Q: I ended a serious relationship a few years ago, and I'm too worried about STDs to have sex. What can I do?
A: It's reasonable for you to be concerned about sexually transmitted diseases; many of my patients ask a partner to get tested or request a copy of his results. If you're uncomfortable broaching the topic, that may be an indicator that you are not ready for sex with him. If you're dating exclusively, you've both been tested and you're still fearful, on the other hand, something else may be going on. It could be that your anxiety about STDs is actually masking a deeper fear of intimacy or a self-consciousness about your body-I've seen many women focus on their "flaws" when they're with someone new. In any case, be honest with yourself and your partner about what's bothering you; he'll probably be reassuring. (If he isn't, he may not be for you.) Once you know what's behind your fear, you can opt to have sex or not rather than let your anxiety choose for you.Browse answers from SELF's beauty, nutrition, health and happiness experts, and send them your burning questions.
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