STIs and STDs: Removing Shame and Stigma
Why is talking about our sexual health such a taboo topic? When we're able, we frequently visit our doctor for check-ups, tend to any ailments, and talk freely about our physical health... that is, unless it's of sexual nature.
STIs and STDs are just as common as the cold, flu, or other common infections we may get from person-to-person transmission. While we don't crucify our siblings or spouses for passing along the common cold to us, we treat it differently when it comes to our genitals. With the title "sexually transmitted," whether it's an infection or a disease, we might be made to feel we are dirty, gross, or embarrassed. But we're also human!
I think we should think about STIs and STDs the same way we think about colds and flu and other physical ailments. And guess what? It's not the end of the world. And having an STI or STD doesn't mean the end of your sex life, either!
How can we overcome feelings of shame and negative stigma surrounding sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?
I invited Courtney Brame, the founder of Something Positive for Positive People (SPFPP), for an open and personal discussion about sexual health.
In This Episode...
Courtney shares his personal experience receiving a positive herpes diagnosis and why he was inspired to start his podcast to discuss others’ stories about their positive diagnoses. He explains how having an STI, or an STD doesn’t mean the end of your sex life. In fact, it can mean the expansion of it: with more communication, taking time to connect, and building authentic and trusting partnerships.
Courtney suggests the best ways to inform yourself and who to talk to about your physical and mental health. What are the best resources to make sure you are heard in a non-biased and loving manner? We discuss good ways to disclose your positive status to your current partner(s) and potential new partner(s).
Communication is key, and although disclosing your positive status is a nerve-wracking, there are some tips to help alleviate the pressure on yourself and make your partner feel more comfortable about it.
Lastly, we discuss what to do if you get diagnosed with a positive status. Often times, the actual diagnosis isn’t dismantling, but the shame around it can certainly feel that way. But rest assured, there are resources to support you!
In this episode, we also answer some of the audience’s Letters to Lexi and offer advice on safe sex, navigating disclosure, and more.
Until next time, Stay Lexual!