How to Tell Her She May Have Given You an STI

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Recently, I had casual sex with a girl and we did the scissoring thing (yes, it is a thing for me!!). Unfortunately, I got and STD, which got me wondering: how should I tell this girl, whom I don’t talk to anymore, that she transmitted me something and should go check her health? And second, is it possible to make tribadism safer?

-Confused

Hey Confused,

First question first. How should you tell this girl you got an STD … or an STI, which is the preferred term these days? Use your words. It’s that simple. If you’re adult enough for casual sex, then you’re adult enough to take out your phone and write her a text message. Or call her on the phone and leave her a voice message (I know, super scary). Tell her that you got something right after you two hooked up and you thought she’d like to know.

Don’t get preachy or accuse her of “giving you something.” Even if you haven’t been with anyone since that night.

Why? You might not have the story right.

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Up to 90 percent of people who have herpes are unaware they have it. Most people with herpes have a handful of outbreaks in their life, so there’s nothing for them to notice until an outbreak occurs. That’s if they even notice the symptoms, which could be mistaken for razor bumps or ingrown hairs.

So, this girl might have herpes, not have noticed symptoms, and transmitted it to you. By the same logic, YOU could have herpes and not noticed it until now and YOU could have given an STI to HER. 

Aside from herpes, crabs, chlamydia, and HPV are the prevalent STIs you need to worry about as a lesbian.  Like herpes, chlamydia symptoms can be mild – so again, she might not know she had it if she does have it.

Same goes for bacterial vaginosis, which is technically not an STI but can be transmitted between lesbians … sensing a theme here? In all likelihood, this woman didn’t know she had an STI and so she didn’t “do anything wrong” by failing to disclose. It’s kinda rude to fire back a pissy text at her because you wound up with BV after a night together.

In all likelihood, this woman didn’t know she had an STI and so she didn’t “do anything wrong” by failing to disclose. It’s kinda rude to fire back a pissy text at her because you wound up with BV after a night together.

Assuming you’ve been treated and you’re healthy, you can do her the courtesy of letting her know. It is possible that you got this STI from someone else and didn’t experience symptoms. With something like bacterial vaginosis, it’s possible that sex wasn’t the cause and it’s coincidental timing.

BV occurs when your vag’s good and bad bacteria get out of balance. While it’s common to get BV after sex with someone new, you can also get it if you wash your undies with one of those scented laundry fresheners, use a really strong bath gel, or scrub your lady bits with scented soap.

While it’s common to get BV after sex with someone new, you can also get it if you wash your undies with one of those scented laundry fresheners, use a really strong bath gel, or scrub your lady bits with scented soap.

Now, how can you protect yourself from an STI or from BV when having lesbian sex?

First, it’s a myth that lesbians don’t get STI’s. Know the risks and decide how you want to handle them. The truth is, any time your bodily fluids are touching hers, your mouth is touching her lady bits, or your skin is touching, you are at risk of STI.

Put in other words, oral sex, scissoring, grinding against her, aka ALL YOUR FAVE SEXY ACTIVITIES place you at risk of STI.

Since you asked specifically about tribbing …

You could use a dental dam or you could keep your panties on! I know, it’s not as fun as full-on scissoring but it decreases your risk when you’re sleeping with a new partner.

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Also … you should have the talk before you get naked and go down! Not only about consenting to whatever you’re into but sexual health, expectations and so on. Were you both tested recently? Is everyone clean? OK, scissor away! Sex Nerd Sandra’s got some great podcast episodes about making consent convos fun, so check her out.

And… you may want to reserve “risky” sex practices for committed relationships. When you have a girlfriend and you’ve both been tested, you can scissor away with a relatively low risk of passing on an STI.

Maybe I’m reading too much into your Q, but you had casual sex and you don’t talk to her anymore (your words).

Sex is an intimate act even when it’s casual. It kinda burns me up when people think it’s okay to get all up in someone’s twat, but the idea of speaking to them the morning after is too scary and they just cannot deal. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I think if you liked her enough to scissor her, then you should like her enough to be courteous to her should you meet in public … or, y’know, need to reach out and tell her something like this.

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