If abstaining from sex isn’t an option, then using a condom is the best protection there is from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs or STIs – sexually transmitted infections). And if you’re thinking about contraception then condoms, used properly, are up to 98% effective against pregnancy too.
Well the theory is great. But what about the heat of the moment? Could there be any more of a passion killer than raising the subject of using a condom?
Here we’re going to look at ways you can protect yourself from pregnancy and disease AND have a good time.
Sexually transmitted diseases are more rampant now then they ever have been – in all age groups. If the TV, newspapers and magazines are to believed we’re having more sex than we ever have had and passing around a lot of nasty stuff.
Which group do you fit into here:
- Virgin teen
- Virgin any age
- Free and sexually active single teen
- Free and single sexually active 20s, 30s and 40s etc
- In a relationship but looking elsewhere
- In a relationship and worried your partner is looking elsewhere
- Divorced and dating again?
Let’s de-bunk the myths – you can get an STI on your first sexual encounter or if you’re over 50 or 60 or 70. Think of the network of who’s had sex with who and you’ll find that everyone’s sexual history is more complicated than it first appears. That’s why we all need protection.
Asking a partner to wear a condom can be embarrassing, especially if you’re not too sexually confident. The good news is that the more often you ask, the more confident you get with asking, and the better protected you are. And if you learn the tricks of putting a condom on a partner, it’s all part of the fun of sex too.
Here are some ways of getting a partner to wear a condom if you’re not sure about his/her sexual history:
- Remember using a condom doesn’t say ‘I think you’ve got a disease’ it says ‘I want us both to be safe’.
- Carry condoms with you, especially if you’re going out and expect to have sex and/or expect to be drinking alcohol.
- Drink alcohol sensibly. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and control in any situation. If you’re worried about what your friends will say because you’re not keeping up the pace with them, alternate your alcoholic drinks with a soft drink – cola, lemonade, tonic etc without the shot of alcohol. You don’t need to tell them what you’re doing.
- Who will look after you in a crowd if you don’t look after yourself? So, along the same lines as above, if you need to act drunk then do – but you’ll have a clearer head to think straight about what you’re really doing.
- Better still, just stand up for what you believe in and say ‘no’ to too much alcohol.
- If you’re at a party or in a bar, keep an eye on your drink so that no one spikes it with drugs.
- Finish your drink before you go and dance or get another when you come back from the dance floor. Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know.
- Prepare for when you know you’re in a sexual situation and think of a phrase that will persuade a partner to wear a condom – here are 3 examples:
- ‘If it’s not on, it’s not in’
- ‘I’m a safety girl’ – think Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman
- ‘Be prepared to wrap it – no glove, no love’ (thanks for pjaz78 on YouTube for that).
- Show some class and learn how to put the condom on, and have fun with it. Women (and men without a hard-on) can practise on a banana as many times as it takes to get confident.
- Follow the instructions on the package: tear the condom wrapper carefully – teeth, fingernails and jewelry etc can damage the condom.
- Put the condom on when you/your partner has a full or partial erection and before any contact between you and your partner’s body.
- Squeeze the tip of the condom between your thumb and first finger, or between your lips (not teeth) if you’re going to put it on your partner with your mouth – more advanced technique.
- Put the condom over the penis and roll it down the length of the shaft, to the base of the penis.
- The rolled edge should be on the outside of the penis.
- You’re now ready to go.
- Make sure the condom stays in place all the time and if it rolls up, roll it back in place right away. If it comes off, withdraw the penis and use a new condom.
- When you’ve finished having sex, withdraw the penis while it’s still erect, holding the base of the penis and condom together. Remove the condom when you’re away from your partner’s body.
- Wrap it in a tissue and throw it in the garbage – not in the toilet or on the ground.
Condoms are effective protection when they’re used properly.
They will protect you from diseases that are spread in the semen, vaginal secretions or blood (HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomonas for example) but not if you or your partner has genital warts, crabs or sores from herpes or syphilis. These sores may be on areas that are not covered by the condom.
One last thought – regret is a terrible thing: prevention is better than regret.