Does the thought of asking new potential partners for STI or STD tests fill you with fear? Did you have a shot of anxiety just reading the title? However, for safe play, even if you are participating in soft swapping, asking potential playmates about STI test results is the smart way to protect yourself & your partners.
If you haven’t already tried asking, you are likely to eventually hear people argue against asking for them and tell you that you will never find play partners with this demand. They might say that no one has the time to get them, or that they aren’t worth the expense, or worse, you are not serious about the swinger lifestyle if you ask. These types of people should be ignored. Any reasonable person in the lifestyle will be happy with your questions.
Changing Landscape of Asking For STI Tests
Since Covid, more and more swingers have been thinking about their health. What once might have been a less common question is becoming more common. Plus, in the days when Covid was the big topic, it was common for swinger parties to require testing or vaccination statuses, meaning that what once might have been alien concepts (getting test results of some kind before events) to some people are even more in the foreground.
Additionally, more and more swingers are getting tested themselves. A common question now is asking potential partners when the last time they were tested was. If you are worried about being rejected or the reactions you might get when asking for STI tests, rest assured that most swingers value responsible and safe sex play.
With this new wave of safety and thinking about things, you should feel more comfortable asking other swingers for STI tests. Almost everyone now has certain aspects of health, hygiene, and safety in mind.
Talking About STI Tests with Swingers
The main way to start talking to potential partners is to be upfront and honest after the first introduction. After all, anyone who will respect your boundaries and wants will be happy with this kind of honest communication. Good swingers will value open conversations with their play partners.
It is helpful if you already have your STI results (some swingers keep that info on their phones), especially if you ask for evidence of them and not just verbal confirmation. This way, you can ease whoever you are asking by demonstrating that you also live by the tenets you want to follow. This makes you a more attractive play partner by showing a healthy mindset to other swingers.
If you feel weird or strange about bringing up the subject of STI tests, remember that this is just another way of filtering between potential play partners. We all do it, asking questions and taking in people’s reactions and movements to decide who we want to play with and who we don’t. Or maybe even having a checklist of physical attributes we are looking for. The person you are talking to has done the same thing.
Speaking of checklists, here is a quick checklist to ask about when bringing up STI tests:
- How recent were the tests, aka how many sex partners did they have since the tests?
- Which STIs were checked for? Chlamydia and gonorrhea are commonly tested, but doctors rarely test herpes.
- How were they tested? A simple blood or urine test is more common, but some STIs require oral & anal swabs for accurate results.
- Educate yourself to ask good follow-up questions. Did you know that there is currently no HPV test for men, but there is a vaccine?
What If Asking For STI Tests Goes Wrong?
Even if you do everything right, it is still possible that you will be rejected because you have asked. Sometimes this rejection will be a clear no, maybe with a couple of excuses, but otherwise, the person or people you have approached remain nice to you. This is ideal.
But then you might get those who try to argue against you. Instead of saying why showing or getting STI checks doesn’t work for them, they will try to argue with you that asking at swinger events for STI checks won’t work for you. Also, be aware of people who say that STI tests aren’t necessary if you are doing soft swapping. Not only does this display a lack of knowledge of how STIs are spread, but it also points to a person who wants to be demanding and has their way, no matter how you feel.
In this case, you need to stay strong. Remember the reasons that you have set that boundary in the first place. If the people you ask for STI tests don’t respect your safety boundary, that is an excellent reason to reject them. You want to select swinger partners that respect you and your preferences.
You are here to have a good time. Not to worry nor think about what someone else may or may not do to you or your partner(s). In these cases, the best policy is to state that this is a hard requirement and ignore them. You don’t need to explain why it’s a requirement for you. Save your time, and don’t argue (they are as unlikely to change their minds as you are yours). Just move on. There is plenty of other fish in the sea and swingers in the lifestyle.
Be Your Best Advocate
Everyone in the swinger world will have different views on this topic, but what ultimately matters is your viewpoint. After all, you are here to have fun with yourself and your partner. Compromising your values will eventually mean a less fun evening because this topic will always be in the back of your mind.
No matter how fun or attractive someone may seem, if they reject your simple boundary on this, they will not be a good experience for you. Instead, it would be best if you focused on the fact that many people out here in the swinger lifestyle will not only fulfill your request but also value the fact that you even asked for it. These are the people worth finding. Taking care of yourself, your values, your boundaries, and your wants are the best, if not only, way to have fun within the swinger scene.