Communication Tool

Everyone says that talking about sexuality is important—and it is. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy! Even adults have a hard time talking about it.

Sometimes you may not know what to say to your boyfriend or girlfriend, a health care provider, a parent or guardian or any other adult when it comes to sexuality and sexual health. How do you approach these topics? Sex, Etc. can help!

Sex, Etc.’s Communication Tool gives you a place to start what are hopefully ongoing conversations. Below you can choose who you want to talk to, what you want to talk about and what you might want to say. We’ll suggest some ways to start the conversation along with some ideas about what to discuss. These aren’t scripts you should read word for word, but the language covers important issues to communicate about. So find what works for you in the suggestions below, and make the language your own.

Clear and healthy communication can be a challenge, but we’re making it a little bit easier!

what do you want to say?

Are we ready for sex?

I care about you, and I can tell you care about me. I like being close, and I want us to decide what we want to do together. I’m comfortable_____________, but I don’t want to _________________ right now. What are you comfortable with? I just want you to be honest about what you do or don’t want. We can keep talking about this so if either of our feelings changes we can figure out what to do then.

(It’s important to be clear with your partner about what you do or don’t want to do. You get to say what you’re comfortable doing, whether that’s kissing only or touching with clothes on or off or more. You also get to say what you’re not ready for. Being very clear about this will help avoid any confusion. You can also discuss sexual history, meaning if your partner has had oral, anal or vaginal sex and whether he or she has been tested or treated for an STD. You may decide to get tested together if you or your partner has had sex before.)

(If you and your partner discuss having oral, anal or vaginal sex, then you’ll need to say something like the following.)

We also need to talk about safer sex and how we’re going to protect ourselves from STDs and/or pregnancy. We don’t have to decide everything right now, but we do need to start talking about this so we can find a way to do what’s healthy for both of us.

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