Dear Ibby, when should I tell my girlfriend I have an STI?
Go back in time to before she became your girlfriend, and then tell her. If you knew about it before you started dating here, then that’s definitely the kind of thing you get out in the open before you get serious. And by before you get serious, I mean before your diseased penis goes anywhere near her. Your girlfriend should have had the option to react to your STI in whatever way she needed to. She might not have chosen to risk exposing herself to whatever you have if she had the choice, and chances are that because you didn’t tell her, she’ll have to deal with having the STI herself now. That means she’ll have to spend money and have some old lady finger her at the gynecologist … or much, much worse.
If, on the other hand, you didn’t know you had one until you started dating her, then stop reading this right now, and go tell her. Most girls prefer to have information like this dropped on them in person, so just tell her you need to talk about something, and meet up with her to explain the situation. Say you fucked up and didn’t use protection, and you just found out you had an STI. Then, because you probably gave it to her, offer to do everything you can to help with treatment or symptom mitigation. There’s really no right time to tell another you just spread gonorrhea, but there is a right way, which is to own up to it, offer support, and show enough respect to be honest.
There’s good news here, which is that now you can take your antibiotics together! There’s nothing more romantic than a mutual penicillin rash, I’ll tell you what.