Q: How much should you ask a potential partner to divulge about his or her sexual history?

A: Before you take the sexual plunge with someone new, become an informed consumer. You deserve to find a partner who is honest about his or her sexual health, capable of monogamy and currently single.

Early on, create a communicative atmosphere and get to know this person before you open your heart and invest your valuable time on someone not worthy of it. Find out immediately just how available he or she is by asking candid sexual history questions such as, “When was the last time you had sex and who was it with?” “Has anyone ever given you a sexually transmitted infection—an STI?” and even this one: “Have you ever been caught cheating?”

Sexual history conversations should be fun. There’s no need to interrogate, and the dialogue should flow both ways. Be sure to talk about this face-to-face. Why? Because eye contact is important and will help you decide what is real versus fake.

Once you feel comfortable, then plan for the future and take that trip together to get tested for HIV and other STIs.