I know it sounds crazy, but I legitimately used to get offended when a guy pulled out a condom before we had sex. I know it’s the smart thing to do and I should’ve been pleased, but it always used to annoy me.
I wasn’t always so ridiculous. In fact, I used to be extremely adamant about using a condom. When I first became sexually active, I was so scared of getting pregnant that I took a pregnancy test every single time I had sex. Apparently, I thought that being in a 10-foot range of semen would knock you up (and that a test could be accurate 30 minutes after the deed). Not using a condom was never even a question at the time.
Sophomore year of college, I got in to a pretty serious relationship. A few months in, we started using condoms less and less until eventually we got rid of them for good. Condoms just weren’t appealing and the smell was gross. I mean, who wants to smell like Autozone when they finish having sex? Not me. I also noticed that my vagina was drier during sex when a condom was involved. Something about the latex didn’t work well with my lady parts and it was just down right uncomfortable. There was no reason to use condoms at that point—at least that’s what I told myself.
After a year, I found out my “serious” boyfriend was cheating on me. We hadn’t used a condom in a solid eight months, so when he asked to use one out of the blue, I knew something was up. He told me he wanted to start being careful and responsible but that was a load of garbage. I quickly found out that he cheated on me with a girl who had chlamydia and he didn’t want me to contract it. How nice of him. Once we broke up, having sex without a condom was so natural that the unhealthy habit continued without question.
College quickly taught me that guys couldn’t care less about condoms. Well, at least at that age they don’t. Guys hated the feeling of condoms just as much as I did, so using them just wasn’t a thing. I had my share of pregnancy scares when my period was late and even watched as my roommate contracted herpes, yet that still wasn’t enough to make me strap up with my partners. We were all equally as immature at this point. Once I graduated college and started dealing with older guys, I noticed they were a lot more mature and cautious when it came to sex.
The next time a guy tried to use a condom on me, I was immediately taken aback. I’d been talking to a guy for some time and we were getting pretty comfortable together. When the time to hook up came, be pulled out a rubber. Excuse me, what? “Is the condom really necessary?” I thought to myself. I didn’t know it at the time, but I’d become so insecure after my breakup that I convinced myself that condoms were the enemy. My ex had basically condom-shamed me into thinking they were only used in negative ways, so when a guy tried to use them, I got offended.
Either he’s not clean or he thinks I’m not. By clean, I mean free of disease and STIs. Why else would a guy want to use a condom on me? Does he think that I’ll give him a disease if we have unprotected sex? Or worse, does he willingly know he has a disease but still wants to have sex? This thought process literally made no logical sense, yet I still thought it every single time a condom was used. Thanks, scumbag ex.
Does he not see me as mommy material? This was another unrealistic assumption I eventually adopted. I talked my way down from thinking all guys have diseases, but that just offered more room in my head for insecurities. As my previous paranoia can attest to, condoms are the best form of birth control. “Is he using a condom on me just so I don’t get pregnant?” I thought. “Would it be that bad if an accident happened and I ended up pregnant?” Yes. The answer is yes, and that’s completely normal. We’re still young and far from in a serious, committed relationship. I could tell myself this all I wanted, but the paranoid thought still crossed my mind.
It took a health scare to make me realize how important condoms were. Right before I graduated college, I had a run-in with HPV. I was at severe risk for cervical cancer and underwent surgery to remove any harmful cells. Afterward, I thought everything was good, so I continued on with my promiscuous lifestyle. I was sadly mistaken when a check-up a year and a half later revealed the cells were back and I needed to under-go yet another surgery. There was no time left for games. Condoms, you’re back in action.
If the sex didn’t involve a condom, thanks but no thanks. Nope. Not today. My health was too important to put at risk all because I had some petty insecurities. Although we may both have been clean, HPV is a silent killer. Either he was also HPV-positive and putting me at more of a risk or I already was and I was actually infecting him with HPV. I didn’t want to be exposed any further, and I definitely didn’t want to expose someone else. If simply wearing a condom would increase my health, then so be it.
I’m now a year and two months sober. Just kidding, but my hate for condoms almost felt like an addiction. I now use condoms like it’s my religion. I rarely hook up with guys these days, but when I do, I make sure to bring a rubber along. I no longer get offended when a guy uses a condom and I’ve ditched any negative associations with them. At the end of the day, health is wealth and you need to wrap it before you tap it.