Does Anyone Actually Use Condoms?

We all know that we’re supposed to “use a fucking condom, use a condom fucking”*. But are we? In his response on “Why Smart Men Date Dumb Women” yesterday, Michael mentioned that he “didn’t know many people who use those wraps anymore.” Which is surprising, because it’s not like they’re hard to find. So I asked the office population of 20-something, well educated New York women how often they actually use condoms. Here is how often we use condoms (let us know how often you use them, too):

*thanks, Janice Dickinson

Sorry! This poll is now closed.


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    • Odbery

      Coincidentally, I saw this yesterday:
      I use condoms, even with my boyfriend but that’s because I’m super paranoid about getting pregnant…. even though I’m on the pill.

    • Lindsay Cross

      I got pregnant while on birth control. I was one of the idiots who was two weeks late to get my next Depo shot and in a committed relationship and there ya go. Now, I have a beautiful little girl. Obviously, I wouldn’t change that for anything.

      But, it does mean that I was extremely adamant about condoms afterwards, even once I was on birth control again.

    • Eileen

      I’m not on any kind of hormones and I don’t have an IUD, so you can bet if there’s going to be sex – no matter how drunk I am – there’s a condom. I don’t always use a condom during oral sex, though, even though I know I should.

      But I will admit that blowing up flavored, colored condoms like balloons is ridiculously fun :)

    • Sheena

      I’m in a committed relationship and don’t use condoms. Am on the birth control though.

    • nicoleshoe

      this is a really really distasteful thought to even put in anyone’s mind. YES I know a TON of people that have gotten preggers while still on the pill. and significant others can cheat. STDs can be in hiding for years. Get the facts folks.

      • Chelsea

        I agree. I thought this whole article was extremely irresponsible. With the exception of Ashley, everyone said they don’t use condoms. Not a good example to be setting, especially on a site for women.

      • Jennifer Wright

        Well, this was supposed to reflect on what women are actually doing rather than what they should be doing. I preferred not to encourage anyone to lie to make themselves sound more responsible than they actually are. But yes, I guess it would be nicer if we lived in a world where everyone behaved exactly the way they ought to. I think that world is called “heaven.”

      • Sheena

        I don’t think its a big deal at all that I don’t use condoms. We’ve been in a relationship for 2 1/2 years, live together, plan on getting married and 200% trust each other. In terms of the birth control, we aren’t fully ready to have children, but we own property, have completed university and if something were to happen in spite of the pill, it wouldn’t be a big deal. I’m 26 in May and he’s 31 in June.

    • Karen

      What I want to know is, why does the alien pictured with Ashley’s statement not have a mouth, but still have a chin? What do you use a chin for if you don’t talk?

      • Ashley Cardiff

        It’s a crumber alien.

    • Shae

      No condoms, currently – always did before, but after a committed relationship with someone who’s had a vasectomy and STD tests, it doesn’t seem necessary at all.

      • Shae

        *correction – not after a committed relationship. Still in the committed relationship.

    • matbo

      I can’t believe someone would be so stupid as to not use a condom! Seriously! STI’s are f*cking scary and (sorry to sound like the 80′s) they can be transmitted to anyone – sometimes even when taking preventive caution…so please please be safe!!

    • D

      I’ve been on the pill for a couple of years, and been in a committed relationship for almost a year too, but I’m still deathly terrified of not using condoms haha. That minuscule percent chance that my BC might actually not work is just too much for my brain to deal with right now. When I’m out of college I’ll probs relax more, but for now, I think I’m going to keep on keeping on.

    • emma

      Here’s the sex talk my mom gave me when I went to college, “Listen, I don’t care what you do or who you do it with. Just don’t get AIDS.” I always use a condom.

    • jess

      every time with my fuckbuddy, never with my(sterile) boyfriend! not on the pill, have heard too many horror stories for it to be worth it.

    • Lo

      I use condoms + pill because I’m a great big magnet for sod’s law. When I can find an alternative that doesn’t make me sick, fatter or at greater pregnancy risk, I’ll be right on it, but until then, the condoms stay.

