Here are some tips to help you negotiate safer sex with a partner:

  • Talk with your partner about safer sex before you have sex. Sometimes it is harder to talk about safer sex when you are about to have sex, plan to have the conversation before it happens.
  • Learn as much as you can about safer sex so that you can have an informed discussion with your partner.
  • Rehearse what you want to say. Being prepared builds confidence and eases any fears or feelings of embarrassment ahead of time. Practice how to bring up the topic and what you want to say with someone who is a safe person to talk to.
  • Keep talking. Talking about safer sex is not just a one-time conversation. It’s important to keep the dialogue going as your relationship evolves. Communication builds intimacy and a healthy relationship.
  • Talk about it when you’re both sober. People might take chances they normally wouldn’t when they’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Carry condoms with you. This advice applies to everyone. Don’t assume it’s your partner’s responsibility to bring protection. When you buy condoms, check the expiry date on the package.
  • Be clear about your boundaries. Respect your partner and respect yourself. Think about what sexual practices you’re comfortable with and what your limits are before you get sexually involved. Talk about your feelings and listen to your partner with respect. Open and respectful communication will build trust and intimacy.
  • Keep a sense of humour! Safer sex is a heavy topic sometimes but it doesn’t mean that you can’t laugh and have fun with it.