Getting Down to Business: How to Pre-Game

Be honest. Have you ever judged someone by their sexual history? You whispered behind their back when they got pregnant at an early age, your eyes widened when you found out how many partners they've had, or dropped your jaw when you found out they had an STD...that was incurable. Whatever the case, you've thrown a bit of shade on someone else's business despite needing to mind your own.

Rather than come from a negative place when addressing such issues, think about how you can be more mature and informed about them. Besides, you need to be in the proper head space before you get x-rated. If you grew up in Any Given Town, USA you probably learned about sex in a passive and shameful way from those who parented and educated you. Culturally and socially, you learned reactions to sex/sexuality by modeling the behaviors of those closest to you. It is what it is. You move on and learn better. Unfortunately, some of us don't even try to expand beyond our initial sexual mores. 

According to the CDC in 2014 over 60% of people aged 13-39 don't even know their own HIV/AIDS status. They are also the most at-risk for new STD infections. There are several articles that show men are less likely to go for a check up and more likely to be dishonest about their STD status. For women who contract new diseases, they report believing they were in a monogamous relationship and/or trusting what their partners told them without hard copy evidence.  A lot of the stigma attached to infections transmitted below the belt comes from the warped and negative relationship with sex we are conditioned to have. So the inadequate sexual education you received at 10 or 11 inevitably carries into your adolescent and adult years. Anything that deviates from cis-heterosexual monogamy is marginalized and fetishsized, forcing us as adults to treat our desires as anomalies, becoming ashamed of them, which in turn, often causes us to make unethical and risky decisions. These habits make the experience of sex one sided and seemingly "unclean" to the masses. To shift the paradigm of going through the carnal faรงade, we need to get deep and honest with ourselves and others. We will get much better at safer sex when we completely change our thought patterns. Here's some suggestions for pre-gaming before getting busy.

1. Become familiar and consistent with the basics: 
You may think this doesn’t need to be said, but sometimes simple things aren't always understood, which is why the basics are necessary. They're the most important pieces of advice to transforming your sex life into something that is healthy & pleasurable. The better acquainted you are with the ground rules, the more attractive & trustworthy you are as a partner. Whether you're making love to your long time sweetheart, having play time with a date for the evening or screwing the person you met at the coffee shop that afternoon, you have to ensure that at the minimal you are doing the following things:

Getting tested regularly
If you are sexually active and/or taking injection drugs, it's recommended that you get tested for STIs & HIV/AIDS every 3 months. However, considering the previously mentioned data it would be smart to take extra precaution and still get tested whether you're sexually active at the time or not.  

Getting verbal consent
Having both parties coherently giving consent is adrenaline inducing and always appropriate. Imagine, flushed by all your hormones on edge and you hear them say  "Yes," or "I want to..." that's a feeling of desire like no other. 

Getting comfortable with asking your partner their status
To be rather frank, get comfortable with asking for, as well as, furnishing your own test results. I know right? W.T.F.? It may seem absurd…at first, but then not so much. Remember, we are changing our thoughts around sex so this is just a small step backward in order to move forward. Back in the day, in the thick of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, it was common for people who hung out or had sex together to go get tested and results together. Automatically that creates a supportive environment and accountability and saves everyone’s lives. Don’t you want to be a life saver?? That’s hot.

2. Thoroughly and properly learn the anatomy of the sex & gender you are attracted to. 

Seemingly this could go both ways, and maybe you need to learn more about yourself too, but more specifically, I’m saying learn female anatomy. Only in the recent decades has female sexuality become a force in the main stream, yet to be met with rape culture, rape apology, and attempting to bend that female empowerment to the male gaze. With that said, men as well as women need to learn the proper terminology and function of the female anatomy. Dick has consistently been the forefront of sex and sexuality. Most (cishet) men don't experience their full erotic potential because they ignore the perineum and anus — on themselves and their partner. You need to fully explore body parts other than the penis! There's centuries worth of phallic worship & advice available on how to stroke a 3 part pole. Why limit yourself to the shaft when there's a plethora of erogenous zones to explore safely and pleasurably? Even the Bop-It got an up grade since the 90s.

3. Learn your own body and communicate what pleasures you unapologetically.
Everyone has their own boundaries, fetishes, and kinks but, often times, they don't get expressed. There's social norms to consider, the anxiety of asking because of fear of rejection or judgement. If you're paying attention, that's the cycle of suppression stirring which leads to...raise your hand if you remember? Lack of consent and risky behavior. Take this into consideration: A guy wants to try anal with a girl he's with but isn't sure she's down for it. Let's just say she is. He doesn't know for sure and with the stigma still rather "no-no" in the realm of hetero-normative sex, he hesitates to actually ask. Instead, he takes the risk of ramming it in her rectum, hoping fervently she'll go along with it or maybe he'll stop if she objects. So much is going on here in this scene it's creepy. Is his penis raw? If not why didn't he get a fresh condom and how intent is he on sticking it back into her pussy when she yells stop? Also, we didn't mention how he never got her consent in the first place, so that move he pulled is sexual assault. Rape as sodomy to be exact. Admittedly in the heat of the moment we tend to throw caution to the wind in such instances, however like good sex, responsible sex is mental before anything. You have to be cognizant before you haphazardly act. Taking a few more moments before getting it on to converse about what you like and reach for a contraceptive or prophylactic can be the determining factor between salvaging your status or being forced into a lifetime of change. 

Sex positivity includes much more than more people being ready-set-go for casual sex. It means leveling up the full spectrum of sex/sexuality from education to experiences to health. Undeniably sex is an indescribable form of pleasure but it's also this intimately physical reminder that we are energetically and biologically connected. How you respect and take care of yourself reflects on the partners you chose and how you treat them.  

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