Crap! What if he doesn’t want to use a condom?
Written by Daniel Casillas
Condoms have been traced back to 1000 BC when Egyptians were believed to have used them to protect against disease. Since then, condoms have changed almost every century since to meet the challenges posed by diseases like syphilis, herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. The 1980s and ’90s saw a huge spike in condom use when HIV showed up on the globe. History shows us that for centuries mankind has known that the use of some type of barrier during sex helps to prevent infections. The evolution of the condom, along with new technologies, have made the latex condom available in all types of colors, shapes, sizes, and flavors.
So when we talk about condoms we tell men, “Be sure to use a condom,” and they give that sly heads up gesture indicating they acknowledge the message. Reminding a guy to use a condom makes sense. The condom was designed to cover the penis; men have penises. However, when we talk to women about protecting themselves we always say, “Be sure to use a condom.” This is perplexing considering that women don’t have penises. The truth is that women can’t use a male condom (big duh). What we mean when we tell women to use a condom is, “Make sure your man puts on a condom.” The difference is that women don’t usually give a sly head gesture acknowledging the message but instead are probably thinking, “Crap, what if he doesn’t want to use a condom?” For some women, negotiating safer sex or getting her man to use a condom may come easier than for other women. Some women may find it difficult to talk about sex and condoms with their male partners, particularly when power dynamics in a relationship are unequal. Regardless, a solution exists that could help all women take charge of their sexual health: the female condom.
In 1992, the female condom was introduced to the world and in 1993 approved for use in the United States. The female condom makes it possible for women to share the responsibility of protection with their sex partners. This is especially true in the cases when male sex partners refuse to use, or have complications using a male condom properly. The female condom, unlike the male condom, makes it possible to be inserted up to eight hours before sexual intercourse so as not to interfere with the moment. Of all the benefits of the female condom, the one that stands out the most is diminishing a women’s anxiety about having to negotiate condom use with her male partners. And maybe, just maybe, one day when someone reminds a woman to “be sure to use a condom” they’ll be able to give some sly gesture of their own acknowledging the message.
Posted on April 2, 2012, in Condoms, Health, Protection/Safety, Sex, Sexual Health and tagged condoms, FC2, female condoms, health, HIV, prevention, Sexually transmitted disease, STDs, STIs. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.