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Communication is key for safer sex, and should really happen before you have sex. While it may seem difficult or awkward talking about safer sex with your partner/s, it’s an important part of any healthy relationship.
When talking to your partner/s about safer sex, it can help to let them know that you care about them and want to do everything possible to protect their health, as well as your own.
It can also help to share your safer sex history with your partner/s first, such as your experiences using contraception and condoms, or having a STI check. This can help them to feel more comfortable about opening up.
Make sure to also talk with your partner/s about whether you’re committed to only having sex with each other, or whether you will have sex with other people. If the decision is to have sex with other people, then you will need to come up with a plan for protecting everyone from STIs. It’s best to always use condoms and get regular STI checks.
Offer to buy condoms with your partner, and even share the cost. Condoms can be purchased in NZ from Family Planning clinics, pharmacies, supermarkets, pubs, public toilets, nightclubs, dairies, sex shops, and online. It’s cheaper to get them on prescription from a Family Planning clinic, a Sexual Health Centre or a doctor.
Experiment with different styles and flavours of condoms. There are lots of different varieties to choose from.
People often worry that condoms will ‘kill the mood’, but in fact they can be quite sexy! You and your partner/s can come up with creative ideas on how to include condoms in foreplay.
This way you both feel supported and can ask all the questions that you need to, together. Managing contraception in a relationship is a team effort!
Remember, STIs are so common that anyone who has ever had sex may get an STI. It’s not about being good, bad, clean or dirty. It’s about being normal and sexually active.
A red flag reminder: If your partner/s wont use condoms, contraception, or get tested for STIs, or they get angry when you try to talk with them about safer sex, these may be signs that you are in an unhealthy relationship. Your partner/s should care about your health as well as their own.
If you are needing support, you can find help here: