Sexual Health

Making It Work With Condoms

You’ve probably heard the spiel about condoms by now: unlike other forms of birth control, they prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). So condoms are awesome!

At the same time, wearing a condom is oftentimes seen as a total drag. Some people don’t enjoy the feeling of having sex with a condom. Some people feel needy or high maintenance worrying about getting an STI.

It is never selfish or unreasonable to care about your health. Don’t be afraid to speak up. You deserve your health and you deserve good sex. When it comes down to it, condoms are a part of sex.

Every partner has to figure out how to make it work with condoms, and it’s very possible to have fun and stay healthy.

Before sex

It can be difficult in the heat of the moment to bring up the conversation about condoms. Protection and the spread of STIs isn’t exactly the sexiest topic. If you’re uncomfortable initiating this talk right before sex, why not talk about it beforehand?

If you talk about condoms before starting to have sex, you can go into the situation being on the same page. You can even go buy condoms together. Even with a one-night stand, there is time to have this talk and make a quick trip to a gas station, drugstore, or grocery store for condoms. There are tons of condoms to choose from, including different colors, flavors, sensations, etc.

If your partner doesn’t want to wear a condom, there is nothing wrong with saying you just don’t have sex without protection. If your partner absolutely refuses, it’s an easy way to figure out this person isn’t worth having sex with. Anyone who makes you feel selfish for caring about STIs and your health is the one being selfish.

During sex

Believe it or not, sex can be fun with a condom. Lube is an awesome way to increase pleasure and reduce any friction or discomfort with a condom. Water-based lube is the best bet with condoms—oil- and petroleum-based lubes can cause latex to deteriorate. Water-based lube also won’t stain your sheets.

To make it fun, you can apply lube to each other. Adding a drop of lube into the condom before putting it on can enhance pleasure. Anytime during sex there is dryness or friction, you can apply more!

After sex

Always throw away the condom after sex. It’s not meant to be worn twice—thankfully they’re cheap!

If you think you want to have sex with a person again, after sex can be awesome time to talk about what you both liked and didn’t like, and how to have great sex with protection in the future. Having this follow-up conversation sets the precedent that condoms are not a one-time deal.

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