Talk with Your Partner

Communication is the key to safe and enjoyable sex. If you’re not ready to talk with your partner about sex, then you’re probably not ready to have sex.

Here are some things to talk about with your partner, before you have sex.

Do we consent? You both need to consent. Consent means two people freely give each other permission for sexual activity—touching, kissing, and having sex.
What type of sexual activity are we comfortable with?

Sex is not just penis-in-vagina. It means many different activities to different people. See the section Sex is...

Talk about what sexual activities each of you like and don’t like, or what you are or are not willing to try.

What about safe sex? Vaginal, oral, and anal sex present risks of getting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). See the section on STIs.
What about birth control? Vaginal sex can lead to pregnancy. Talk about different types of birth control; decide what methods you want to use. See the Protect Yourself section.

What if my partner says…

“Sex with a condom doesn’t feel good.” Response: “STIs and unplanned pregnancy don’t feel good either. We can use some lube inside and outside the condom to make it feel better.”
“Just this one time, it won’t matter.” Response: “It only takes one time to get an STI or unplanned pregnancy. Let’s do something else now. We can pick up condoms and lube at the health centre for next time.
“Are you worried about catching an STI from me?” Response: “The only way to know for sure if either one of us has an STI is to get tested. We can’t tell just by looking.”
“But we love each other!” Response: “That’s a great reason to protect each other! I’ve got a condom—let’s use it!”
“If you don’t do it with me, I’ll find someone who will.” Response: “Okay. If you don’t respect me enough to protect me, see you later.”