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The Scarlet & Black

Ask SHIC: SHIC helps with the difficult conversations

Dear SHIC, 

I’ve been in a relationship for a while now, and we’ve been having pretty much the same sex every time. I don’t know how to bring this conversation up without insulting my partner! Help!


Dear AwkTalk,

Many people in relationships develop sex routines, and it can be difficult to approach the subject without feeling awkward. It is likely, however, that your partner’s mind has also wandered beyond your routine sexual encounter, and bringing up the subject can increase both your pleasures and your communication in the relationship. The following suggestions should help you have a stress-free, honest conversation with your partner.

· Talk about what is already awesome about your sex life. Explain to your partner what you most look forward to in your current routine, what really turns you on and ask them what they like.

· Be open about what isn’t working for you without placing blame. One of the most detrimental things you could do to your sex life is pretending you like something, because it sends the signal to your partner to continue. Offer alternatives or modifications to replace what doesn’t feel good.

· Pay attention to how your partner responds to your suggestions, especially subtle cues, and take their feelings seriously. If your partner seems uncomfortable about making changes to your routine, suggest starting with small details, judge the reception and work your way up.

· Don’t be afraid to try something that fails. Try finally acting out that fantasy, even if you can’t stop giggling, find out your body doesn’t bend that way, or decide it’s not as sexy as in your head. It will still be a fun experience to share with your partner, and gives you inspiration and experience for further adventures.

· Debrief afterwards. What went right? What could have been better? Talk about what you want to add to your routine, what is fun once in a while and what you might want to try next.

A relationship is a constantly changing, growing entity, and there is no reason your sex life should be any different. Frequent and honest conversation is the key! 

Good luck!


Dear SHIC,

I have a STD(s). How do I tell my partner?


Dear SafeSex,

If you plan to become sexually active with someone, you do have a responsibility to let that person know of your state. Even if you plan on using condoms, refraining from letting your partner know can result in an increased risk in infection for both your partner and others. Condoms are great, however they do not cover all skin that could potentially transmit all STDs. Beyond that, your feelings of guilt and fear may not be so pleasant as you become more involved with your partner.

It is important to bring up the subject before you become sexually active. To get the ball rolling consider being with the following statement “Before we become intimate, l need to talk to you about STIs and contraception. I’m bringing this up because I have _______ and I would like you to know about it.”

A solid base of knowledge about STDs/STIs can make it easier for you to tell a partner. The more you know, the less you fear and the more you can ease your partner’s fears. You’ll be able to tell him/her the facts, dispel any myths and correct any misinformation right from the get go! Remember, before you can tackle this conversation, decide what you’re most comfortable saying and where/when you will have this conversation. Below are some pointers from the American Social Health Association (ASHA):

1. Choose a time when you will both be in good moods and relaxed so you can have a smooth conversation.

2. The location—choose a place with few distractions.

3. Begin and maintain a positive attitude, this will put your partner in a positive frame of mind too! 

4. Consider your delivery. It can influence your partner’s acceptance of, and reaction to, what you say. If you’re calm and collected talking about herpes, they may be, too. If you act like it’s the end of the world, they might agree that it is.

5. Facilitate a natural conversation, pause to allow your partner to provide input as well. 

Additionally, you will most likely need to talk about this more than once before things are resolved. After you’ve said what you need, be aware that you will not be able to control their reaction. Whatever the reaction, know that they certainly have a right to their feelings and may need time to sort them out.



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