Sexpression: How To Say What’s On Your Mind
Let’s face it Choma, there are some conversations that seem a little too awkward to have with your partner, especially conversations about sex. But expressing yourself (or in the case ‘sexpressing’ yourself since we’re talking about sex) is important, and once you do it you might realise that it’s not as difficult as you made it out to be in your mind. Below are some topics that are important to talk about with your partner whether you are in a sexually active relationship or not as yet:
Talking about condoms
This often seems like one of the most awkward conversations to have. What do you do when your partner refuses to have sex with a condom, especially DURING sex when things have already gotten a bit hot and heavy? It’s perfectly fine to stop your partner right there and then and let them know you refuse to have sex without a condom. If you find it hard to negotiate condom use just before the act of sex, maybe the best time to talk about it is before you get in the heat of the moment. Sit your partner down and tell them that you are uncomfortable having sex without protection.
A respectful partner wouldn't have a problem with you wanting to use protection, not even in the heat of the moment. Yes Choma, a healthy relationship is built on trust but that includes trusting each other to respect each others feelings and concerns. Safe sex is responsible sex.
Talking about consent
Whether you’re in a committed relationship with the person you intend on sleeping with or not, consent is an important part of a sexual relationship, and any type of relationship for that matter. If you and your partner have not been sexually active yet, it might be best to talk about this beforehand. Talking about consent means talking about what you are comfortable with and what you are not. It allows your partner to know when you want something to happen and when you want something to stop. Tell your partner that you would like them to ask your permission before doing something or wanting to do something, especially when it comes to sex. If they do something you’re not comfortable with, tell them there and then. Also remember though Choma, there is no expiry date on how you feel about something. Even if they did something that made you feel uncomfortable a month ago, you can still speak to them about it today.
Talking about boundaries
Similar to consent, talking about boundaries comes down to talking about what you are and aren’t comfortable with. You could maybe start by saying what you do like. For example you like hugging and kissing. Your partner might also say what they like. You can then talk about what you don’t like and give your partner the opportunity to do the same. There should be an agreement on these boundaries Choma. Sex should never be uncomfortable Choma. Don't be afraid to express your own thoughts on it.
Talking about not being ready for sex
You can be in a relationship with someone and not want to have sex with them. Not wanting to have sex, no matter what the reason, is perfectly normal. It’s not a good idea to have sex when you’re not ready to and in a healthy relationship your partner should be able to understand that. Sit your partner down and let them know how you feel. You don’t even have to wait for them to talk about having sex first. You can bring it up whenever you feel ready to. Just be honest. You don’t owe anyone sex so you shouldn’t feel bad if you’re not ready to have it.
Talking about STIs
Telling your partner you have a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), can be really difficult because you might feel unsure of how they would react. However, it is important information and since it might affect them, you need to tell them Choma. It’s best to just be direct and honest. You could tell them “Before we have sex I think it’s important that we talk about using protection because I have a STI”. You can then tell them what type of STI it is. You don’t have to tell them everything, but if you’re open to answering questions it might make them feel more comfortable. STIs are common and many can be cured. Those that can’t be cured, such as Herpes or HIV, can still be treated. Make sure that you always use protection and go for regular STI and HIV testing with your partner.
Do you need advice on sex or relationships? Remember that you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).
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