I want to have sex: How do I talk to my partner?

So you’re feeling ready to have sex with your partner. Or maybe you’ve been ready for a while but you’re not sure if your boyfriend or girlfriend is. How do you talk about it?

  • Choose a good time when you’re alone together and you have time and privacy to talk about it.
  • Be honest about how you feel about each other and what sex means to each of you. Is it casual and you’re just having fun? Or is it serious and shows that you’re in love? There’s no right answer, either one can be fine, but if you don’t talk about it, you’re setting yourself up for problems.
  • Don’t put pressure on the other person. You each have a right to feel how you feel, and you each have a right to decide for yourself whether or not you’re ready and want to have sex with each other. 

If your partner says no, tell them that you respect that and ask them to let you know if or when they are ready to have sex. If your partner says yes, you still have a few more things you should do:

  • Get tested for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) including HIV together. That way you can make sure you both know your status before you start having sex. (By the way, even once you’ve tested, you should still take steps to stay safe. You’re the only one who can take responsibility for your own health.)
  • Plan for how you’re going to stay safe and healthy. It’s best to do this together— sure, it can be scary, but it can also be a way to show your partner that you care about their health and want to involve them in decisions that affect you as a couple. And if you start a habit of talking openly at the beginning of your relationship, it will be easier to keep talking about things as time goes on.
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