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Sex Advice: Knowing Never Hurts

Why getting tested regularly is the best option…
 
Being sexual is a part of everyone’s life, and not something to ever be shy about. It’s human nature. With the educational system taking a step back on teaching sexual health, we’re here to remind you that it is very important to be aware of what may be going on with your body. As long as we are being safe, and considerate not only of ourselves but of others we’re involved with, what is there to feel ashamed about? We experiment, we feel, we love.
 
Starting the conversation about being safe and getting tested should start right from the beginning of a relationship. Keeping communication open about this from the beginning will show good faith and trust, and should come without any judgment…because everyone has a past. We know it can be scary to talk about; however, the more active you are, the more important it is to get tested and to know!
 
Casual play partners are becoming more and more popular with the Millennial generation, which means it may be easier to contract something and spread it without even realizing. It’s also important to know that some STDs stay dormant for years and, in some cases, symptoms may never show.
 
What happens if I don’t get tested?
Not only are you hurting yourself, but you’re also putting other people at risk. Also, if you have an STI/D that is untreated because it hasn’t been picked up by regular checkups, you could develop some serious health conditions. In certain cases, it has even been linked to causing cancer. These are serious conditions that can easily be avoided by getting checked.
 
How often should I get tested?
This depends on how active you are, and how many partners you have. It’s always good practice to go at least once a year, or any time you have a new partner…whether you use protection every time or not. Nothing but abstinence is guaranteed protection. Of course, you can go and get tested as often as you need to. There is no limit on being safe – it’s actually encouraged!
 
Tests are easy: you book an appointment, you see a doctor. Doctors perform a lot of these checks, so it isn’t anything to be embarrassed about. In most cases, if you come back positive for something, they can prescribe a medication that will help cure the infection.
 
What does a test involve?
Typically the doctor will take a couple of swabs from the genitalia or anus, a urine test, and a blood test. It’s over in just a couple of minutes! Results are back within a week or two.
 
In Toronto, the Hassle Free Clinic (located at 66 Gerrard St. East) comes highly recommended. It has separated clinics depending on how you identify. The staff are friendly, professional and efficient, and allow for complete anonymity.
 
Being tested doesn’t have to be scary. Encourage a friend or two to get tested as well, so you can all make an afternoon of it. The more you know, the more life you can enjoy.
 

 
ASHLEY LE FEUVRE-WILLIAMS is an essential part of the team at Seduction Love Boutique, being one of two main contributors to the Toronto stores’ marketing department as well as a dedicated sales manager. Seduction has proudly served the community since 1998; follow it on Instagram: @SeductionTO.
 

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