Talking about sex isn't always easy, but it's normal and healthy.
Discussing sex isn't something to be shy about, although we know it's not easy for everyone. The more you talk about what you like, the better the sex you'll have when you meet someone.
If talking face-to-face is a little daunting, there are other things you can try to get consensual and pleasurable sex. For example, lots of men find it easier to open up about their turn-ons chatting on online or through message. You can try telling the other guy what you’d like to do and let him respond with what he likes.
It’s just as important to talk about what you don’t like. When thinking about sex, consent is fundamental to having pleasurable sex.
So no really does mean no. You must always provide opportunities for your partner(s) to say no even when we are engaging in sex. It’s not really a yes if someone hasn’t been given the opportunity to say no or hasn't been able to say yes. This is especially true when someone has had too much to drink or has been using other substances. Make sure it’s what you both want.
Talking About Safer Sex
We’ve all been there. Caught up in the moment and feeling unsure when to bring up the subject of safe sex. It can seem like a difficult task or a mood killer.
“It doesn’t feel the same with a condom” – Often, if your sexual partner doesn't want to use protection, they may try to talk you out of using it, but remember it’s always up to you. Sex with a condom may feel a bit different but there are things you can do to make it feel right for you such as foreplay. If you want to use protection but your partner refuses then you have the right to say no.
“Don’t you trust me?” – Even if you trust your partner, it’s no guarantee that he hasn’t been exposed to an STI, particularly if he’s had unprotected sex. You don’t have to take his word for it and you don’t have to have unprotected sex unless you want to.
“Do you think I’m dirty?” – Contracting HIV and STIs doesn’t mean you’re dirty. Many people have STIs with no symptoms so they won’t even know that they have one.
"It's okay, I'm on PrEP" - PrEP is effective in preventing the transmission of HIV however, it will not protect you from other STIs so condoms are still effective.
You have to right to protect yourself from HIV and STIs. If a sexual partner doesn’t respect your wishes, you have the right to say "no thanks!".
Trans men and Negotiating Sex.
It’s important to talk about what you’re into and what feels good for you.
Some guys may have preconceived ideas about what sort of sex you're after, and if they’re right great, but if not they have to respect your decision.
For example, they may assume that you want to be the receptive partner or that if you have a front hole you’re comfortable with it being part of the sex you have.
If your partner makes you uncomfortable or ignores your boundaries, this could show that they act in abusive ways. You can talk to us about support and advice, for more information check out our section on consent.
There are other unique circumstances, specific to trans men when it comes to negotiating sex.
For example, some trans men find that sex with a gay cisgender male partner can be an extremely validating experience, especially in early years of transitions, and because of this they might not insist on safer sex.
Men who are on testosterone can also notice an increased sex drive, which can also lower inhibitions when it comes to safer sex.
The most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t ever feel pressured into doing something you’re not comfortable with.