When I was little, I could never imagine having sex with someone before I went to Planned Parenthood with them and we got tested together. I was raised with good sex ed from my mom, and fairly good sex ed in school. I knew that condoms provided good but not complete protection.
I would have been shocked then to know that when I would become sexually active in college, I wouldn’t even mention STIs with my first few partners. I didn’t get tested between each partner, though I did get tested yearly.
The first few times I had unprotected sex, I was terrified of STIs, but not enough so to stop them from not using a condom.
As my number of partners has increased, I’ve started getting tested every 6 months.
Now, after 5 years, my sex count has reached the teens, and my unprotected count is more than a couple. Only more recently did I begin to habitually ask my partners about their testing status and past partners before I actually had sex with them for the first time. Though occasionally I did intend to insist partners to get tested, I never actually waited until they did. My new boyfriend, however, insisted on waiting until he was tested.
Today, was a first. I went with my boyfriend to Planned Parenthood for him to get tested (I was tested just a couple weeks ago). We knew his risk was very low, but we actually went through with waiting until we had test results.
We sat together in the waiting room, and I hung out with my clinic staff friends while I waited for him to come out. Yay for finally being responsible!