Sex isn’t always the simplest subject to broach with a new partner—or even a long-term spouse. It can be unpleasant, but it is necessary. You and your partner will stay healthy if you use safe sexual practices. It’s a good idea to talk about your behaviors, preferences, history, and protection options before your first sexual encounter. Being proactive about this conversation might help you avoid making decisions in the heat of the moment that you’ll come to regret later.