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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » help with opposing sex-saftey veiwpoints in a relationship?

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Author Topic: help with opposing sex-saftey veiwpoints in a relationship?
endall_
Neophyte
Member # 31648

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I’m in a bit of a pickle. I’m in a new relationship, and it’s started to reach to more of an intimate level so I today I tried explaining my personal rules about testing and birth control. However, it didn’t really come out right, because I’m used to people on the same point of view as I am when it comes to sexual health, and he took it completely the wrong way. He associates STI testing with “dirty people” and was truly offended that I would make such a request. I tried explaining myself and that it wasn’t about that or that I didn’t trust his word, but he has been brought up very differently from me and his argument was that a relationship can only get intimate with trust, and I don’t have to worry about testing because we apparently dont even have that [trust]. I kept trying to apologize for him taking it the wrong way and explain myself, but he was so upset, we decided to just drop it for the night.

I think the problem was I struck a nerve, because he’s had a past with drugs and I think he felt I was bringing all his past mistakes up and calling him a dirty person for that. I didn’t mean it like that of course, I’m just trying to be careful, but I guess I wasn’t sensitive enough to that fact.

So now I have a few questions,
1) I don’t know much about them, but do law issued ‘drug tests’ for probation really include HIV and STD testing? He kept saying that he had already been tested when the police drug tested him and that I should believe him, but I’m not sure he has all the facts, or knows that there is more than just HIV.

2) HPV is one of my main concerns because I don’t have the vaccine and as far as I understand, it doesn’t have symptoms in men and because its spread from contact, condoms don’t stop it 100%. I do believe him that he hadn’t ever had weird symptoms, and if he is right that he’s had an HIV test, HPV is all I’m really concerned about so I want to clear up some confusion; what are the risks for HPV with oral sex?

3) Any advice on how to sensitively handle and un-sexually educated person by educating them with out making them feel accused or stupid? Basically how do I deal with him?

Sorry for the long complex question, but your advice is always very helpful, Thank you.

Posts: 13 | From: usa | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Endall, I have to go to bed, but if no one else gets this one, I'll tackle it for you in the morning.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pyro_angel
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 13245

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Hey. I'm not sure I can answer everything, but I can share my story.
My boyfriend was brought up in a very conservative home. Sex was NEVER discussed, and any sex ed he did have came from school education. He was VERY resistant to the idea of being tested, but for different reasons. He still is, actually. Among other issues, he's terrified of needles, so the idea of having a blood test done freaks him out. Anyway.
When I first brought the subject up, I was met with "No way, I don't need to do that!" Over time, I gently pushed the subject. I'd mention about a friend or relative who had an STI, or I'd show/email him an article or story. Eventually, he went to the doctor and got tested on his own. He still resists every year, but now that we're closer, I just tell him I won't have sex with him if he doesn't do it. Ah, motivation [Smile]
Anyway, trying to gently inform/educate him by sharing interesting info might work. Printing off and going through the readiness checklist can help. Would he take a look at this site if you linked him to it?
I'm sure heather will do much better than I did at 2am [Smile]

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Courtenay

Posts: 593 | From: Kamloops, BC, Canada | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
endall_
Neophyte
Member # 31648

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I don't think he'd be to eagar to look at this site with me, unfortuanatly, he's stuborn like that. I know he just needs a little convincing, and thanks alot for your advice pyro_angel, I think it's helping me get an idea on how I'd go about convincing him.
I still have those other questions to, if anyone else has the time to give me advice and answers.
Thank you so much

Posts: 13 | From: usa | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Sorry "this morning" turned out to be 3 in the afternoon.

To tackle your numbered questions first:

1) Tests for being under probation are not at all likely to include STI tests. They're testing for drug use, not sexual activity. He might have had an HIV test, but I doubt it, particularly since he would have had to have had specific counseling for that. If he did have one, he should also have a copy of the results and his consent/counseling forms for that HIV test. All the same, he still needs STI tests -- for all STIs -- once a year like all the rest of us, and he likely has not ever had those if this was the only situation in which he thinks he may have been tested.

2) It's actually not really sound to only worry about one STI. They can all cause health complications, particularly if they go untreated or undiagnosed. one of those complications is increasing the chances of getting another STI, so, for instance, if your boyfriend gives you Chlamydia, and also has HPV, it'd be a lot easier for you to catch the HPV. It is very difficult to test for HPV in men, but often wart strains can be found, and again, he still needs those other tests anyway.

3) Safer sex is something everyone who is going to be sexually active in their lives really just needs to accept and learn to deal with. If you aren't the partner who is going to insist on it, he's likely to have at least another down the road who will. In other words, he can't likely avoid this stuff forever.

STIs are not just found in "dirty people." That, too, is something he needs to let go of, because it's based in bias and ignorance. You can make clear that YOU certainly don't think that, and know enough about STIs and sexual health to know better, and got to that point just by reading up, reading and information you'd be happy to share with him so he can have as much knowledge as you do. You can also make clear that this is something you -- and many other people -- ask of ANY partner, regardless of their background because you know that someone's background often has zip to do with STI status. So, you're not singling him out, you're holding him to a standard you would hold anyone and everyone to.

You might also let him know that MOST of the time, STIs don't have noticeable symptoms, so we know, in sexual health, by now, that basing our ideas on who does and doesn't have an infection on "weird symptoms" isn't sound. Testing is the only accurate way we have of determining that.

You can also make clear that safer sex -- which includes regular testing for ALL sexually active people, not just some people -- is just about being responsible and safe, in both your best interests, and also about having the safety assurances that allow both of you to better enjoy sex with less stress and worry.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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