How do I talk about safe sex?

Dear Rebecca,

My 30 year marriage ended recently and I’m slowly starting to date again. My husband and I were each other’s ‘first and only’ so we always had unprotected sex. Now that there is the possibility of sleeping with someone new, I’m not sure how to have the ‘safe sex’ conversation. Can you offer any tips?




Hi Sylvia,

Thank you for your email. Congratulations on getting back into dating and for thinking about safe sex. It’s essential for anyone of any age to be aware of safe sex practices and to find a way to have the ‘safe sex’ chat with prospective new partners.

Whether you’re having a hot one-night stand or letting a relationship develop over time, protection from STD’s is vital. If you’ve not known each other long enough to have had the conversation yet and you find yourself in the heat of the moment, you could always say something like this, ‘This feels really great and I don’t want it to stop. Let’s grab some condoms/dams/gloves so we can really let loose/keep going/enjoy this even more.’ That way you’ve let your partner know that you’re loving what’s happening, you don’t want it to stop, but that you want to use protection. If for any reason at all there is any hesitation, please stop play until you feel safe enough to carry on. Don’t ever override your own safety boundaries.

If you’re allowing the relationship to grow naturally, it’s likely that the right time to have the chat will arise naturally. Once you both start to feel an emotional connection and you feel like you trust your partner, you can tell them that you’d like to talk about safe sex. I would recommend that you talk about having full sexual health tests as well as what sort of protection you’d both like to use. Talking about how to keep yourselves safe will enhance intimacy and make you both relax more into pleasure when the time is right!

With love,



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