May 03, 2024

How to Talk to Your Partner About Safer Sex

How to Talk About Safer Sex Planned Parenthood Birth Control

Safer sex is all about protecting yourself and your partner(s) from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Using protection helps you stay healthy and can even make sex better by providing peace of mind. 

Discussing safer sex with a partner can feel awkward, but it’s an important conversation to have. Talking about protecting each other shows you care, and it can even make your relationship stronger. 

The best time to talk about your safer sex game plan is BEFORE you start having sex (yes, this includes oral!) Make sure you’re both cool with using condoms and/or dental dams to protect yourselves and figure out when and how you’re going to get tested for STIs.

So, how do you start the conversation on safer sex?  

Declare Your Care 

A good way to start is by telling your partner that you care about them and want to do everything you can to make sure you’re protecting them and your relationship. You can also talk about your own safer sex history first, which might make them feel more comfortable opening up.  

Suggest a Couples’ Testing Trip 

If you’re concerned about testing, suggest a couples’ trip to your local Planned Parenthood health center. Going with someone you trust can help eliminate anxiety and provide additional support. 

Stay Sober 

Another way to make sex safer is to avoid drinking too much or doing other drugs. Substances can make you forget how important protection is, and you may accidentally make decisions that you regret. It’s also harder to use condoms correctly and remember other safer sex basics when you’re not sober, so be sure your partner is on board with passing on the alcohol in favor of an evening to remember! 

Get Real 

If you need to inform a partner that you have an STI, preface the conversation by telling them you have something serious and important to discuss and that you are willing to address any questions or concerns they may have as a result. It may be helpful to provide educational brochures or links for them to explore. 

It’s always a good idea to pair condoms with birth control for extra protection. You can request many types of birth control through the Planned Parenthood Direct app. 

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