Dear Harlan: I’ve been dating someone for a couple of weeks. I’m in my early 20s and I’m a virgin. It’s something I own with pride. This guy is much more experienced than me and has had two previous serious relationships that were sexual. We have kissed, but I would like to do more with him. My problem is his past. One of the reasons I’ve waited to have sex is because I don’t want to get an STD. Should I make him get tested before we do anything too serious? What if he thinks I’m weird or this freaks him out? I’ve never had to have this conversation. — Careful and Fearful
Dear Careful and Fearful: He should run to get tested – and you should run with him to get tested, too. This isn’t weird or freaky. It’s responsible. Your rule is that you don’t have sex with anyone who hasn’t been tested. It’s your personal boundary. Tell him you really like him, kiss him and then share your rule. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV (human papillomavirus) is the most common sexually transmitted disease and can have no visible symptoms. Herpes and chlamydia can go symptomless too. Then there’s gonorrhea, HIV and the rest of the gang. And yes, even virgins can get an STD (kissing, rubbing and oral sex can cause it). Getting tested won’t keep you 100 percent safe from exposing yourself to an STD, but it makes it a lot safer. If he thinks this is weird or freaks out, he doesn’t need to have sex with you. For more STD info, check out www.cdc.gov/std.