DON'T Let it Burn: Tips on How to Discuss Sexual Health

So by now, most of us have seen all the latest news reports about singer/songwriter/Moesha's ex boyfriend, Usher Raymond.  For those of us who have taken a social media sabbatical, let me quckly bring you up to speed.  Usher out here sanging about his confessions but apparently he forgot to mention an important little detail about his sexual past...HERPES.  As reported by several news sources, Usher paid out $1.1 million dollars to settle a lawsuit with a woman that he infected with Herpes.  I suppose between all that dizzy ass spinning and doing stage cartwheels, he forgot to inform his partner that he carried the Herpes virus.  

It's crazy to imagine, but even in the year 2017 many men and women are not having open and honest conversations with their sexual partners about their history.  It could be out of shyness or even embarrassment that people aren't communicating about their health, but all of those emotions should be secondary when it involves your private parts and possessions.  

1 out of 6 people are infected with Herpes.... 1 OUT OF EVERY 6.  That means, if you happen to see a cute group of friends at any music festival, church, the mall, grocery store, and/or at a bar,  statistically speaking, one of those people may be infected with a sexually transmitted disease and they may or may NOT even know.  According to World Health Organziation, "Each year, there are an estimated 357 million new infections with 1 of 4 STIs: chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomoniasis. More than 500 million people are estimated to have a genital infection with herpes simplex virus (HSV).  The idea of meeting a cute stranger and just rumbling in the sack unprotected is cute when watching a Lifetime movie, but scary as hell in real life.  

Also, lets be clear, there are many people infected with sexually transmitted diseases and they are happy and living their lives.  Having any disease does not make you a horrible human being NOR is it a death sentence.  However,  having a STD and NOT not informing your partner about your sexual health is just trifling and misleading.  Don't do that. 

We realize how difficult it can be for some to discuss sex and health with your current sexual partners.  To alleviate some of the awkwardness of having those "soooo is that just a regular cold sore or nah" conversations, we've compiled a quick list of TIPS that you can reference when the time comes as well as a few TRICKS to avoid contracting an STD.

TIPS

1. Have a non traditional date night to the doctor or clinic and get tested together. It's not quite as romantic as a candle lit dinner but neither is expensive drug treatments. 

2. Purchase a couple of at home STD/STI testing kits for those spontaneous nights that you didn't pre-plan or pre-shave for.  You can Netflix and chill while waiting on results. 

3. Suggest playing truth or dare and ask away! If they happen to choose "dare", then you can dare them to tell you all the health details about their love below.  

4. Just be BOLD and straight to the point! There's no need to dance around topics as important as you health. A huge part of being in a relationship in communication and you both should be mature enough to handle the "hard" questions (Have you ever been tested for HIV/AIDS? When was the last time you were tested? How may sexual partners have you had since your last test? Are you currently involved with anyone else?).

Tricks

1. Practice Safe Sex EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

2. Make sure you and your partner are TESTED REGULARLY. This means before you enter into any new relationship and more frequently if you are in risky relationships

3. Keep the relationship Mutually Monogamous. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s safer this way! If you are into threesomes and/or having sister wives (we are not judging you), just make sure all persons involved are tested.

4. Be comfortable saying “NO!” - if you’re not ready or just unsure, it’s okay to say “Not Right Now” and if they’re not okay with having to wait, move on, that’s their loss.

5. Be Responsible for your own protection! He can save all of the “Condoms are uncomfortable”, “I’m too big to fit a condom” and “I ran out/left them at home” for someone else! Just hit him with a mean side eye and pull out your own! 

6. D.I.Y (Do It Yourself) - Solo Sex if the Safest Sex!!!

Do you have any tips to add to the list? If so, share below.  Also, while you're here, don't forget to order your 3-Pack Condom and Tin Set by Lovability for your next "safe" night out. Happy and Safe Sexing!!