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Are you fit to date? Part 4
Monday, 22 June 2009
Are you fit to date? Part 4

In this series we have tackled various issues that come up for single people. Firstly, making space literally and figuratively for someone new in your life. Secondly, opening up your social circle so new people can come in and so that you give yourself the opportunity to meet people. The third part was about how to drive a conversation that makes you remembered by new people in a positive way.

I’d be unwise to leave out some information on sexual fitness. One of the consequences of being single and dating is that you are going to be free to have sex with a new person. That’s the catch! Sex is not free, says Professor Elna Mc Intosh, renowned sexologist. There are enormous consequences attached to having sex. It’s relatively simple to mitigate these risks, and so here is some simple practical advice on how to make sure you are taking care of yourself and others before you get down to sex.

Before I continue, a note of sensibility: For everybody’s long term mental stability, you should reserve sexual encounters for trusted committed relationships.

The BEST means of making sure that you and your intended partner are ready to have safe sex is to go for your “sexual fitness” tests together before you have sex. However, in the heat of the moment, that may have been the last thing on your mind. However, after this email, things should change. Be sensible and get yourself tested as the most basic precaution and then you can work at making this coincide with your partners testing.

Professor Elna Mc Intosh advises the following 3 tests to ensure you are sexually fit,

Test for Chlamydia - Urine test

Test for Syphillis - Blood test

Test for HIV - be very sure about the window period (after 10 days you can do HIV PCR - DNA, or after 3 months - HIV Elisa Antibody test)

None of these diseases have symptoms and so you don’t know if you have them until the damage has been done. If don’t get tested, the long term consequences are detrimental to your health. There are a ton of other STD’s, however usually if you have another one, you will know about it.

Here’s how to get tested: If you live in Johannesburg, we are fortunate to have Professor Mc Intosh’s clinic in Hurlingham. At the clinic, you can have anonymous HIV testing. http://www.safersex.co.za/ She and her team will provide counselling for any sexual issues, as well as testing.

You can also go to your Doctor, or any other Doctor and they will be able to help you get these tests.

A BIG word of warning from the Professor. I take her seriously because she has seen it all! If someone says they are tested and fit, don’t just take their word for it. This is why it’s so important to go with your prospective partner to be tested.

I’d be a bad dating lady if I didn’t sign this off with at least one mention of the fact that using a condom is the very least you can do to protect yourself and your partner. Failure to do that is like failing Grade 1 at the age of 30.

There is a wealth of information on these two sites, www.sextherapy.co.za and www.safersex.co.za Do yourself a favour and take the time to understand the issues, and make sure you are protected.

If having sex is the last thing on your mind, and getting a date would be a good start, great! Come along to the next SMARTdate event and meet some lovely people.

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