June 29, 2015
Every sexually active woman has heard at least one of these excuses in her lifetime.
• Why do we need condoms, you can’t get pregnant.
• It’s hard for me to maintain erection (or wear condoms with my erectile issues)
• You want me to really feel you, don’t you?
• If you really loved me, you’d trust me.
• I can’t feel anything when I’m wearing a condom.
• It’s a mood killer.
You know the drill about condoms—they have a bad rap. Before the rise in STDS, condoms were mostly used for birth control. Today it’s a different story—sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and herpes are on the rise. So far there are really only two options—abstaining from sex completely or using condoms until you and a partner have been tested for an STD.
It’s time to rethink condom use. Condoms are one of the best ways to protect yourself and your partner. And, when you look at it that way—offering to wear a condom is just like saying I care about your sexual health and I respect you. And that’s kinda sexy.
Until scientists find a way to eliminate STDs completely, people will have to use protection, and even then a condom isn’t 100% protection from all STDs. The good news is that condoms are designed differently today—they are thinner and stronger and allow for greater sensation. We know that putting a small amount of lube inside of a condom, before applying, can enhance his sensitivity. And, with flavored condoms, oral play can be enjoyable and safe.
Traditionally men have controlled condom use and it’s often difficult for the female partner to stand her ground and insist on protection. A research study from the University of Washington, of men between the ages of 21 to 30, found that most men report using tactics to avoid condom use, beginning as early as age 14 and continuing throughout their lifetime. http://www.womenshealthmag.com/sex-and-relationships/condom-excuses
I tell women of all ages they need to be prepared to walk away from sex if a new partner is unwilling to use a condom. But what I really want women to do is to understand the risks and then work with partners to create mutually agreeable sexual relationships. The old line guys used to use on girls, “If you loved me you would have sex with me”, could just as easily be used by women when facing a partner who doesn’t want to use a condom.
Bottom line: Be open with a partner about the risks of sexually transmitted infections and your desire for safety. Make the conversation about respect and trust as well as physical safety. And, when you’re ready to stock up on some new ethical, vegan, and fair trade condoms, we’re ready to help.
Walker Thornton is a writer, sex educator and public speaker. Her blog, WalkerThornton.com, was ranked #5 by Kinkly.com in their top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes of 2014. She is a strong advocate for women’s sexuality, encouraging women to ‘step into their desire’. Walker is the Sexual Health columnist for Midlife Boulevard and writes about sex and the older adult for Kinkly.com. You can connect with her on her website, Facebook, or Twitter.