Five things about sexual health we had to figure out ourselves the hard way so you wouldn’t have to

We bet that if there’s one thing we have in common, it’s that we all received some severely lacking, much-to-be-desired sex education. Though recently there’s been a push towards sex positivity, consent education, and do-what-you-will sex inclusivity, knowledge surrounding sexual health, specifically STIs, is still mysteriously lacking. Here’s some fundamental truths about taking care of your sexual health that may have been overlooked in your journey of sexual liberation:

1. Many STIs are asymptomatic — meaning that you don’t show any symptoms.

I admit I didn’t know this before, back when I was in college. One time, when a partner called me to tell me he tested positive for gonorrhea, I flat out refused responsibility — how could I have given him that when I had no symptoms? How dare he accuse me! We were in an open relationship, so I told him to go tell his other partners about it instead *facepalm*. Maybe some of you are more on top of your game. Either way, the only way to know you have a STI is if you get tested for them!

Many STIs are asymptomatic, meaning you can’t see or feel anything different even if you have one.

2. If you leave them alone (ie. don’t get yourself checked), they can turn into serious issues.

It’s hard to push yourself through the fear of possibly having a STI when you’ve been conditioned to think they are the end of your sex life, but let me assure you, it’s not. This is coming from someone who has had multiple STIs despite being careful, and someone who has been non-monogamous for years (read: my sex life has been abundant despite my STI diagnoses).

3. Sex ed taught us to use contraception to ward off all dangers that come with sexual intercourse. But contraception does not always protect against STIs.

Barrier methods protect some areas from STIs, but not others.

4. Treatment for STIs is easy, and always manageable.

5. STIs are a normal part of having sex.

If you’re having sex, it’s time to accept that STIs will find a way into your life (and more accurately, your body). And it’s okay! Sometimes it’ll be a surprise and you won’t know when you got it; sometimes you’ll get a call from a partner asking you to get tested. It’s normal to get one. The one major thing we can do to keep ourselves and our lovers healthy is to get tested, frequently. Get tested preventatively. Get tested even if you don’t have symptoms.

Ash makes this simple. We’ve made it so easy and so comprehensive, there’s no excuse NOT to get tested. Ready to start? Head on over to meetash.com to order your first kit!

No office visits, no lab visits, no judgment — just discreet, simple, and affordable STI testing from the comfort of your home.