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Author Topic: Birth Control/STDs
ginsberg
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Me (17 year old girl) and my boyfriend (16) have been dating for over three months now, and I love him more than I could possibly explain. We've started having manual and oral sex about a month ago. We haven't had vaginal sex yet and I don't know when we will. I brought up birth control and STD testing to him, and he doesn't think it's necessary to get tested because he wants to cut down on how much sex we have anyway. Was I out of line asking him to get tested for my peace of mind before we've even had vaginal? I have anxiety, and even though I know somewhere in my head that he and I are both clean (we were virgins before each other), I want this verification. And is it silly for me to want to go on birth control to be prepared for whenever we do have vaginal sex? We move pretty fast, and I'm worried about pregnancy. But I don't want to cause a rift, because I really do love him, by asking him for unrealistic things. Thank you in advance.
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Heather
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Hey, ginsberg.

By all means, I think doing what we can do to reduce risks in advance when it comes to sex is always a great idea.

It also sounds like you already know that you two tend to move fast, so you know that being prepared in advance is a smart idea for you, uniquely.

That given, finding birth control methods you intend to use before you need them is always, always a good idea. And, of course, necessary, since we can't very well access them right at the time.

With the STI testing, do I have it right that your partner has never had ANY kind of sexual contact with another partner?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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

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ginsberg
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No, he hasn't, and I've only ever kissed anyone else before (and not even French).
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Heather
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Okay.

So, the thing about that is that most likely, if he went to a sexual healthcare provider for those tests, they probably wouldn't even give him any of them unless his health or life history suggested that he might need to be tested for HIV, for example, because of IV drug use.

In healthcare, there's an ethos about not testing people for things without cause to do so.

I don't think talking about STIs is at all out of line, but unless you aren't as close to 100% as it gets that he's being honest about his sexual history, STI tests just probably aren't warranted.

Are you finding that even with the idea -- or the practice with kinds of sex you are having already -- of safer sex practices, like using condoms for oral, vaginal or anal sex, you still aren't feeling safe enough? Or, if you're not already engaging in safer sex practices like using condoms for any of those activities, do you think starting and sticking with those practices, which are the best ways to prevent STIs, would take care of your concerns?

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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

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ginsberg
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We aren't using condoms, and if we did that would probably help. But I really don't want to, honestly. It was just his complete and utter refusal that caught me off guard.
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Heather
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Well, if you want to reduce the risk of STIs, safer sex practices is what you need to do, ultimately.

So, since I assume wanting testing for him in the first place about was about you wanting to risk STIs, I'm a little confused.

Can you fill me in some more so I can get it?

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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

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ginsberg
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I just wanted to be sure that we were both completely clean. I'm not a very trusting person, naturally.
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Heather
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Just for future reference, we suggest "negative" or "clear" as language for have STI tests done without positive results. "Clean" suggests people with illnesses are dirty, which they obviously not only aren't, but it just kind of piles on the stigma. [Smile]

You know, if your criteria for sexual partners is that they get tested before you engage in sex with them, you get to have that criteria. because, of course, anyone who doesn't want to gets to say no to sex with you, be it by that merit or some other.

I'd simply say that asking for that AFTER any unprotected oral, vaginal or anal sex isn't an effective way of reducing your risks of STIs. So, moving forward, if you really want to reduce those risks, you'll need to either wait for any of that kind of sex until (and if) a partner gets tested, OR be engaging in safer sex before then.

If you want another go with this with this partner, I think you can offer to go get tested together, and make clear that you're asking for testing now in order for you to feel comfortable continuing your sexual relationship. You can make clear that you know he might not want to, and you'd respect that, but that that means, because of what you feel you need, that the nature of your relationship will need to change to be something that doesn't involve sex.

--------------------
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

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Heather
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(But, like I said earlier, someone with no previous sexual partners may have a hard time finding anyone to give them a full panel of STI tests in the first place. Especially if their insurance doesn't cover them or they can't pay the big pile of cash a full panel tends to cost.)

--------------------
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

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