Safe sex matters in every relationship. Knowing the boundaries and preferences for both parties is something that can appear decidedly unromantic. However, true romance only is achieved when there is open communication between both involved, and there are steps you can take to keep the romance alive. Below are four suave moves you can make to make safe sex practices come off as savvy romantic hits.
1. Have Important Conversations Early
Nothing kills the mood quite like having to stop and have important questions about things like birth control. Rather than having these conversations later into the date when emotions are running high, why not talk about them early on? Go ahead and set your expectations and boundaries when both parties are in a better position to make rational choices. Though it can be a bit awkward to have these conversations at any time, it’s better to have them when they will have the greatest impact. Otherwise, feelings can be hurt later on if someone feels important information was withheld early on.
2. Begin with Caring
When setting any kind of romantic or sexual boundary, it’s best to keep your partner’s feelings in mind. Don’t just say that you want something – phrase things in terms of how you care for your partner. Not only can this help you to get your point across without making the other party defensive, but it continues to reinforce your attraction to and care for the other person. Whether you’re discussing issues like safe words or acceptable boundaries, try to use language that puts your partner first. Phrases like “because I want you to feel safe” or “because I love you” can help solidify your intentions while cementing the importance of these discussions in a romantic way.
3. Personalize the Experience
Safe sex doesn’t have to just be a serious matter. Investing in things like personalized condoms can play the dual role of lightening the mood and helping to encourage safe sex practices. Did you know that you can print your condoms directly from the internet with any message you like and show them off to your partner. While it might provoke a bit of a smirk, this will also show your partner that you absolutely plan on using protection. This can also become a Segway into asking what forms of protection your partner may be planning to use or feels comfortable with.
4. Make Consent Romantic
Finally, make consent part of your romantic process. Make asking questions like “Can I” or “Do you want to” not just questions of basic consent, but questions that help to bring a closer connection between you and your partners. It can be very difficult for some individuals to voice changes in consent during the heat of the moment, so incorporating it into every aspect of the act can help to make sure that boundaries are always respected.
It’s entirely possible to keep yourself and your partner safe without ruining the mood. As long as you make safe sex practices romantic, you’ll be in a position to ensure that they occur. If you’re willing to take responsibility, you can also enjoy the results.