The American Sexual Health Association reports that condoms are the only widely available, proven method that protects against HIV, other sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. Of course, condoms work only if used correctly and consistently. It might feel awkward to ask a guy to wear a condom, but it’s important to discuss things like birth control and sexually transmitted infections before having sex with anyone.
Talk to your guy about condoms before you take off your clothes and before you get into bed. Don’t be afraid to bring up the subject, and don’t wait for him to mention it first. Bring it up even if it feels a bit awkward or uncomfortable to do so.
Speak simply and directly. Say something like, “I always use condoms because I want to make sure I don’t get pregnant and no one gets a sexually transmitted infection. That’s all right with you, isn’t it?” If you won’t have sex without a condom, make that clear to him.
Think in advance about how you’ll respond to any objections your guy may offer. For instance, if he says it doesn’t feel good to him with a condom on, suggest trying a different brand of condom and using a personal lubricant. If he says he’s allergic to latex, tell him there are non-latex condoms, such as polyurethane and polyisoprene condoms, that work just as well as latex ones. The American Sexual Health Association offers more ideas about how to respond to objections.
- Bring condoms with you if you think you might need them. That way you’ll be ready even if your guy doesn’t have any condoms with him.
- WomensHealth.gov suggests using a female condom if your guy refuses to wear a condom and you want to have sex. However, it’s not yet known if female condoms are as effective as male condoms at protecting against HIV, so you may be putting yourself at greater risk for HIV using one.
- Along with vaginal sex, anal sex and oral sex can also transmit HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Use condoms for all these activities to protect against infections.
- Condoms are not 100 percent effective. They greatly reduce your risk of getting HIV or other sexually transmitted infections and of getting pregnant, but transmission or impregnation could still happen. The only way to be 100 percent safe is to not have sex.
- WomensHealth.gov reports that lambskin condoms do not protect against HIV. To protect yourself from HIV, use latex, polyurethane or polyisoprene condoms.
- Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images