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Online Dating, Sexual Health & STDs

Did you know if you found your partner online, you are more than three times more likely to get an STD from them than if you met them the old fashioned way?* Can you be fully in charge of your own sexual health and navigate online dating successfully? Absolutely. When you understand your needs and are proactive about having safe, responsible sex it becomes easier to have those conversations as part of your overall online dating experience.

If you’re exploring online dating then you’re probably preparing for a new sexual relationship as well. Having that crucial conversation about STD testing is part of the conversation you have about what you want and expect with a new partner. If you think talking about this is going to be awkward and uncomfortable then maybe you aren’t ready for sexual intimacy with that person yet?  Good sex is about trust and respect, about feeling comfortable getting naked, and allowing yourself to be vulnerable in intimacy. The partner you choose should feel the same and show his/her trust and respect for you by agreeing to get tested for STIs. The ideal lover would want to talk about sex with you–what you each like and want from sex, mutual expectations and a plan as to how and when to take that step. It’s a mature, responsible thing to do. It’s romantic and sexy.

What could be more enticing than a partner who listens and wants to learn about your needs?

A partner who would eagerly tell you their test status as a sign of their desire to create a safe play space for the two of you.  I’d prefer that kind of gift to a box of chocolates or red roses any day of the week.

Being empowered and comfortable with your sexuality is a gift you give to yourself and those you choose to date and invite into your world. Take some time, before the conversation gets to that point, to think about what you want to say and how to start the conversation. A date’s willingness or reluctance to have that conversation says a lot about that person. Online dating is about taking risks and being adventurous–it’s also about finding that person who resonates with you and feels worthy of your trust.

* Source: “Tracing a Syphilis Outbreak Through Cyberspace”

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