There are types of condoms. Condoms are the only birth control method that protect against both pregnancy and STDs.
They come in different sizes, styles and shapes. Condoms can be made out of latex, polyurethane, or lambskin. You can get them lubricated or unlubricated. Sometimes they contain spermicide. You can also various types of condoms in market - like flavoured, coloured, or ribbed condoms. There are also female condoms that go inside the vagina.
Talking about condoms
It’s one thing to know about condoms but another thing actually to use them. If you’re worried about talking about condoms with your partner, there’s a good chance that your partner is worried too.
While you may be embarrassed or feel uncomfortable about bringing up the topic, it can save both of you a lot of problems down the line, such as pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease.
No glove, no love
Many people make lots of excuses to not wear condoms. They might say they feel condoms reduce pleasure or make sex less intimate, but it could just be because they're embarrassed to use them.
If your partner makes excuses, make sure you’re ready with reasons that can explain the benefits of using a condom when you have sex. Here are some tips for talking about condoms with your partner.
Practice makes perfect
First make sure you're familiar with what a condom looks like, how it works, and what it’s like to use one. Practise using one on a cucumber or carrot to make sure you know how to put it on.
Next get comfortable with talking about condoms. Think of some opening lines, and work out some responses ahead of time if you think your partner might object to using a condom.
1. Your partner says: "You don’t trust me."
"If you really loved me, you would trust me enough not to want to use a condom."
You can say: "I can enjoy sex more if I know we’re both protected from pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. It’s not about trust, it’s about peace of mind."
"I do, but I’m not risking my life to prove it to you. Instead I’d like to have some hot sex!"
"If you really loved me, you’d help us protect ourselves."
2. Your partner says: "It’s uncomfortable."
"It doesn’t fit properly."
"It comes off during sex."
You can say: "Let’s try a different brand or size. I heard that many types of condoms/certain brands fit better than others."
3. Your partner says: "Wearing a condom puts me out of the mood."
"Having unsafe sex can put you out of the mood for good!"
4. Your partner says: "I’ll pull out in time."
You can say: "Even if you do, I can still get pregnant. One little sperm is all it takes. Who knows your sperm could be super potent!"
"Even if you do, I could get a sexually transmitted disease from your pre-come."
5. Your partner says: "It doesn’t feel as good with a condom."
"I won’t enjoy sex if we use a condom because there’s no skin-to-skin contact."
You can say: "I’ll enjoy sex if it’s safe. Anyway, I heard there are great ways to make it feel like skin to skin. We could try putting an extra bit of lubricant on the inside of the condom, so you’ll get this extra sensitive feeling on the tip of your penis."
"If you use a female condom or a condom made out of polyurethane with lubricant, you’ll be able to get that great skin-to-skin feeling because polyurethane can transmit body heat."
"I feel more relaxed knowing we’re safe. And if I’m more relaxed, we can have more fun together!"
6. Your partner says: "I don’t have one on me."
"I don’t know how to put one on."
You can say: "Here, let me show you!"
7. Your partner says: "I’m allergic to latex condoms"
You can say: "There are many types of condoms. We can buy ones made out of polyurethane! They even feel more natural than latex. And if we add a bit of water-based lubricant, you’ll be able to feel my body heat too!"
8. Your partner says: "You’re on the pill, so why would you need to use a condom?"
You can say: "Well if we use a condom with the pill, we can be even safer because they pill isn’t 100 percent effective against pregnancy. Also, wearing a condom can help protect us from infections that we don’t even know we’ve got. Didn't you know - it's called 'Double Dutch!'"
9. Your partner says: "Putting it on interrupts the mood"
You can say: "Not, if I help put it on… I can make it worth your while!"
Where you can buy condoms depends on where you live. You may be able to find them at the chemists or drugstores. Often they are sold at supermarkets, or from vending machines in the toilets at bars or nightclubs.
Keep in mind that nearly everyone has sex, and many people use condoms. Be proud that you’re responsible and confident enough to take charge of your sex life.
If you feel a bit nervous or embarrassed to buy them, you could try:
Buying them in a store you normally never go to, so the staff don’t know who you are. Going to the shop at a quiet time, maybe very early in the day, or during a weekday, so you won’t run into people you know.
If you’re too scared to buy condoms at a shop, you could try ordering them online or asking a friend or someone older whom you trust to buy them for you. Depending on where you live, you might be able to get condoms from a health clinic nearby.
When you buy and use condoms:
Check the expiry date – don’t use them if they’re too old.
There are many types of condoms. Don’t use a condom that seems brittle or sticky – throw it out and use another one.
Use condoms made out of latex or polyurethane if you’re allergic to latex.
Tear the condom packet open with your hands, not your teeth, to make sure you don’t tear the condom.