Condoms are the only method of contraception that protects against both unplanned pregnancy AND sexually transmitted infections (STIs). They’re cheap, easy to use, and come in all different sizes, textures, colours and flavours. So if you’re having or planning on having sex, these are a must! But how do you talk to your partner about using a condom?
Talking to your partner about using condoms can be awkward, but you only have to have unprotected sex once to be at risk of an STI or pregnancy.
Talk to your partner before you are just about to have sex
Plan to have this talk when you are both in a relaxed and comfortable setting, don’t wait until you are in the heat of the moment. This might be while you are taking a walk or over lunch. It’s also important to be respectful in any kind of relationship. This means that there should be good communication, trust, honesty and equality. A sexual experience between two people should be fun and positive, and everyone deserves to feel safe.
Tips for communicating with your partner…
You might be wondering how to have a conversation with your partner about using a condom. Once you feel that the time is right, keep these tips in mind:
Think about what you want to say to your partner before you start the conversation with them. Consider what your own personal beliefs and needs are and use Get the Facts to find information about safer sex, condoms, and STIs to share with your partner.
Be open and honest with your partner about how you feel. Relationships are a two way street and if you are honest, your partner will be encouraged to be honest too.
Remain positive and calm, helping both yourself and your partner to feel comfortable while communicating about using condoms.
Once you reach an agreement to use condoms, plan ahead and make sure you have them handy when the time comes. Remember that it is everyone’s responsibility to buy or carry condoms on them. Don’t assume that it’s your partner’s job or expect them to buy them. Always use condoms with a water-based lubricant to avoid the condom breaking.
What if your partner says no…
Try and talk to them about the benefits to both of you of having safe sex, such as protection against STIs and preventing pregnancy. Fun Fact: If used correctly, condoms are 98% effective in preventing STIs and unplanned pregnancy.
If you or your partner are unsure about how to use condoms, have a play around with them first. You can even watch our How to use a condom animation together and practice putting a condom on a banana!
Have fun trying different types of condoms to find one that you both like. Some condoms even glow in the dark!
There are alot of myths out there about condoms that put some people off using them. Check out our previous blog post Condoms: The good, the bad, and the fun! to bust some of these misconceptions.
If you’re partner refuses to use a condom it’s important to still be respectful of their feelings and choices, but have a think about whether you really want to have sex with this person. Remember that most STIs have no symptoms so many people won’t know if they have one.
This week is Sexual Health Week and the theme is Safety, Pleasure, and Respect! For more information contact the WA AIDS Council about Sexual Health Week activities and events near you.