Sexponent: You’ve got consent, now what?

In the last Sexponent, we discussed consent, how to get it, and what to do with it to make sure that you have the most quality sexual encounters possible.

Now, let’s say you have consent, you have a partner and you are going to do things together.

Here comes another round of questions to ask your companion. If it begins to feel like you are interrogating each other with so many questions, relax: They’re necessary, and you should never feel embarrassed asking or answering them.

First, are you or your partner on any forms of birth control (the pill, an IUD, the patch, etc.)? Something inescapably tied to sex is the fact that heterosexual couples can create babies. If this is not an intended goal, birth control is super important.

Two forms of birth control are better than one. Taking birth control pills, for example, in addition to using condoms, can ensure you’re being as safe as safe can be when it comes to preventing pregnancy.

Do you plan to use a condom? This is an important detail. Not only do these nifty things help prevent pregnancy, they also help protect against several STI’s and infections. This is especially important when you have a new partner whose sexual history remains a mystery to you. Until you have legitimate lab test results, you can’t be sure they’re not carrying — even if they say they aren’t. This is your health, and protecting it should be a first priority. Plus, condoms are free at the Student Health Center, so the lame excuse “I’m too broke to buy condoms” is invalid, and only proves your laziness in all aspects of sexual health.

When was the last time you and your partner were tested for STIs? This is a question that can be awkward, but is vital. Some STIs, like herpes, can lie dormant in people’s bodies without showing outward symptoms, so infected people may incorrectly think they are “clean.”

College campuses are a hotbed for spreading infections, and I’m not just talking about the common cold. If you or your partner have had sexual partners since the last time you were tested, it might be best to hold off on the sex and head over to a clinic for a painless lab test.

The Sexponent wants all our readers to have a glorious time here at MSU, and in the safest way possible. Got questions? Send them our way at entertainment@exponent.montana.edu.