm getting back into dating after a long hiatus and I realized I have no idea how to protect myself from STDs without seeming like a crazy, overly-cautious prude. Help!
posted by anonymous to human relations (23 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a mid-thirties woman who dates men, but my sexual experience has been confined to a few long-term relationships in my twenties with men I was friends with first. I got to know them slowly, got to know their sexual history (which was very limited), and in a couple of those cases we even got STD testing done together before going below the belt, so to speak.
I haven't dated anyone in several years and am trying to get back into it (mostly online dating). I realized two things: (1) I'm afraid of getting an STD, and (2) I have absolutely no idea how to navigate safe sex with new partners, particularly when I might be sleeping with someone who has had lots of previous partners and possibly some unsafe sex at this stage in his life, and I've only been out with him a few times and feel less knowledgeable about his sexual past.
Obviously condoms (etc) can be used to lessen risk with intercourse, but there will still be some risk since there always is. And my understanding is that oral sex can transmit some STDs; how do people deal with that? I realize it's theoretically possible to use condoms (etc) with oral sex, but I honestly have never done that and don't think I know anyone who has.
I realize I could do what my friends do and just go ahead and take the risk, but several of my friends have STDs from doing so and I really want to avoid that situation if possible.
So, I'm curious: how do you guys navigate safe sex with a new partner? How do you minimize risk as much as possible? I really don't know what the norm is and would love to hear your experiences. Thanks!