Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Whatever You Do Don't Rush in and Make Rash Decisions

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Whatever You Do Don't Rush in and Make Rash Decisions

Article excerpt

Q I'VE just started dating a girl I really like and we've been taking things slowly a well more slowly than I usually do, because I don't want to mess things up. I've spent my 20s as a bit of a a[approximately]player', I'll admit, but she is definitely someone I want to be in a relationship with. The problem is a few weeks ago we had sex for the first time (after dating for over a month) and now I have a strange rash. Between taking things slowly and being safe against pregnancy (she's on the pill) I thought we were being smart. What if I caught something from her? Is she cheating on me? How can I tell and what do I do? I really liked this girl but maybe she's not who I think she is? What's your advice?

A You won't know what your rash is unless you go to a doctor and get it diagnosed and then treated. No point in looking at it, wondering what it is or what it means, without actually seeking some factual answers.

So your first step, before wondering about where you got your rash and how, is to find out what it is.

If you learn that you have an STI (sexually transmitted infection), then it is very important that you disclose and discuss this with all recent sexual partners.

That may be only the girl you've been dating or not. Regardless of whether you want to continue in a relationship with the girl you've been seeing, you need to let her know that she is at risk for the same sexually transmitted infection.

You may have gotten it from her, or someone else (I assume nothing) but either way the conversation has to happen. This can feel like a terribly awkward conversation to have, particularly when you don't know each other very well yet and you've only recently become sexual.

It's hardly the consequence of sex that you were hoping for. Most people hope to gain greater intimacy not infection!

Having said that, while no one obviously wants an STI, talking about sexual health and your sexual histories together can actually rapidly deepen your intimacy, if handled well. …

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