Every time I get into a new relationship, I face the same decisions in the bedroom: do I ask him to wear a condom or not? If we do use a condom, at what point do we stop? Do we ever stop or we just use condoms throughout our entire relationship? Why isn’t there a better option by now?
Condoms were first produced in 1855. Let that sink in. We haven’t had a better method for preventing pregnancy and STDs since 1855? What’s crazier is that they were actually invented in 1839. That was almost 200 years ago! Surely someone, somewhere, has thought of something (anything!) better in the last two centuries?
Condoms don’t feel as good. OK, come on, we can all admit this, right? Guys have been complaining about this for years but we don’t like to hear it because we know how important it is to have safe sex. Nothing puts you in the mood like knowing you’re not going to face an unintended pregnancy or an unplanned trip to your doc for some antibiotics. But I don’t like condoms either. They feel slimy, they’re tricky to put on, and sometimes they even feel weird for me. Add some lubricant or spermicide in them and now they’re messy and why is my crotch burning? Did he buy the warming lubricant? Oh God, I have to get in the shower ASAP.
They smell gross. Condoms emit a strong smell of latex and can even make the whole room stink of it. It’s embarrassing when your bedroom smells like sex and your parents are coming over. Hurry and open the window! Better pick up some Febreeze at the store while you’re at it.
There isn’t a better (or even just another) option for preventing STDs. When it comes to birth control, you’ve got tons of options. You can get your pregnancy-preventing hormones via a pill, an implant, a ring, a patch, or an IUD. You don’t like how hormones make you feel? Cool, there’s an IUD without them. Or you can use spermicide, condoms, a diaphragm, or cervical cap. If you want to be extra careful, you can combine a couple of methods—or three! But to prevent STDs, where are your options? There are no creams or jellies, no pills or patches, just condoms. Why do condoms have a monopoly on the STD market? Why, oh WHY, has no one invented something better?
My phone unlocks by scanning my face. Can we just consider that for a moment? I have a tiny little computer that I carry around everywhere that unlocks by scanning my face. Anything I want to know is literally at my fingertips but we can’t think of any better way to keep sex safe than by covering a guy’s junk with thick rubber? We can’t prevent transfer any other way than the barrier method? We have to just literally not touch our skin to his skin? Surely there has to be a better way!
You have to pay for condoms. My IUD was free under my health insurance and so was my birth control pill when I was on it. Condoms are an extra trip to the store and a swipe of my credit card. Not only do I have to pay for them but I have to make decisions about my sex life in the isle of Target. Do I want ribbed or not ribbed? Extra thin or regular? Oh crap, there’s an old lady walking behind me. Quick, pretend to be looking at the yeast infection cream! No, no, not that. Grab the pregnancy tests? No, I don’t want any questions. Tampons! Nothing to see here.
They try to sell them to you by making them pretty or adding flavors. I didn’t want to use one, but what’s that? They glow in the dark? Well, now I can’t wait to put one on my partner! I mean, who doesn’t want to see their man’s you-know-what wrapped in a glow-in-the-dark condom? Most of the time, these novelty type condoms that have flavors or fun colors aren’t even approved to prevent pregnancy or STDs—the very reason we were using the condom in the first place! What a waste.
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