    • M

      Condoms always. I have had sex with no condom on purpose exactly one time. He and I were not in a relationship but had been sleeping together exclusively for awhile and had both tested clean [and yeah, there's no test for HPV but I'd had the vaccine already too]. I’ve never been on the pill but I had JUST gotten off my period and my cycles are very consistent. He still pulled out just in case. Nothing bad happened, but honestly I was still so paranoid about the things that COULD go wrong that I was not able to uninhibitedly enjoy the sex the way I usually do. Condoms = peace of mind.

      I’m now in a committed monogamous relationship and have been for almost two years. We still use condoms every time. We want to be together forever but neither of us want kids and even if we did, we are way too young [I'm 25, he's 20, yeah I'm robbing the cradle but dammit it rocks] and our lives aren’t established enough. I had an IUS put in awhile ago but it came back out and I haven’t gotten it replaced yet, though I plan to. He’s hoping to give condomless sex a try someday because he has always always used protection too so no-condom sex will probably eventually happen. But for now he’s as paranoid as me. And, given our similar dislike of children, we have already discussed the fact that if I DO get pregnant [ugh I really hope not], we will not have a baby; it actually came up the second time we ever slept together because the condom broke, but fortunately nothing bad came of that either. There is of course still the risk of HPV since it is incredibly rampant and there’s no test, but we’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that if one of us did manage to have a stealth-disease despite regular testing, considering how much we’ve slept together by now the other one would’ve gotten it already. And hey, as long as we spend the rest of our lives together we can just be a mutually diseased couple. Romantic, right?

    • Kelly

      I will never rely on only one form of birth control. I’m in a long-term monogamous relationship and we use the pill plus spermicide (plus my ovaries are jacked so I probably don’t even ovulate in the first place…wheeee!!)

      But before my SO, I always used condoms. Even though I’ve only slept with people while in monogamous relationships.

      I mean, I always kind of considered condoms the default. And I definitely wouldn’t go condom-less with someone who hadn’t been tested, even if we were monogamous.

    • Carolyn

      currently not having sex…but I always ask my friends if they use condoms when they hook up with randoms and they usually don’t! I find this shocking and terrifying!

    • Ellie

      Errm how has no one mentioned the obvious issue here: Using condoms doesn’t FEEL as good, for the guy or the girl.

      If it did, then we would all use them all the time, since we’d have nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so. But of course in reality they detract from the whole experience, hence why at least some of us (Gloss writers included!) don’t use them, even when we really should. There’s the spontaneity issue, and there’s also just the plain old… BARRIER issue. How weird is it to be getting all hot and sticky with someone, every part of your body in contact with theirs… Oh, except for the bits that matter, that is.

      On the occasions when I have made partners wear condoms (beginnings of relationships and casual hook-ups), I can honestly say that it has not ‘properly’ felt like having sex to me. Seems all clinical and mechanical instead. I could very well be alone in this feeling, since it seems to me that unless you think about things way too much, there’s no physical reason why a condom should decrease the WOMAN’s pleasure very much, however who amongst us hasn’t heard males bemoaning THEIR diminished sensual experience as a result of condoms??? Women’s mags teach us to ‘stand strong’ and brush off his complaints as so much misplaced sexual bravado, but that’s never seemed wholly fair to me. Some guys have NOT been around the block, and genuinely want to feel close to you.

      This is getting too long, sorry, but good on you guys for tackling this one – I just wish you’d delved a bit deeper into WHY most of your interviewees were going without, at least some of the time. Since you claim that they’re all smart, educated girls, it would seem that they’ve done the sums, and that by their estimation the benefits of not using condoms outweigh the risks. What, then, are the benefits? Not looking like a prude in front of a guy you’re desperate to impress?? Jennifer, you say that you were wrapped up in an immortality cocoon, ok, but why would an immortal person, given the choice, prefer sex without a condom? Is it just the thrill that comes from tempting fate? Are the people not using condoms just the ones who like to (feel as though they!!) live a little on the wild side??

