We love condoms. Not just because we love birth control methods in general. We love ‘em because they protect against unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). But not everyone loves condoms as much as we do. While it’s perfectly okay for you and your partner to decide together [when to skip condoms (if you’re covered in other ways)] (https://www.bedsider.org/features/343), it can be hard to know exactly what to say when you want to use a condom but your boo has other plans. Maybe you’ve felt pressured before and didn’t know how to say no. You’re not alone. Our bold Bedsider U reps were brave enough to share their condom refusal stories, so that you can find your own way to stand your ground.
1. The ultimatum
“I told my partner that I need a condom to be used to feel comfortable and completely ‘in the moment’ during sex. I told them I wouldn’t be able to participate (in whatever act) unless we were using a condom. They used the condom when they realized that unless there was a one, we would not be having sex.”
“I consider safe sex an essential part of my overall health management. I explained that I was enjoying foreplay and I would be happy to continue with those activities if he wasn’t into condoms, but that we weren’t going any further without a condom. He continued to complain that condoms reduced pleasure for him, so we stopped and I went home. I wasn’t willing to put his pleasure above my health…”
2. The reality check
“When this happened to me, I just said that I don’t want to get pregnant, and if you want to have sex we need to use a condom. The person agreed. I think they mostly just questioned it in the heat of the moment, and they just needed a little reality reminder.”
3. The dual method argument
“When I told my partner we weren’t having sex if we didn’t have a condom, he tried to push at first because I have an IUD. But he reluctantly agreed to wait until we had a condom.”
4. The BYOC (bring your own condoms) approach
“I told the person it wasn’t a problem that they didn’t have a condom because I did! And they begrudgingly accepted the condom I provided.”
For many of our reps, their partners got on board when it became clear that condoms were the only way they were going to get it in. If you and your partner are struggling to find a condom-related groove, try buying a sampler pack to experiment with different types. Or you might use the [internal condom] (https://www.bedsider.org/features/636), so that you’re in charge. If your partner straight up refuses to use a condom, you don’t have to compromise your health and safety. (BTW, if Bae [takes off a condom during sex without your permission, that’s sexual assault] (https://www.bedsider.org/features/1073).) Do what feels right, and remember—you deserve the sex life you want.
Have you been in a similar situation? Let us know how you handled it in the comments below.