Sometimes you just feel it coming.
You’re vibing with someone (or someones), the flirting gets hot, and the race to get naked is on. Get excited, friend, because you’re probably going to have sex. Congrats, go you!
But in between “what are you into?” and “oh yeah, right there,” you get to talking about protection and, in a massive boner killer, they tell you they do not want to use internal or external condoms … while you’re more of a “wrap it to tap it” kind of person. So, now what?
We at Sexual + Being want to help you broker that ever-crucial negotiation with your condom-weary playmate (let’s call him Steve for our purposes here). Below you will find several common retorts some use to get out of using condoms, and we fill in the blanks on how to navigate each situation with good ole Steve-o. Let’s get into it.
“C’mon, I’m safe! Don’t you trust me?”
The tried-and-true excuse we have all heard before. Well, Steve, we are naked together right now and ready to party. Let’s cool it with the lack of trust accusations here, pal, because there is more to this.
To start, we have to understand why personal trust is not a factor in condom usage. Condoms are not necessarily about trust; they are about protecting ourselves and partners from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) we may be carrying and preventing pregnancy.
Some STIs are or start as asymptomatic, which means we may not know if we are infected. Condoms are, quite literally, a barrier against the unknown, and using them can stop infection and pregnancy.
Remember: It is entirely possible to trust and feel safe having sex with a partner without compromising your sexual health or preferred safety mechanisms. Got that, Steve?
“That’s what the pill is for.”
Depending on which pill — birth control and/or PrEP, pre-exposure prophylaxis — there is a nugget of truth to what Steve’s saying here. Both of those medications are preventative ways to, respectively, stop pregnancy or a potential HIV infection.
But, unfortunately, one such nugget does not a full meal make. While both pills are proven to be effective, neither are meant to stop the spread of STIs (besides HIV, in PrEP’s case). That’s what condoms are for and, when used in tandem with either “pill,” they create a sweet symphony of safety for yourself and your partners.
“I’m too big for a condom.”
We’ll get some Magnums, then. Next!
“I can’t stay hard if I’m wearing one.”
This is a trickier situation to navigate, no doubt. But, if done with care and compassion from all involved, we can get to a mutually satisfying place.
If your partner says they struggle with maintaining an erection while wearing a condom, believe them and give them a bit of grace. Undoubtedly, they are already in their heads about performing for you. That said, you do not need to compromise yourself as a concession.
Kind directness will be essential here. Tell them quite honestly that condoms aren’t really up for negotiation here but that you are willing to be intimate in other ways: having different types of sex that may not require as consistent an erection or protection, trying penetrative sex anyway, and seeing what happens (with a back-up plan for loss of said boner), sex toys, etc.
“I can’t get there if we use one.”
Look, we get it somewhat. Condoms can dull some sensation, and that can, for some, lead to difficulty achieving orgasm. That does not mean, however, that condoms restrict one’s ability to climax. Perhaps we need a tingling lubricant or a different type of condom to make sure you feel good for our session. But, yeah, we will need you to use a condom.
We are willing to compromise to make you happy, Stevey boy. But we are not ditching the condoms.
“I have a latex allergy.”
If you are allergic to latex, Steve, my guy, you probably already know that condoms come in different varieties. Those latex-free options are available in many mainstream stores.
“Ugh, I don’t have one.”
It’s 2021, and this isn’t a valid excuse.
There are many apps for that these days if you want them delivered directly to us. Let’s be real here. There’s likely also a convenience store or gas station near you that sells them. Or, if you really want to keep things safe, consider packing a condom (or a few!) in your bag or wallet.
See, that wasn’t so hard, was it? No pun intended. A big thanks to our fictional fun buddy Steve and you all for reading. For more information on condoms, safer sex practices, and more, head to sexualbeing.org. Happy humping!