Sex and the city! STDs: Better safe than sorry

I am worried about sexually transmitted diseases were I to meet up, like and get intimate with someone from dating sites. Is it fair and acceptable to ask someone from a dating website like Tinder to take a test for HIV and other STDs before physical intimacy?

Ans: The early stages of dating are usually marked by a tendency to want to put one’s ‘best foot forward’ to present an appealing picture to the potential romantic-sexual partner. This means there is a degree of ‘pitching’ and ‘façade building’ that takes place in the beginning. This would make discussing ‘medical tests’ a tad awkward, though it is an understandably important concern.

Asking someone you have just met on a dating site to take a ‘medical test’ in the initial phase of getting to know each other, may be perceived as paranoid and intrusive. Some might even take it as you being presumptuous about their intent of getting sexually involved or physical with you. People are very sensitive and private about their bodies.

Though there is nothing technically wrong or unfair with wanting to check out the medical health of someone you want to get physically intimate with, how acceptable this ‘checking in’ is to the person involved with you is a highly subjective matter.

A lot of people are uncomfortable talking about their medical history – let alone share their medical reports. People could also get precious and jumpy about revealing details from their past relationships or ‘sexual experiences’. Establishing a solid and genuine rapport usually makes approaching such topics easier over time. There is certainly an element of risk in getting sexually intimate with someone you barely know. Nothing can change that.

(Aman R Bhonsle is a qualified Psychosocial Analyst and a Professional Youth Mentor with specialization in Transactional Analysis and REBT. He is available for consultation at the Heart To Heart Counselling Centre.)

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