Condoms or Nah?
By Adam S. Troy
I thought I had it figured out. I knew all about STIs, the risks associated with transmission, and the likelihood of becoming infected from a single sexual encounter. I was always prepared. I had a basket full of condoms in the house and even had a sleek metal case to protect my condoms when I was going to hit up a bar or club. I was the plug for my friends when they needed some free condoms in a pinch. To put it succinctly, I was firmly confident in my ability to always have safer sex. However, I wasn’t fully ready for all my sexual partners' abilities to have safer sex. I struggled with two types of partners, the ones that didn’t like condoms and the ones that just didn’t give a f*ck.
Type 1: "It Doesn’t Feel the Same"
The ones that didn’t like condoms gave me reasons like “I hate the way it feels” or “I have an allergy.” These types of objections were easier for me to argue against, for instance I would rebuttal by asking if they have tried using lube and suggesting a non-latex condom. These types of conversations caused us both to raise our guards because of their preference for raw sex and my preference to prevent STIs. It took some time and a few conversations, but we eventually found common ground to have sex that was enjoyable and safe for us both.
Type 2: "Let's Go Another Round"
This partner was accepting of condoms, which was great! All they are concerned about is the sex. Whether we used condoms or went condom free, they didn’t care. In these sexual encounters, I was the gatekeeper and the person solely responsible for our safety. Usually that wouldn’t be a problem, until I literally ran out of supplies because of the number of rounds we’d go at a single time.
By the third round, I would be both out of supplies and not to mention… my breath, hello cardio!
At this point, usually my walls come down and I am less likely to use the extra energy to find condoms or ask for a cease fire for the night. However, like an athlete in the 4th quarter of a tied game, I needed to find that inner strength to push through the exhaustion and be proactive in my sexual health instead of letting apathy take hold. What I learned from this kind of partner, was that pushing through doesn’t mean going another round if I wasn’t ready. It does mean that if I am not up for it or comfortable to enjoy sex to talk to my partner to take a break, do something else, and connect in other ways.
No matter your situation, negotiating with your partner the kind and amount of sex you have and making sure you’re both comfortable will help establish a healthy sexual relationship. In short, you should definitely give a f*ck because taking care of you and your partners’ sexual health is everything.