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Sexual Health

Tips for… Talking With Your Partner About Sexuality

How do you approach your partner when you want to talk to about your sexuality and health concerns?
  • Find the best time to have the conversation (if you’re going to talk to a partner, don’t try to have the conversation once you are already engaging in intimate activity)
  • Think about what you want to say before you approach the person
  • Let them know you are serious and that it is important to you that the conversation remains confidential
  • Be conscious of all the ways you are communicating verbally and non-verbally (tone of voice, be clear, maintain eye contact, posture is self-assured)
How do you negotiate your boundaries with a partner?
  • Know what you are willing to compromise on and what you need to stand firm on, based on your values and beliefs before you have the conversation
  • Be honest about your choice and why you feel the way you do; you do not need to justify yourself, but it may help the other person understand more clearly
  • Listen to your partner
  • Do not interrupt
  • Talk about the practical aspects of the issue (how you are going remain abstinent, what type of birth control will be used, last time STI testing occurred and who will pay for condoms)
  • Make a decision that both of you can feel excited about
  • Follow through with your plan of action
  • Be open to talking about this issue again if you or your partner’s feelings change
  • Be sure that the decision made, is one that you can live with, that reflects your values and beliefs
What if you can’t come to an agreement?

Then you need to think about whether you really want to have a friendship or more serious relationship with someone that is not going to respect your values, decisions and what is important for you. No one said this would be easy. Part of having a healthy lifestyle is dealing with difficult situations and making sure that in the end you have not compromised yourself and you made the best choice for yourself and your future.

Adapted From:

  1. Canadian Health Network
    (CHN is brought to you by Health Canada and major health organizations across the country)
  2. Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada