Nobody wants to talk about condoms. Nobody.
Everyone acts like it’s no big deal, but even saying the word out loud causes some people to snicker or say something gross. Even if you want to have sex, it seems like no one wants to make it look like they were planning on it. And that’s what condoms are…like making a sex plan. And what’s hot about a plan? It doesn’t sound fun. It’s not sexy. It’s not how you imagined things would go. You want to talk about romance and how strong your feelings are and how good it feels to be in love and to know (or hope) that someone loves you back. You want to think about the electricity of the moment and the excitement you feel when you’re together. How you feel lovely and alive and it all seems so fun!
But … you kind of have to talk about the condom, don’t you? And how he, the one you love or the one you might like, needs to wear it.
But what if he doesn’t want to?
Guys always have the most ridiculous reason why they can’t wear condoms. Almost all of them are made up.
Bbbbut…but they fit me too tight!
Bbbbut…but it won’t feel as good!
Bbbbut…but I’m allergic to latex!
Bbbbut…don’t you trust me?
Bbbbut…but I’ve had sex before and nobody got pregnant so I can’t get anyone pregnant!
They’re all garbage reasons, but you feel like you have to entertain them because you like him or love him and you hope he loves/likes you. I mean, if you say no or start a big conversation about condoms and birth control and plans, isn’t that embarrassing? Won’t that kill the mood? Won’t he just go do it with someone else and never speak to you again?
All bluffs. And if he’s not bluffing—if he actually does go find someone else who doesn’t care about birth control—then he was really not worth it to begin with. I mean, who wants a weirdo who makes up fake reasons to not protect himself against becoming an INSTANT PARENT when they still live with their parents? You’re so much better than that, and you deserve so much better than that.
That’s why it’s important to talk about condoms—or birth control in general—before anyone’s pants come off. Even if it causes snickers. Even if it sounds like an “unsexy sex planning sesh.” Because even though you don’t want it to be serious, it kind of is. If you’re having regular, unprotected sex with a guy there’s an 85% chance that you could end up pregnant within a year.
You can’t assume that he’s going to suggest a condom. It would be nice if he did, but he’s probably embarrassed to have the conversation, too. So when you feel like things may head in a sexual direction, talk to him about it and make it clear: You want to do it. He wants to do it. But you’re going to need to use protection before any doing it happens. Make that agreement when you’re both clear headed and then get yourself some condoms (or some other method of birth control). You can buy them yourself or you can go buy them together (you’re going to use them together, after all) and if you can’t afford them, there are places that will give you condoms for free.* I promise, after all that unsexy sex planning talk, he will still want to do it.
But, say you didn’t get to have the conversation and pants have been removed. You can still bring it up! Especially if you came prepared and have some condoms of your own. (If you’re sexually active, you should definitely keep your own stash of condoms just in case. Don’t trust that a guy will remember them. Take control of your own sexual health.) Don’t feel embarrassed or like you just killed the mood by asking if he has condoms or will put on the condoms that you have. And don’t whimper if he gives you the same lazy “doesn’t fit/won’t feel as good” pushback. If given the choice between “sex while wearing condom with a girl I like” versus “no sex, go home,” most guys are choosing a condom no matter how much they hate them.
After all, a condom is a minor inconvenience that prevents big problems like the spread of STIs or unplanned pregnancy. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. You’re not just protecting you, you’re protecting him too. You’re not ready to risk a pregnancy and neither of you want to catch an STI, so be honest with him and be honest with yourself.
Nobody wants to talk about condoms. But do it anyway. And make sure he wears one.