What to say before you play?

Getting the sex you want can be hard sometimes, no pun intended. Whether in a new relationship or meeting a casual partner, communication between partners on how to get the sex you want can be beneficial. Sometimes setting some guidelines through open discussion help set the tone for the day or evening, so that both partners know where each other stand and know how to achieve the best sex and pleasure suited to their preferences. This can also help to build trust and ensure you are getting the sex you want safely without putting yourself or others at risk for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

In our experience in the sexual health clinic these are some things you may want to consider asking yourself or your partner:

Testing

Questions to Ask

  • When was the last time you got tested for STIs, including HIV?
  • Were your results negative?
  • How often do you get tested?
  • Is there anything else I should know before we play?

Things to Consider

There is a window period with HIV screening, meaning it may take up to 3 months for the virus to be detected in the blood.

Ideally individuals should have screening between partners, especially if having unprotected oral, vaginal or anal sex.

Party and play or sex under the influence, multiple partners, and anonymous sex can increase your chance of getting STIs.

Sometimes people think that regular bloodwork from their doctor includes STI screening but this is not always the case. STI screening is done through urine testing, swabbing of the throat, rectum, or a sore or bloodwork, depending on the infection.

Is also important to consider if your partner has a regular partner or other partners themselves, do they know their partner(s) status on STIs?

Preference

Questions to Ask

  • What do you like?
  • Do you have any limits?
  • What turns you on? And what turns you off?
  • Is there anything you want to try that you haven’t before?

Things to Consider

Ask yourself, what are you into? If you know what you like then you can tell your partners what you want and how you want it.

It’s helpful to know your own boundaries so you can voice it to your partner and vice versa.

If you don’t know what you like yet, that’s okay. Let your partner know you may be open to experimenting to find out what it is that gets you off, within your own comfort.

If you have limitations, set them, so you know where each other stand. Sometimes safe words are worth having.

Protection

Questions to Ask

  • Do you use condoms?
  • Are you on PrEP?
  • What protection do you use?
  • Do you have any other partners or a regular partner?
  • Do you use sex toys?

Things to Consider

Condoms and lube continue to be an inexpensive way in lowering your risks of getting STIs. There are also internal condoms and dental dams for anal sex/play. These methods are all FREE at the Health Unit. Come grab a handful!

Using PrEP or having an undetectable viral load are other forms of protection. Talk to your doctor or drop in to Elevate’s GMSH Clinic every 3rd Tuesday to get started on PrEP!

If you are using sex toys it’s important to make sure they are sterilized between each use.

If there are other partners for yourself or the partner you’re about to hook up with, it’s important to consider how you are going to protect yourself so you are also protecting your other partners.

For more information, www.thesexyouwant.ca is a great resource and can answer all your questions about getting the sex you want safely.