      For the record, I’m in a monogamous relationship, have the arm-implant Implanon, and don’t use condoms anymore, but this issue intrigues me and always has done :-).

      • Chelsea

        Wow, this kind of response is the very reason I objected to this article so strongly earlier. I don’t think there’s anything prudish about wanting to protect my reproductive health and any guy that thinks otherwise would not be getting in my pants. I’m sorry, but caving to a guy because he has a “diminished sexual experience” from being safe is idiotic. You should be protecting yourself first and foremost. It’s great you’re in a monogamous relationship, but I worry about those out there who aren’t and think this way. And as far as “the thrill of tempting fate,” well this idea just horrifies me to no end. Do yourself a favor and watch the movie “Kids”.

        Make him use protection, ladies!!

      • teenie

        @chelsea – I don’t think there’s anything prudish about your stance at all – for me, it’s the vitriol and “you’re a fucking idiot” sentiment that is ruffling my feathers. I am in a very committed relationship, where I trust my guy to not cheat, and am taking precautions to avoid pregnancy. apparently, according to some of the commentators, this makes me an idiot. awesome. eff you too.

      • Chelsea

        In my previous comment, I was referring to the idea that a woman would not use protection just because a guy whines about it as idiotic. I was thinking more of the situation where one party wants to use protection and is pressured out of it. I just don’t want women to feel like they shouldn’t be able to take a stand just to please some dude, you know? If both parties are comfortable not using one, more power to you!

    • iheartellegirl

      are you ladies even getting tested, or do you just leave that up to guesswork too? i’m sorry, but the majority of the gloss staff are morons. which i probably could have guessed anyways.

      • Jennifer Wright

        Hi IHeartellegirl! Hi!

    • Leah

      I’m kind of surprised at some of the reactions to this story. Haven’t we all made mistakes? I’ve occasionally had sex without a condom when I really should have used one. It was stupid of me, but it was always a hurried, passionate situation where no one stopped to get one. I remember reading something about what happens to your brain when you’re pre-sex (super horny, basically) and it really diminishes rational decision-making. Obviously you should grab one, but in the frenzy of the moment you don’t. In my current, non pre-sex sanity, I can tell you that everyone should always use condoms. In practice? Easier said than done.

    • Colleen

      I’ve been pretty dedicated with the condom use over the years, even with being on the Pill. However, in committed relationships, the condoms would stop being used. I’ve been tested a few times, always AFTER the relationship ended, and not before we stopped using condoms. Not the wisest decision, I will readily admit. A serial monogamist, I figured I was always safe. In reality, I was likely very lucky. A guy I grew up contracted HIV, and had full-blown AIDS when he died. Actually knowing someone with AIDS makes you really think about your own mortality.

      Now in my 30s, and off the Pill, I’m always condom-ready. Get a bedside table with a drawer to keep the condoms in (so they are easily accessible), along with a tube of lube. Make condom application fun by doing it yourself, and put a drop of lube inside the condom before putting it on him–this will make it feel better for him.

    • Marissa

      Not since I’ve been in an exclusive relationship. But before that, I was a condom nazi. And I’m allergic to latex. So allergic that once I had to have a catheter. This means I need polyethylene condoms, and I’m okay with that. Until I was out of college I used a condom, plus the pill because there was no way I was getting knocked up in college.

      Also, 1 out of 4 people have STDs, and I’m terrified of getting something like herpes or genital warts, not to mention HPV, Chlamydia or Syphilis, etc. I also think it’s pretty scary that so many people don’t. While it’s true that white, middle-class, college educated people are less likely to have STDs (who I suspect are the target audience of The Gloss), it’s not a risk I’m willing to take.

      Also, can I point out that condoms provide easier clean up??

      • Marissa

        Oh, but I really want to know who uses a condom or dental dam or whatever during oral sex?? A recent study just came out that said oral sex is now a bigger cause of throat cancer than tobacco. That’s easy to believe. I would never, ever think to do that.

