Wicked Wednesday #5: Condoms

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For me, as a woman who has recently started having the occasional sexual encounter again as a part of a journey into a non-monogamous relationship , the use of condoms is non-negotiable.  I was a little naive initially. as I assumed that anyone having sex outside of a committed and monogamous relationship would use a condom without question. Sadly, I have found that is not the case and I am frequently surprised at the amount of men I talk to through various websites and social media that think using a condom is unimportant.

I wrote a blog post a while ago about the man who decided he was going to try and have sex with me without a condom. I made the assumption that he would have some condoms and would use one automatically, but I had some in my bag, just in case . He did have some in his bedside drawer,  but he had decided, without asking me, that they weren’t necessary.  I was annoyed with him, but put it down to over-excitement and nerves on his part. However, on the next occasion, he tried again to penetrate me without a condom, knowing I had not consented opreviously. I was furious, gave him a lecture on safe sex and that was the end of that friendship. He has a 14 year old son and i sincerely hope that he has been educated to treat women with more respect.   The full post is here if anyone wants to read more.

With the next man I met, I raised the issue of using condoms well beforehand, but was astounded  to hear him say that he didn’t object, but if the friendship lasted, then perhaps we could dispense with the use of condoms in the future. This is a man who had fanciful ideas of more than one friend with benefits.

Other priceless comments have included:

‘I suppose we’ll have to use condoms….’

‘I don’t like wearing condoms, it spoils my enjoyment’.

‘I knew she was ok, as she told me that she hadn’t had sex with anyone in the last few years’

‘Will we have to use condoms?’

I recall an incident back in my early twenties, when I had a short-term relationship with a man of 35. He was a local businessman and quite arrogant. His behaviour on being asked to wear a condom was tantamount to a toddler’s tantrum. After complaining bitterly about it, he reluctantly agreed and then spent the rest of that evening sulking and saying he hadn’t felt a thing due to the condom.

I really don’t understand why some people are prepared to risk not only their own health, but the health of their partners too. The usual argument is that it reduces the sensation. If that is the case, surely that’s better than potentially catching or passing on an STI that could have devastating consequences for you and others.

I realise that no method is 100% safe, and I have had experienced a couple of occasions, back in my twenties when condoms came off. This meant a trip to the local A&E to try and get the morning after pill.  On another occasion, one vanished and slipped out several hours later.

I have had sex, without condoms, with a few partners pre-marriage. These were committed relationships and I was taking the pill at the time.  Sex is fantastic when you don’t have to think about condoms and can act spontaneously. However, in the world of more casual encounters and multiple partners, I don’t see how not using condoms can ever be right. And I will not be changing my principles to accommodate sulky men.

 

See the other opinions on condoms by clicking the Wicked Wednesday button

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Assumptions on safe sex

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Safe sex is a phrase that is commonplace these days and something that most people who have sex, or are thinking of having sex, or wishing they were having sex know the meaning of and understand. Or perhaps not. Or maybe they think it’s not that important and  contracting an STI is something that only happens to other people. I don’t want to play Russian roulette with my health, so I would never consider having sex with a new partner without using condoms. Especially in the domain of non-mongamous relationships.

I recently met a man whom I got on well with, and who seemed very taken with me. He is a decent, mature,respectable and seemingly sensible person, who is in a prominent position of  work. We exchanged several messages.  We met for coffee. A couple of weeks later, we met for lunch. Then a dinner date. It was an unspoken fact that we would return to his nearby flat after this third meeting.. Wanting to be prepared, I had my own condoms in my bag. Just in case. As I did not assume that he would have his own supply, although I would have been surprised if he hadn’t. And, of course,it went without saying  that he would practise safe sex.Or so I thought.

I learned that night not to assume anything. Without warning and very suddenly, he decided to try to penetrate me without a condom. I stopped him from doing so the second I realised what was happening. I said, very clearly, ‘not without a condom’. My intervention seemed to deflate matters at that moment but, later on,  he did rubber up, from his own supply, and without question.  I put his faux-pas down to over-excitement in the heat of the moment, and didn’t make an issue of it.

We met again, two weeks later, for a dinner date at his flat. Again, I went prepared. And there would be no repeat of the previous indiscretion, as I had made my feelings quite clear. How wrong I was. The same thing happened again. And I realised  that it was a deliberate act and not to be blamed on over-excitement. Again, I repeated, ‘not without a condom’. This time, he resisted. ‘Just for a bit – I like skin-on-skin contact‘, was the reply. ‘NO’, I assertively told him. I asked what his aversion was to using condoms. He replied that it was the reduced sensations and losing the moment when putting them on.. I ended up lecturing him on STIs and how you can’t tell by looking whether people have any nasty diseases etc. The kind of thing you might have to explain to a naive teenager.  He remained blasé about it and I was, very subtly, made to feel like I was over-reacting and being way too cautious. He never asked about my sexual history or whether I was using any form of female contraception (I am), so for all he knew there might have been a possibility of me getting pregnant, had I let him continue.   I knew that he had been sexually active during the last few months, so it was ultra-important to me that we used protection. I was left feeling annoyed and  disappointed in his attitude and the night was definitely spoiled. Needless to say, I haven’t heard from him since. Nor do I want to.

I am still amazed how a very intelligent man can show so much naivety and disregard for practising safe sex. The more I think about it, the more annoyed I get that he thought he could try ‘bareback’ again, despite me not consenting previously. I am particularly cross with myself for making assumptions, but I have learned a lesson from this in that not all men are going to adopt  a sensible approach to safe sex.  In future, condoms will be bluntly discussed at the coffee stage, and not on reaching the bedroom.

I am interested to hear others’ thoughts on this subject.