Some people don’t use condoms because they think they don’t need to or because they don’t want to. But, condoms are the only method of contraception that protect you against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so using them is a really good habit to get into.
So whether it’s you making the excuses or whether it’s your partner, here are the most common ones we’ve heard, together with a comeback:
You can’t tell who has an STI by the way they look or behave. You can’t even tell whether someone has an STI by knowing who they’ve slept with or how many people they’ve slept with. Remember, you only need to have sex once to catch an STI.
This is a common excuse, but safe sex can be good sex! The type of condom is important though, so think about the following:
Condoms that are the wrong size can be uncomfortable and make sex less pleasurable. They can also be more likely to break or slip off. Try different sizes of condoms to see which ones suit you best.
Some condoms are thinner than others, which can give increased pleasure and sensation.
These are good if you have an allergy to latex. However, they can also feel more natural, as the allow you to feel heat through them and they’re very thin. This can make sex more pleasurable.
Some condoms are flared at the end, meaning there’s more room for the end of the penis. This can make them easier to put on, and more comfortable.
Some condoms are ribbed, and some have lubricant on them that gives a tingling or warm sensation.
These can make oral sex taste better, and sometimes smell better than regular condoms.
These can also make sex more pleasurable (or you can add lube to condoms).
This may be true for some STIs, but others (like HIV) can’t be cured at all. Also, not everyone will experience symptoms so you can have an STI for a long time without even knowin, and if they’re not treated, they can cause serious problems such as infertility.
Unprotected sex can lead to pregnancy. If you’re not ready for this, you may regret that ‘heat of the moment’ unprotected sex. And that’s not the only thing you have to worry about or regret; you need to think about getting tested for STIs, too.
It’s simple: to enjoy sex without worry or regret, always use a condom.
Chances are, you think this because you wouldn’t have unprotected sex if you had an STI but not everyone will think like this. And even if they do, they may not even know that they have an STI. Two of the most common STIs, chlamydia and gonorrhoea, don’t have any symptoms. That means they could pass it on to you without even knowing.
Even if you’re using another method of contraception, such as the pill, you’re still at risk of STIs, which can have serious long-term consequences. Also, contraception is never 100% effective, especially if you don’t use it perfectly (like forgetting to take your pill). It’s always wise to use condoms too, to have the best chance of preventing both pregnancy and STIs.
There are lots of different reasons why someone might lose their erection. Some people find that using a condom makes their erection last longer, but for others using a condom has the opposite effect. The first thing to recognise here is that not being able to “get hard” or “stay hard” is very common, and is not unusual. Here are some tips that might help with condom-related erection loss:
Remember – you can have great sex without an erection (try exploring other types of touch that might lead to pleasure), but if erection loss is worrying you then you can talk to a professional about it. Brook, other sexual health services, or counselling services should be able to help. Find out more about erections and staying hard.
Sometimes, even if you plan to use condoms, it can be difficult to stop and put one on in the heat of the moment. Here are some tips to help stop this from happening:
People often feel in the mood for sex after drinking or taking drugs, but sex when you’re drunk or high isn’t always the best idea because if someone is drunk or high, then they may not have the capacity to consent to sex. This includes any kind of sexual activity, like kissing or fondling. Any sort of sexual activity without consent is illegal whatever the age of the people involved and whatever their relationship. If someone is too drunk or high, then do not engage in sex with them – look after them.
Drink and drugs can also make sex less pleasurable. People often experience less sensation in their genitals when they have been drinking alcohol. Some people also experience vaginal dryness, find it difficult to maintain erections, and struggle to orgasm.
Condoms are free on the NHS. You can also get free condoms from Brook Southend, as well as any other sexual health service.