5 Questions To Ask Every New Sexual Partner For The Best Sex Possible

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There's a widespread misconception that you shouldn't talk about sex, even with the people you're having sex with — not before you have it and certain not during it, lest you "ruin the moment." But the only way to have good sex is to talk about it. Everyone's different, and there's just no way to know what your partner wants unless you ask.

"Communication is a, if not the, cornerstone of social interaction," Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals, sociologist, resident sex and social behavior expert for Motorbunny, and author of Exposure: A Sociologist Explores Sex, Society and Adult Entertainment, tells Bustle. "But saying something that maybe makes sense to you is not enough — communication that is clear and that is clearly delivered in a mode that resonates amongst all parties involved is key. With effective communication in mind, the most basic — and most significant — questions we should be asking with every new sexual partner involve consent. What we do and do not consent to in of itself is complex and mutable, but this needs to be addressed."

Before you have sex with someone, ask them these questions so that you'll have the safest, most connected, and overall best sex possible.

1"When Were You Last Tested?"

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If you want to protect yourself from STIs, which you will if you're making any sort of skin-to-skin contact, make sure neither of you have any STIs or use protection if you might. A good way to start this conversation is to mention when you were last tested, Astroglide's resident sexologist Dr. Jess O’Reilly tells Bustle. "Getting tested is an important component of safer sex, as many STIs are asymptomatic."

2"Are You Planning To Have Sex With Anyone Else?"

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This is valuable information not only for preventing STIs but also for preventing hurt feelings. "Don’t assume that you’re monogamous because you’re having sex," says Dr. Jess. "And don’t assume that everyone wants a monogamous relationship. Rather than making assumptions, ask specific questions about sexual behavior, plans, and expectations so that you don’t run into any surprises." It may be uncomfortable to talk about, but not as uncomfortable as believing you're monogamous only to learn that your partner's been having sex with someone else.

3"Do You Want To Try X?"

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To make sure nobody's boundaries are crossed, discuss in advance what you each would like to do. Then, ask again in the moment to see if they want it right then. "Consent is sexy and it makes sex hotter, safer, and more fulfilling," says Dr. Jess. "In the beginning, you’ll need to ask many questions to figure out what your partner wants and you’ll need to keep the conversation going, as needs, interests, and boundaries vary from day to day."

4"How Will We Prevent STIs And/Or Pregnancy?"

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"You don't want to find yourself all hot and steamy, ready to go, just to hear them say, 'But I don't use condoms,'" Bethany Ricciardi, sex education and expert with TooTimid, tells Bustle. Instead, discuss in advance what you're both willing to use to prevent pregnancy and STIs. This will also tell you whether someone truly respects your physical health and boundaries before you sleep with them.

5"What Kind Of Porn Do You Like?"

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"We tend to stick with general questions such as 'what turns you on?' when we first form a new sexual relationship," licensed master social worker and sex therapist Stefani Shaffer-Pond tells Bustle. "This is such a broad question that it tends to elicit surface level responses such as 'I like candlelight' or 'I really enjoy oral sex.' To be honest? I don't know many people who dislike candlelight. Try probing further: Ask your partner 'what kind of porn do you like to watch?' or 'what was the last image you came to?'" The more specific you can get, the more you'll understand what turns your partner on. If either of you isn't quite sure what you're into, Saffer-Pond suggests taking a workshop or class together.

Don't hold back on asking any new partner these questions. If you're not comfortable discussing these topics with them, perhaps you're not comfortable having sex with them at all. And the more intimate the conversations you have, the more intimacy you'll experience in the bedroom. It's a win-win for everyone.