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Old 08-09-2019, 03:03 PM
 
460 posts, read 299,429 times
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I just started dating again after a 43 year marriage. Iím widowed and decided to move forward.

So please teach me. What do I do if a man wants to get intimate? Iím very attracted to one I met on line. But Iím embarrassed to ask if he has a clean bill of health in that area. But I most certainly donít want an std.

Itís been a while since I dated to say the least. So how do I go about finding out if a man is STD free. Just ask I suppose. But is he telling the truth?

Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 08-09-2019, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Continental Europe
641 posts, read 116,586 times
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Wait to have sex to get a sense for whether he is trustworthy, and then ask. Or use condoms.
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Old 08-09-2019, 03:12 PM
Status: "Now I know how Joan of Arc felt ..." (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Boulder, CO
507 posts, read 159,900 times
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It is a real concern, lately among the over-55 crowd.


A blood test can pick up a lot of diseases Ö Hepatitis, HIV, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, but some it cannot detect like Venereal Warts, HPV (I am working from memory from my last screen about 18 months ago). Better than nothing, though, I would say.
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Old 08-09-2019, 03:16 PM
 
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Thanks but I would want to know before hand. And yes. I’ve heard it’s a real concern with the older 55 plus crowd. Perhaps because the fear of pregnancy is gone. But that’s all that’s gone, thus making it easier to indulge.
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Old 08-09-2019, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Hampstead NC
5,632 posts, read 5,173,723 times
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In my experience, the easiest way to bring this up is when you start thinking you might become intimate. Something like: I had a physical recently and got tested for a series of STDs. i got a clean bill of health. How about you?
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Old 08-09-2019, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
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1) Get yourself tested. That way you can be prepared if someone asks for proof that YOU don't have an STD.

2) Train yourself to become much more street smart and discriminating about your online interactions. Online romance scams are VERY common among older women, and they can take several months to be set in motion.

https://www.consumerreports.org/dati...romance-scams/

“Typically the scammer builds trust by writing long letters over weeks or months and crafting a whole persona for their victims,” says David Farquhar, Supervisory Special Agent with the FBI. “That big investment gives victims a false sense that the relationship must be real.”


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marble cake View Post

I’m embarrassed to ask if he has a clean bill of health in that area.
Please don't let embarrassment stop you from taking care of yourself.

STDs have changed somewhat since you dated, but so has the way society deals with them. It is a sensitive topic, but you are smart to think about it. Just let that sensitivity be a sign to you that that, like carly said, you need to wait until you do have a level of trust before you sleep with someone.

You also are within your rights to ask a man for test results, once you get to that stage in your relationship. You both will have histories that you bring to the situation, and you don't know him from Adam. Just being cautious will go a long way.

https://health.usnews.com/health-car...-among-seniors
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Old 08-09-2019, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Insist that he use a condom.
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Old 08-09-2019, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Colorado
12,094 posts, read 7,437,635 times
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Rule #1: You can't. Not with 100% certainty. No sex is completely "safe" or ever has been, since the dawn of humankind. You are only ever rolling the dice and you can adopt some "safer sex" practices to mitigate risk. Not eliminate it. I mean unless you're into latex or something enough to be covered head to toe in it rather than touching skin to skin. I will assume that's not the case.

Yes, you can ask for testing. That is a risk ~mitigation.~ But even then, some viruses can be carried without giving positive test results. Herpes is a common one, which has been around...since the dawn of humankind, apparently, as they've found strains of it in the DNA remains of ancient specimens. Herpes, or HSV2, can also be spread when one is using a condom, and even if no signs of infection are visible, and many people have it and do not know. HSV1, or "cold sores" is another strain of herpes that you can get by kissing, or you can get it with genital symptoms from oral sex. Many cases of "genital herpes" are in fact HSV1.

Neither strain is curable. However, both can be suppressed very effectively, symptoms are usually very minor (contrary to what scare-media might try and tell you--I know because I've known a number of people who have one or the other strain, or both, and are willing to discuss it.) It's incredibly common, so it's worth knowing about. It isn't life threatening. Doctors don't even recommend testing for it, because false negatives and false positives are both possible, and if you find out you are positive, then you have an ethical duty to disclose it to partners, and the single worst thing about having it, is the stigma.

