Dear Queerie Bradshaw,
I’ve been dirty talking long distance to this guy for months. We’re finally able to meet up at the end of the month, so I responsibly went to get STD tested and asked him to do the same. I use condoms, but I’ve had them break or come off inside of me before and I want to be sure my partner and I are both clean, just in case.
He, however, refuses to get tested or tell me the last time he was (if ever), citing his unfailing use of condoms as proof that he’s obviously clean and doesn’t need testing.
Because he’s being such a about this I’ve decided not to sleep with him. However, I like being right, so tell me, even if you use condoms every time, do you still need to get tested? (this is assuming he’s not using protection during oral).
First and foremost, if someone doesn’t respect your right to ask your sexual partners to be tested, dump them immediately. It’s like someone who drives recklessly then makes you feel bad for asking them to slow down. You have every right to protect yourself in whatever way you feel necessary, whether it’s wearing a seat belt or a condom, and the people you are in relationships with need to respect that right. Period.
Second, yes, you can get many STIs even if you use condoms every time you have sex, including herpes, genital warts (often caused by HPV) and syphilis. Even if you couldn’t, let’s be honest, how many people say they use condoms every single time and actually mean most-every time. Lots. Including yours truly, who gives out condoms, gloves and dental dams at parties yet still (regretfully) has had moments I didn’t use them myself. Many STIs, including the ones listed above, don’t show symptoms until it’s too late, so regular testing is very important.
Getting tested is important and I think it’s highly admirable you want to do it and highly suspicious he doesn’t.
Way to stand up for your right to protect yourself!
If you’re sexually active, you should use protection to prevent from STIs and get tested every 3-6 months! Sometimes the difference between and inconvenience and long-term harm is treating an STI quickly. Find a testing place near you.