Questions to Ask Before Having Sex: Creating Healthy Dialogue

Sex. 

It’s fun. 

It’s intimate. 

It’s different for everyone.

Because of this, communicating with your partner(s) before having sex is so important. As part of any relationship, whether it’s friendship, casual sexual partners, or intimate relationships; communication is KEY! Having open dialogue before sex and asking these questions avoids assumptions or miscommunication between parties, which can lead to feelings being hurt. It saves you from awkward conversations later and maybe even from sexual encounters you would otherwise regret. 

These three questions will help get the ball rolling!

  1. 1. What are your boundaries?

    woman holding mans hand

    Once upon a time, I was seeing someone who I was really into. Smart, kind, and the sex was good. However, they never stayed very long after sex, which for me the after-care and cuddling post-sex is just as important as the act of sex itself. What I didn’t know was they were uncomfortable staying the night and enjoyed their personal space. It wasn’t until this occurred a few times and I was left feeling uncomfortable did I bring this up and we were able to discuss boundaries and solutions. Communication is so important not only for sex but in relationships to ensure that all parties feel equally respected and comfortable. 

    Being intimate with another person requires vulnerability so discussing boundaries such as what are you comfortable with in bed, how do you like to be pleasured and your preferred form of aftercare helps me feel safe and comfortable.

  2. 2. What is your sexual health history?

    The scope of this question includes, when was your last STD check, how many partners have you had sexual intercourse with since the last check, and do you currently have any STDs or a reason to believe you do?

    I truly believe things are only as awkward as you make them, and it applies to this question. It is so important to ask this question as it may change how you approach sex with your partner(s). If they’ve never been tested, maybe it is time to do so, and you can talk about the process together. If they haven’t recently and have been with multiple partners, using protection like condoms is very important! It is recommended that after every new partner, that an STD test is performed, but I realize in reality this always isn’t possible so talking about sexual health history and use of protection is important.

  3. 3. What is your stance on abortion?

    array of contraceptives

    This question is more so applicable for folks in sexual relationships where there is a chance of pregnancy (acknowledging that some folks are unable to get pregnant or in same sex relationships). It’s important to be on the same page if pregnancy is a possibility in your relationship. I have this conversation with a partner before getting in bed with them as currently, I am not financially stable or emotionally ready to have a child. This is a great time to discuss contraceptive usage in the bedroom if pregnancy is something you are looking to avoid. Having an open and honest conversation beforehand avoids having to awkwardly ask for condoms or what kind of birth control they are on in the middle of sex.

I like to ask these questions before having sex for the first time but checking in and continually having open dialogue is important as dynamics and preferences change over time. My policy is if we can’t even have this conversation, I am not ready to have sex with you. But I realize that this can be intimidating or not always possible before sex. In this case, prioritize your comfort and safety, and have this conversation at another time when you are more comfortable. 

Whatever your body count, kink or sexual orientation, you deserve to have safe sex, whether that is physically, mentally, or emotionally safe. There is so much stigma around the female sexual experience and body, but I hope by becoming more informed about the importance of communication, you feel encouraged to find partner(s) that respects you and does not shame you.  

I hope all of you reading this feel empowered and are comfortable with yourself and your sexual partner(s) to have an open line of dialogue. 

Cheers to having great sex!