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Dear Ari.

Dear Ari,
I really want to get a tattoo (just something small on my ankle!!) but my mom would absolutely kill me. What should I do?
Sincerely,
Body Art Bella

Dear Body,
It’s your life, and your body. You wouldn’t be breaking any laws or “ruining your future” in any way, so mommy dearest will just have to accept it!
That being said, make sure you do your research first – don’t just stroll into the first tattoo parlour you find. Look up your local ink artists. Read and ask around for reviews. The last thing you want is to have to show your mom a tattoo that you don’t even like! Clearly, your tattoo should be well thought out since it’s going to be on you forever.
If you’ve done all your research, and you feel comfortable and ready, and it fits in your budget, go get yourself inked!
Affectionately,
Ari

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Dear Ari,
I had my first STI test and found out I have an STI – and it’s the kind that I can’t just get rid of. How do I tell my partner? Who else do I need to tell?
Sincerely,
STIven

Dear STIven,
You need to be direct with your partner. Make sure you’re speaking in person, one-on-one, and with no distractions. Explain that you received test results, and be clear on what those results were.
While we’ve (hopefully) all been taught the signs, symptoms, and treatments of a myriad of lovely infections, it’s important to remind your partner of how exactly this infection manifests itself as well as the required treatments.
If your partner is rude or condescending about this predicament, remind them of the statistics and prevalence of STIs. Ultimately, STIs can be an unfortunate not-so-fun feature of a normal sex life.
If you hadn’t already asked your partner about his or her sexual history, it’s time do so now. What were their last test results? If there’s something they’ve been keeping from you, they may be less shocked at your results than you would think.
Your partner absolutely needs to get tested again. Bring him or her with you to your next appointment. You need to face this together as mature adults.
Since it was your first STI test, you’ll need to speak with all of your past sexual partners. As awkward as you may find contacting former flames, it’s best to eliminate as much of the guess work in this situation as possible. You have the responsibility and the opportunity to prevent further spread of your infection.
Condoms, condoms, condoms – wear them. This campus is full of free condoms. You can get them at the Sexuality Centre, the Women’s Centre, Student Health, Residential Life and from residence proctors.
The right selection is to protect your erection.
Affectionately,
Ari

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