Why is advocating for condom use so important? Well, for starters, condoms are highly effective in fighting sexually transmitted diseases– including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS – and in preventing unwanted pregnancies. They are extremely accessible and cost-effective, at just about one dollar each, according to Planned Parenthood. (Or free if you go to one of the many clinics here in DC!) Overall, condoms are an integral part of practicing safer sex. So, what are you to do if your partner doesn’t want to wear one? Here’s how to respond to these popular excuses.
“Condoms are uncomfortable.”
If you ask your partner to wear a condom and they come back to you with the old “condoms are uncomfortable,” excuse, there’s an easy way around this. Remind them that there are dozens of kinds of condoms available. Finding the one that is right for you may take some trial and error, but it will be fun figuring it out together. Make a trip to the store, then settle in for an evening at home to try things out. When a condom fits correctly, it is at its most protective.
“It feels better without a condom”
Condoms block skin-to-skin contact which is where STIs and HIV can be contracted. And nothing feels better than being safe and healthy. Secondly, condoms are 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. So if that is something you want to avoid, all the better reason to advocate for condom use. Let your partner know that you are not ready to be a parent and that condoms are an important step in your plan. If they are still concerned about the “feel” you can also suggest using lube, and lots of it. Just remember to only use water or silicone-based lubes with condoms, as lubes with oil in them can damage the integrity of the condom making it less effective.
“I don’t know how to put one on.”
It’s important to know how to put on condoms correctly to be fully protected. Remember, it may be difficult for your partner to admit that they don’t know how, so be gentle. Make them feel less vulnerable by offering to show them. You can also suggest a how-to video or illustration, both of which are readily available online.
“Why kill the moment?”
Remind your partner that this is exactly why you want to talk to them about using a condom before you get down to the deed. If they are still unsure, suggest making the act of putting on a condom part of your foreplay. There is something very sensual about looking out for your partner’s health. Plus, the moment of reaching for the condom is a sure sign that things are about to get spicy. It’s an exciting milestone in the lead-up to sex. It’s all in how you frame it.
Overall, it’s important to be direct. If not using condoms is a deal-breaker for you, make that clear and stick to your sexual health plan.