A Driver’s Manual for Sexual Communication
by Catie Martin
As we slowly slide into spring our thoughts start to drift toward many different things.
The end of school, the start of summer, and what adventures each of those may have for us. Many people will be starting new relationships, since there is a big spike in break-ups right around spring break.
Being newly single, you may find yourself about to have sex with someone and you realize that you don’t even know the first thing about this person.
Maybe it’s time to push on the brakes, breathe in that fresh sunny air (oh, hey, mindfulness!) and have a conversation with your partner. Here are five things you may want to talk about before you park your car in your partner’s garage:
What are the stop signs?
So you know you like this person, you know they’re attractive, but what else do you know about them? Do they like scary movies? Do they love to draw? Have they recently contracted a sexually transmitted infection?
It’s important to figure out if you’re compatible with your new sex partner outside of the bedroom/backseat. Whether or not you hope to be having sex with them again, a basic sense of whether the two of you are good together is always a good place to start.
It’s also a good idea to talk with them about whether or not they’ve recently been tested for sexually transmitted infections. This can be a really awkward conversation, as someone might feel judged if you ask this of them. You may even want to preface this conversation with “this is something I just ask before I have sex with someone, I feel it’s important for both of us to know” Then you ask about their most recent test, and tell them about yours.
What’s that? You haven’t been tested recently?
Well get tested. Don’t know where to? Go to the Corner Health Center and make an appointment! Tell your partner to come as well. After getting tested together, you’ll find you can do almost anything together.
What revs your engine?
A slightly more interesting and fun conversation, it’s good to figure out what each of you likes and appreciates when it comes to sex.
Is there a hard line where you’d like to stop the sexual activity? Let your partner know.
Is there a particular sexual thing that you love or hate? Maybe it’s a good idea to let them know that as well.
If you don’t ask for what you want, it’s going to be very hard to get it. And how do you figure out what you want? Take some time by yourself to fiddle with the gears and see what you like and don’t like.
Yes, I’m talking about masturbation.
Once you’ve figured out what you do and don’t like, go ahead and tell your partner. They will most likely appreciate the guidance.
Where are your seat belts?
Quick, name the 5 things you can wear that extend your life. Got it?
Did you come up with:
- Seat belts, and
It’s a great idea to talk to your partner BEFORE you’re naked about what kind of protection you both will use to protect yourselves against sexually transmitted infections, and, if you’re in a heterosexual relationship, how you will protect against pregnancy.
Again, if your partner gets offended and thinks you’re asking only because you think they are “dirty,” simply clarify that this is something you do to stay safe, and it’s not because of anything they have done or that you’ve heard.
Don’t have condoms? The Corner Health Center does! Stop by the front desk and pick up a few for free.
Do I have the green light?
Whenever you are thinking about being sexual with someone, it shows respect and care to get their consent first. And here I’m not just talking about “Okay yeah sure whatevs,” I’m talking about having a conversation about exactly how far this will go, who will do what to whom, and what the other person is excited about. Because consent is a low bar. Go for enthusiasm.
Whose car is this anyway?
Finally, before you drive it home, it’s good to define what the relationship will look like going forward, so each person participating in the sexual experience can decide for themselves whether or not they would like to continue hooking up/dating/snapchatting/etc. Be honest with your partner AND yourself about where you would like the relationship to go. If you don’t see a future, let your partner know that and they can decide for themselves whether they like to continue the sexual experience. Sex can be so much better when you’re on the same page.
A Final Thought
Each of these conversations can be difficult, awkward, and may lead to a place that you don’t want to go. However, once you’ve left the stop signs in the dust, revved each other’s engines, got the green light, put on your seat belts, and figured out the best way to share the drive, there’s no stopping you. Enjoy the ride!
Have Fun. Be Safe.
About Catie Martin
Catie Martin, LMSW is the Corner Health Center's in-house improv master and therapist extraordinaire. Little known fact: therapists with a sense of humor are better than therapists without a sense of humor.Condoms, Dating & Relationships, Driving, Sexual Health, STDs/STIs and tagged corner health, corner health center, get tested, relationship talk, sex talk, talk about sex, the corner. Bookmark the permalink.