HIV is now on the verge of being cured and can be effectively suppressed with medications, but I hear that they are expensive and some may have frightening side effects. Testing is, however, fairly reliable and condoms and other barriers (such as dental dams for oral on women) are fairly effective at preventing transmission.

HPV is also extremely common, and can increase one's risk of cervical cancer if I remember correctly. I think that there is a vaccine for this one now.

Also, while it's not always considered an STD because it can be transmitted other ways besides sex, Hepatitis is also a concern. Again, I think they have drugs for the management of this, but Hep C is a nasty business. And I believe the medication for it is very expensive. Not sure. Tests are reliable, though. Fluid barriers definitely help prevent transmission.

Those are the "big ones" because they have (at least during my lifetime so far) been "incurable."

However, the other ones that are curable with antibiotics or other drugs now, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia... But we are not out of the woods yet where they are concerned. Like most disease causing bacteria, gonorrhea is evolving and some strains are now resistant to antibiotic treatment.

Here is a site with lots of good information about STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections, same as STDs just a different term) - https://www.cdc.gov/std/default.htm

My personal policies:

1. Educate myself. Work to reduce stigma by discussing without judgment and encouraging people who are positive to disclose. As I'm part of a sex-positive community, this is part of the community service work I am involved with. (I'm actually working with a group to get a mobile testing facility to come to one of our swinger events soon.)

2. Get tested and ask for testing from partners. When I was "dating" or poly or playing the field or in other words NOT in a committed, closed, monogamous relationship, due to higher risks, I got tested every 3 months. If someone does not want to discuss sexual health and sexual safety with you, then they aren't deserving of your time, in my opinion. They need to grow the hell up. I don't care if it's a buzzkill. People need to be responsible adults about this. Covering our eyes and ears and going "lalala there are no consequences to my actions" does not work. You can not judge because someone hasn't had a lot of partners (that you know of) or they look like a boy/girl next door, that they are not carrying something. You are within your rights, to ask for test results. I have known of some couples who actually went to a clinic together and made a sort of date day of it. I know, sounds un-romantic...kids these days, what can I say? One example of this though? Gorgeous young woman I knew who was dating a somewhat famous band member, demanded a clinic date before she'd have sex with him. So. Groupies notwithstanding, if a celebrity can be expected to abide by such a thing, who does Joe Tinder think he is? Huh?

3. Insist on condoms/barriers, unless you have been together I'd say a minimum of 6 months with shared test results every 3 months (at least twice) along the way. It can take that long for some diseases to incubate and give a positive result. Also of course you must consider any pregnancy risk and how you're handling that. And remember, even with condoms, you are still rolling the dice, especially with regard to herpes.

4. If you are in a closed/monogamous relationship and have established your STI status and believe yourself to no longer be at risk, if you definitely trust your partner not to be possibly cheating or anything...then I tend to back off testing to about once a year with my regular well-woman health exam.
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Old 08-09-2019, 03:31 PM
 
460 posts, read 299,429 times
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Thanks birdiebelle. I very aware of scams and catfishing. The man I’m attracted to is legit and a very nice gentleman. Just not sure how to bring up the std thingy.

So different from when I was young. I’m not dead yet. lol
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Old 08-09-2019, 03:38 PM
Status: "Now I know how Joan of Arc felt ..." (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Boulder, CO
507 posts, read 159,900 times
Reputation: 943
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marble cake View Post
Thanks birdiebelle. I very aware of scams and catfishing. The man I’m attracted to is legit and a very nice gentleman. Just not sure how to bring up the std thingy.

So different from when I was young. I’m not dead yet. lol
Way back when, condoms were for preventing pregnancy.

After my divorce, "Do you have a condom?" ... "No, I had a vasectomy" … "That's not what they're for"

I had a lot to learn.
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