By Laurie Davis, Founder
Sex. There, I said it. Sex and dating? An even trickier subject. When you're single, there might be a lot of 'false starts.' For example, you think you really like each other but you're not sure. You hop into bed too soon. You're attracted to each other, so you think, "Why not just get the sex out of the way and find out if we're really compatible?" Definitely not the right approach.
It's easy to get carried away, especially when online dating is involved. Things can start moving pretty quickly when you've been emailing and talking on the phone for longer than you've actually been dating. You feel like you know each other so well, but the reality is it has only been a short while. Take your time. If you hold off on jumping in to bed and you're more comfortable with each other, you'll ultimately have a better connection. And better sex! On this topic, I don't preach — I speak from experience. I have been swept away before, and ultimately disappointed. But I've also taken things slow, and been pleasantly surprised.
When you do decide to take the leap, protection is important. In fact, I was going to save this blog for national condom month in February, but decided that every month should be Condom Month. Men and Women, Boys and Girls; you do NOT want to do the deed without wrapping it up. Risks have become more prevalent and STD's have spread and mutated. Did you know that you can contract some STD's just by old-school dry humping if there is skin to skin contact? Or that if you have a history of cold sores you can give someone genital herpes through oral sex, even without a sore present? It's not just major cities any more either — Missouri has seen an 18% increase in HIV since last year, according to the CDC. Neither geographic location, age, nor marital status will protect you from STD's. But condoms can!
Keep that trusty bedside drawer stocked. Even you, ladies! It doesn't mean you are loose, it just means you are safe and regard your health. These days, there are even programs that offer free condoms. NYC and DC have the best — free latex for everyone. Seriously. Male condoms, female condoms, and even personal lubricant, free of charge. For others, Trojan will ship free samples. There is also a new condom to market from Sensis called QuickStrips. You can get a free sample on their website. They are latex condoms with easy application for less breakage. Discounted condoms can be purchased through ExtraBux — you'll get cash back when you purchase through the site at one of their affliates, such as Drugstore.com. Astroglide lubricant also gives free samples.
Chat about your history with your partner, too. I know — you're groaning. It sounds basic. Something you do when you're younger but forget about later in life. As you age, it's crucial because you've both had more partners. Before you jump in the sack, you should have a conversation about any STD's that may have come across your hot bods (including minor things like cold sores), the last time you got tested, and any concerns you have. Make sure that you have the convo before things get too hot and heavy, so it's not a buzz kill. Getting tested regularly — another simple thing — is a key element of sexual health. Lots of STD's can be asymptomatic, meaning you don't see or feel anything different. You can still transmit to a partner if you're asymptomatic, though. Even if you're not suspicious, schedule a appointment with the doc annually. If your partner doesn't agree to use a condom, skip it. How many others have agreed to sleep with unprotected?
Bottom line, the eFlirt expert says keep your powder dry, your stash stocked, and get checked regularly!