There are no hard and fast rules as to when you become intimate with your new partner. After all, we’ve worked hard to live in a world where there is less judgement and more inclusivity. It really is all about how you and your partner feel and what you’re both comfortable with.


What is important though is how you go about getting really close. You have to ask some pertinent questions and discover some real truths before making yourself as vulnerable as you do when entering into an entanglement. It’s important to both of you that you engage in some chatting before engaging in anything else. Everyone knows to ask about STDs, birth control and protective measures and you shouldn’t gloss over these details. Also, it’s important to seek out other details about your partner too. You don’t want to find yourself tied up in something where your partner is selfish, clingy or downright crazy.


Here’s what you need to find out.

Have they been through thorough STD testing?

Yes, this is a mood killer but you need to unpack this question. Because this is a difficult one. Most people try to get it out the way as soon as possible. This means quick and short answers. But many people think they’re clean of any STDs because they cannot see anything wrong with their bits downstairs but that’s not good enough. And most people are responsible enough to know whether they have HIV or not. But if you want to remain safe, then get yourself tested. This should give you enough confidence and the right information to ask about your new partner’s sexual health.


Are they single to mingle?

There are many people who date multiple people at the same time. There are also those who are in open relationships, meaning they have a partner and you’re a second or a side dish. And then there are those who are up for engaging in an extra-marital affair. And this is not uncommon. Shape Magazine reports that 58% of married people have cheated. So, you need to find out what your new partner’s deal is. And know your boundaries too. If you’re not okay with no exclusivity or you’re uncomfortable with open relationships then make it known. Also, speak up if you are more comfortable with a casual setup. But you do need to check their marital status and the best way is to come right out and ask.


Do they like their job?

People are not what they do, so don’t be too harsh a judge on their employment. But it’s important to know that they do in fact have a job and they aren’t lying. This is not the time to be blunt though so you need to do a subtle investigation. Your leading question could be “do you like your job?”. And you can follow up with asking about their colleagues and what a typical workday entails for them. You’ll easily spot a liar if they aren’t able to provide details or become evasive. And if they are lying about something as mundane as their employment then they’ll likely be lying about other things too. This is a red flag and you should continue with caution.


Give them a compliment

You’re about to become a real trickster but you should want to find out how arrogant this person really is. So you need to throw a compliment their way and be specific. Pick on something unique and flashy about your date, such as their fancy car or designer shoes, and gush. Then sit back and watch their response carefully. An arrogant and self-absorbed person will pick up your compliment and run with it. You’re likely to be expected to sit through 10 minutes or so of them bragging. If this happens you can expect that this person is going to behave in selfish ways emotionally and intimately.


Tease them and watch them squirm

This sounds mean but you want to see your new partner’s true colours as soon as possible. By teasing them, poking them a little you’ll get a response out of them and this will be telling. Someone who can’t take a little teasing or who shows aggression when they’re the butt of a joke indicates a fragile ego. Continuing to date this type of person could do you harm in the long run. Aggression is not something you want to deal with in a partner, it’ll lead to far more unhappy interactions in the future. Try out this tactic in a public space so you remain safe (you don’t know how angry they might get) and don’t overdo it. You are not trying to be nasty, so choose to tease about something light and silly.


Be open about your intimate expectations

We tend to romanticise our sexual expectations. But we’re all different in the bedroom. You need to lightly indicate what it is that you like but don’t immediately present them with your latest spoils from the newest sex shop in South Africa. Your sexual appetite and needs will eventually be discussed but, right in the beginning, you should probably just hint at what you’re into. Furthermore, listen carefully to their response and take note of what they indicate they are into so you can satisfy them too.



About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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