      • BK

        I don’t mean to be a downer but there’s a good chance you already have HPV, even if your current partner is the only person you’ve ever had unprotected sex with (unless he had never ever had unprotected sex before you either). Something like 80% of people between the ages of 15-35 have some strain of HPV. You’re smart to play it safe, but even if you do, regular paps are a must.

    • BK

      It’s interesting to see the different reasons why people do and don’t use condoms. For some reason, I’m not as scared of getting pregnant as I am of getting an STD. (Although when I was younger that was definitely the other way around). I guess now that I’m almost a college grad, I wouldn’t feel like my life was over if I got pregnant (I think , although it’s always easier to “know” what you would do when you’re not actually IN the situation, that I would go through with the pregnancy but give the baby up to a couple in a better situation to raise a family than myself.), but I simply can’t imagine telling the man I want to marry that I had herpes or HIV.

      Luckily, due to my very long current dry spell, I’m not terribly worried about either at the moment.

    • Lexie

      I hate condoms. I hated using them when I was temporarily off the pill. I hated using them even when I was having sex with someone I didn’t know that well. I hated using them with my boyfriend.

      Screw guys’ diminished sexual pleasure, what about MY diminished sexual pleasure? Because there is nothing sexually gratifying about having sex with latex. It feels…wrong. Ugh. There are no words.

      Regular exams and tests work just fine for me, thank you very much.

    • Michele

      wow, i am surprised by the amount of people who have sex without a condom. sex is great but not great enough for me to want to get an std. no condom, no sex. i know sometimes mistakes can happen but if you are purposely not using condoms, then you really need to do some research on the topic. sure you can be lucky for the longest time, but one day you might not be so lucky. the only time i would be ok with not using a condom is in a long term, monogamous relationship.

    • Michele

      also, i think you guys should do an article/poll about protection during oral sex! i would really like to know if people use condoms/dental dams while having oral sex. as someone pointed out earlier, oral sex is getting riskier. its kinda scary because i wouldnt even think of using protection for oral sex!

    • TB

      I have to use condoms, since I seem to be highly sensitive to the pill (I’ve tried many)… I loathe everything about them… their appearance, their ability to interrupt, the way they feel….
      Too young for a tube tie so my partner and I are eagerly awaiting the male pill…

    • Neville

      I don’t use condoms as it is what my long term partner and I prefer. She is on birth control and takes it religiously everyday. We were also tested beforehand to ensure we were both 100% clean. Both of us to this day still go for testing together to look after our sexual health and well being.

    • Amber Dawn

      I used them when I was single, but being in a so far five year long monogamous relationship and on the pill, haven’t for a while.

    • Gtfo anon tard

      Why do these retards talk like the condom is a fucking requirement for sex?
      Did god tell you to use a condom for sex? was sex even meant to be done with a condom? How stupid can you be?
      No, i don’t use a condom, unless really necessary, sex with condom just doesn’t feel as right, and good, don’t get scared by these idiots spamming “OH STD, OH HIV”, it’s not like you’re putting your penis in a rotten corpse, but it can be necessary for birth control, though there are other options, such as pills, anal sex, etc.

      • Gtfo, “Gtfo anon tard”

        If ‘god’ didn’t intend for you to use a condom, then he certainly didn’t want women to be using hormone pills to mess with their system and prevent pregnancy.

        Religion says sex is for making babies only, so there would be absolutely no reason for anal or oral sex either.

        “God” has nothing to do with it, you just like the pleasure without one, and you are having sex purely for pleasure.

        Nothing wrong with that AT ALL, but just admit it son.

      • Robert Olson

        I hate to break it to you, but the evidence shows that there is no god. From an evolutionary standpoint, there is no reason why condoms should not be used. To prevent unintended pregnancies and even prevent the transmission of diseases, a condom is your best bet.

    • todd

      just pull out, condoms are stupid

    • john

      just pull out

    • Dave

      I’ve got a huge dick, why the hell would i use a rubber, when i make those ladies O!