The Hook Up is a weekly relationship advice column from MTV Act and the It’s Your (Sex) Life campaign, written by the very talented Kristin Russo and Dannielle Owens-Reid. This April they are fielding questions on STDs for STD Awareness Month. Learn more at gytnow.org
Question: So how do you ask someone if they’ve been tested without making them feel like you don’t want them?- Anonymous
Chances are they won’t feel like you don’t want them. Most people are hip to the fact that STDs are really common (apparently they’re called STIs now, but like, i’m old and set in my ways). 1 in 2 sexually active people will have an STD by the age of 25, so we all better get real used to talking about this!
Just make it more casual if you’re worried about how they will respond. Say something like “I was thinking about going to get tested next week, you wanna come?” or if you’re not that close, and it’s a one-night-stand, you can be like ‘i really wanna rip your clothes off furiously, but i also want us both to be healthy, hhaaaave you been tested?!’ and if they’re like ‘WTF WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE’ that probably means they either have an STD and want to hide it from you or they are not capable of having rational adult-like conversations. And if they can’t have adult-like conversations you probably don’t want to be with them anyway. And if they’re like “WTF no I haven’t been tested but I know for a fact I don’t have an STD,” you should probably call a time out and explain to them that unless they are Harry Potter that is impossible. The ONLY way to know if someone has an STD is to get tested, since STDs often don’t have visible symptoms. And while we are taking a time out and thinking about Harry Potter is a great time to discuss how awesome condoms are, because they are the only method that protect against both STDs and pregnancy. And they come in fun colors.
So just be honest with your luvas and make your luvas be honest with you. Like I always say… Honestly before sexily…
This is easy: You just ask them. Asking someone if they have been tested means you do want them, and it also means that you care about yourself and care about being healthy. If I was kissing on a girl and she just up and took all of her clothes off and was like, “Let’s do this shite,” I’d be like, “Did she really just say ‘let’s do this shite’?” while backing stealthily away from her.
The bottom line is that you want to be with someone who cares about their own health as well as yours, so you shouldn’t worry. If you ask and they get all bejiggity about it, explain to them that you have gotten tested and you always ask your partners so that you can both be safe. If they still don’t get it, then just collect your clothes and say “honestly before sexily” on your way out the door.
If they DO get it…yay! Win for humanity! And you can find a place to get tested together here.
Kristin Russo and Dannielle Owens-Reid are the co-creators of Everyone is Gay, a website and organization promoting kindness between all people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. The views expressed in these blog posts are the viewsof the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of MTV, KFF or the It’s Your Sex Life campaign.
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