Your Daily dose of advice: The sex appeals Photo by Tom Chang
The Sex Appeals is where your questions get answered by The Daily’s sexpert, Indigo Trigg-Hauger. No matter how strange or complicated your situation is, send it in and we’ll work it out.
How do you talk to someone about getting tested and safe sex without offending them? Is it okay to insist on both of us getting tested before having sex even though that person says there’s no chance they have an STD?
Asking someone to get tested even if they say they’re clean is perfectly OK — but the other person might not see it that way. You are completely in the right here, though, and you should assert yourself. There is really no way to know whether or not they are infected without being tested.
If you’ve talked about having sex already, then lead into the conversation with that angle. Go from discussing sex in general to STIs. Emphasize that it’s not about you not trusting them, but there are many ways to get STIs — oral sex, skin-to-skin contact, and even kissing.
One good way to convince them to get tested is to do the same. If you can show them proof that you’re clean, they might feel better about doing the same. You want to start your sexual relationship off on the right foot. You can get tested at Hall Health or Planned Parenthood. They’re both nearby and convenient.
If they still take offense, you may have chosen the wrong partner. But if you’re still set on having sex with this person, use a condom or dental dam, and tell them it’s you, not them. Or you could simply say you have a no-exceptions policy and insist on using protection against STIs. If this person still refuses, kick them to the curb. That’s just a sign of disrespect.
I have a choking fetish. Could you tell me what types of rope or materials would be safe to use for such a kink?
Avoid actual rope, or anything that would be hard to un-knot or untie in an emergency. Instead, you should buy a collar, or use a belt. A collar is best because it won’t roll over itself and become dangerous, and though it may not be tight when you’re just wearing it, your partner can pull it back to put pressure on your neck to choke you. A belt can work similarly, but be careful of the buckle. Above all, make sure you trust your partner, and both of you are aware of safety measures. If you’re looking for resources in the area to explore a little more, the Foundation for Sex Positive Culture is a popular place in Seattle for classes and information related to kink. Babeland also offers some classes focused on kink, though it’s primarily a sex store.
I truly realized I was asexual pretty recently. I can comprehend being sexually attracted to people, but I’ve never really felt that way in my life, and I’m far past the age in which I should’ve. Although I like the human form, the closer it gets to orifice penetration, the more grossed out I become. (You do not want to hear some of my stories.) I have trouble talking to people about how I actually feel — about anything — for a lot of reasons, mostly because I don’t think it matters, but I want a relationship that feels real to me, and that means the truth. How and when should I bring this up when dating? Any advice for someone who doesn’t know anyone else like themselves?
Being asexual is complicated. Though it’s not something you need to bring up on a first date, sex is important to a lot of people in relationships. In your case, it might be best to work on the emotional part of a relationship first by being friends, and then talk about your limits in terms of a physical relationship if things progress.
Being asexual does not mean you need to shut out emotional intimacy. If you can talk about your feelings with someone else, and care what they have to say, you’re well on your way to having a relationship.
Don’t hide your asexuality, but don’t make it the focal point of your relationship either. A good start for you would be to make a close friend, and then delve into a romantic relationship if you want to. Don’t feel obligated to actively seek someone out though. There are other asexual folks out there, and there are also people who don’t find the physical part of a relationship to be absolutely crucial; you will find someone eventually if you want to. Care about yourself first and foremost, and then try to find someone who will be able to connect with you. If you don’t have a good relationship with yourself, you won’t be able to have it with anyone else. When you do find that person, be clear and firm about your boundaries and what being asexual is, since many people have no idea what it entails.
I’ve been diagnosed with HPV. I have the type that doesn’t produce physical symptoms (no warts). I’ve been dating a new guy for a few weeks, and I’m interested in sleeping with him. Although guys can be carriers of HPV, they don’t take on symptoms and can’t develop cervical cancer. So what is my obligation to him regarding informing him of my STI? Do I need to tell him before we do the deed?
You are absolutely obligated to tell him. Even though he might not display symptoms when infected (though it is entirely possible with many types), he would still be a carrier, as you said yourself. That means you’re not just putting him at risk for it — you’re putting every subsequent sexual partner he will have at risk. Telling him might not be easy, and it might result in him refusing to have sex with you, but it’s the only decent thing to do.
Reach sexual health columnist Indigo Trigg-Hauer at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the anonymous entry-box on dailyuw.com. Regardless of which method you choose, your identity will be kept strictly confidential.
Please read our Comment policy.