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10 Sex Questions You Might Be Afraid to Ask -- but Should

        Health | Sexuality

10
Do You Practice Safe Sex?
The importance of safe sex has fallen out of the news in recent years, but knowing your partner's sexual history is important. Don't be afraid to ask, "Do you practice safe sex?"
The importance of safe sex has fallen out of the news in recent years, but knowing your partner's sexual history is important. Don't be afraid to ask, "Do you practice safe sex?"
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

When it comes to asking questions of a potential sexual partner, one of the first you should pose is, "Do you practice safe sex?" There's no way of knowing how many partners a person's had, but more important than the number is whether protection -- namely condoms and dental dams -- was used during previous tango sessions.

Though it's fallen off the front page of newspapers in recent years, HIV infection rates are still high enough to cause plenty of worry. While some prior causes of infection, such as blood transfusions, mostly have been controlled, unprotected sex remains the top risk factor for contracting HIV, the disease that causes AIDS. Although HIV treatments have vastly improved over the years and extended the lives of those with the disease, more than 1 in 300 people have HIV in America [source: Avert].

Other sexually transmitted diseases that receive even less notice, like chlamydia, still exist, and chlamydia's infection rate has actually climbed over the last decade [source: Avert].

Just as important as asking your partner about safe-sex practices is asking yourself on a regular basis. It's easy to become less vigilant, especially if you don't expect to have sex or if alcohol is involved. Such momentary lapses in judgment can have lifelong consequences, such as disease or unwanted pregnancy.

Next, we'll talk about another important question to ask your sexual partners, as well as yourself.


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