Simon Says

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Dear Simon

I have fairly recently come out of my third violent relationship. I am fine and it’s been a few months and so everything physical and mental has healed and I am now ready to meet someone else. The thing is, after meeting so many bad men I am worried I can’t find a good one. What should I do to stop meeting the wrong person, what would you advise?

Mark, Essex

Dear Mark

I need to say this… it’s ‘never’ OK to be subjected to physical or mental abuse in a relationship but I’d ask you this question: What did you do to get into those relationships in the first place? I could be acting as the Devil’s Advocate here but, three violent relationships… what is going on? If you want to avoid repeating the same mistakes you have to learn from your past mistakes. Examine what lead you into those relationships and what made you stay in them for any length of time. They say that you have to ‘kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince’ you need to give those frogs a closer examination before you snog them.

Dear Simon

I have only recently really come out to myself however, the one person that I have told is my big brother as he is gay himself. I was telling everyone that I was bisexual until recently when I met the perfect guy. I already knew that I was gay it just took finding the right person to make me feel confident about it all. The only thing is that I haven’t told my parents yet although I will tell my mum first. I am thinking of doing it when the family gets together in a few weeks. My brother says I shouldn’t. I don’t see why, my mum has already been through it with him but he says being the baby of the family it might be really hard for her and I should tell her in a month or two. I feel I am ready now.

Dave, Nottingham

Dear Dave

Mmm, not sure about this. If you are only planning on telling your mother, why do it at a family gathering? Why not on a one-to-one when she doesn’t have a hundred and one other things to think about… or was that your plan? Mum’s have a way of knowing a great deal more than they let on and, if you say you’ve proclaimed yourself as a proud bisexual already, the trip down the gay alley perhaps won’t be that much of a surprise. Your brother’s comment is surprising. Why wait a couple of months? What difference would it make then? Does he know something you don’t know about your family’s situation or is he perhaps jealous of his younger brother’s new found situation? The truth is, only you know when you’re ready to tell others.

Dear Simon

Though I always practice safe sex my friends say that I should take an HIV test. I don’t really see the point as I am young and have only had a handful of sexual partners; my friends say that’s irrelevant. I also don’t like the idea, is it really invasive, will people think I am some kind of slut? I think the worry of it all also makes me not want to go, and what if I have somehow got it, do I really want to know?

Luke, London

Dear Luke

Let me just say – knowing could save your life. If you do have a problem, the earlier it is detected the quicker you can get the medication you need. If you haven’t, then think of the worry that will have lifted from your shoulders.

I have to say that I would go to the clinic and just get it done. Bar the waiting for the results and a small scratchy injection, it’s really simple and pain free. It sounds like it would be unlikely (though I am not an expert) to have anything but I would just get everything checked out if you are going for the first time.Your age and the number of partners is no guarantee of being free from infection and the sad news is… the rate of disease is going up in the teen and early 20’s age groups. The people at the clinic don’t judge so, for your own peace of mind – go and get checked.

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