• Fri, Mar 4 2011

Here’s Why 32% Of You Aren’t Using Condoms

Yesterday we wrote about whether or not anyone was using condoms. Answer: some of you are. At last check, the poll indicated that 68% of you either use them all the time or until you or your partner has been tested. And then there’s the other 32% of you who are insane wild risk takers who would probably like to go shark diving drunk. Here are some of your comments the offer insight into why so many of you are opting to skip the wrap (though I am a little surprised that no one cites religious reasons. I am expressing that surprise via a Pope condom picture):

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. – Lexie
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. – Leah

the majority of the gloss staff are morons. which i probably could have guessed anyways. – IHeartElleGirl

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. – Ellie


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  • sarahk

    Am I living in some sort of bizarro world where the pill is 100% effective and people can’t cheat and contract an STD, thus passing it on? Maybe I’m hyper-paranoid (I am, I really dislike babies and genital warts) but wrap that sucker up.

    • teenie

      maybe you’re hyper-paranoid.

    • Eileen

      I know how you feel. And to think I was down on myself as a safe-sexer because I’ve occasionally swallowed…

    • drea

      There’s nothing paranoid about understanding the full reality of a situation and reacting to the very possible dangers there in.
      I think it’s funny how so many people on this site are all “I know it’s more responsable to wear on condom, but I don’t wanna!”
      How is that a legitimate excuse for stupid behavior?
      Are we all in highschool again?

  • sam

    you can also contract genital warts/HPV even if you do use condoms. not that that’s a reason NOT to use them, just saying. the world is a scary place.

  • drea

    The only way I’d let a guy have sex with me without a condom was if he’d let me play a recording of a crying baby through the whole thing. Condoms may ruine the mood, but so do unplanned pregnancies.

    • Joe

      Let a guy have sex with you? Are you capable of stepping off the pedestal, or does someone need to kick it out from under you?

  • joanntheredhead

    The thing is, condoms can prevent pregnancy, but there are other methods of birth control. Unless these other methods are not a safe option for the woman (or, unless the man is concerned that he may duped into becoming a father–which is a whole other issue in itself) condoms are not usually a couple’s first choice. For the most part, condoms are used to prevent STDs.

    Yes, sometimes people in established relationships use them for this purpose when there is a known risk (for instance, if one has herpes or something). But, let’s face it: condoms are generally used to protect us from the unknown.

    Herein lies the irony…

    Condoms are, after all, a “barrier” method. The thought of placing a “barrier” between you and a person you are about to get very, very intimate with inevitably leads to the question of whether or not you really should be getting that intimate with that person in the first place. There’s real irony in letting someone get that close to you–actually in your body–but still feel you need “protection” from him.

    • M

      I most definitely do not need protection from my boyfriend. I do, however, need protection from babies. We don’t use protection for oral sex, but we’re both mostly about the hands-and-penetration anyway. We have both been tested since we got together so the STD risk is pretty minimal but my IUS came out awhile back and I haven’t gotten it replaced, plus he’s allergic to spermicide. Condoms it is.

      Our way of looking at it: we would rather be safe with regrets than unsafe with regrets. And, if something does slip through, we will at least feel better about the fact that we did what we could to prevent it.

  • Leah

    Another thought (other than my evil occasional non-condom usage) – Why is everyone using phrases like “If the guy doesn’t want to use one I make him” or “letting a guy do it without a condom”? Maybe he’s letting YOU have sex with HIM. Seems like even some of the You’re-Horrible-For-Sex peeps are still thinking about sex as a conquest for men.

    Or maybe I’m just trying to deflect the shame of being called out…

    • Joe

      Exactly. Well played. Some inane attitudes reflect in posts.

  • Anon

    Huh. I am saving that for my husband. Not because I think women are property or spoil-able or anything. Just because some level of intimacy should be reserved for someone who has actually promised to love you forever.

    I guess I should clarify — I am almost saving it. I am saving having condomless sex on a regular basis, how bout that? I did have condomless sex once, and then an abortion. So, that was fun.

  • Fi

    I always used condoms even when in a longterm relationship, mainly because of the horror stories observed/heard about the pill, depression, weight again, issues with your period before and after going on the pill and general crazy making.

    HOWEVER fyi we broke up so you know……………………………

  • Meg

    Honestly, the biggest concern is STDs and if guys would get themselves TESTED there wouldn’t be such an issue. I recently made the poor decision of having unprotected sex and now I’m freaking out. Especially because when I asked if he had ever been tested, he responded, “Do you know how they test guys?”

    Men and their precious penises need to GET THEMSELVES TESTED because although a q-tip up your precious PEE PEE might hurt for a second, death of ovarian cancer is far worse.

  • Mattie

    Weird, I’ve had sex without a condom once and I really didn’t like the “sticky” and drippy feeling after. Other than that, I use condoms everytime, and I’m also on the pill. I really don’t feel that my pleasure is hindered in any way. In fact, I never even feel the condom… so maybe people are using the wrong size? Because in sex ed they teach you that if you’re not supposed to feel it.

    And I’ve never felt like putting a condom on my BF has ever ruined the passion of the moment. It doesn’t feel clinical, in fact, I usually put it on him so that it feels better for him ;)

  • MadMadamGee

    This is the stupidest shit I’ve ever read. How is anyone defending their unsafe sexual practices and expecting a standing ovation for their “bravery” and their pro-man attitude? Even if a guy is letting me have sex with him, is that also an open invitation to catch each other’s cooties? This is exactly the reason why sex Ed needs to be taught in school because u super human, immune from herpes-syphilis-gonorrhea-HIV types might give someone else the idea that it’s ok to jump any cock without a cap and end up either with a deadly virus, or one that they will regret when their babies have to be born via c-section because STDs can result in blindness permanently by a baby traveling thru an infected birth canal, and many many more colorful adventures. Thanks for setting the intelligence of humans back thirty years. Guess its safe to hitchhike again.

  • Psych Student

    While not everyone is the same, people complain that they have reduced sensations with condoms but then don’t notice when they slip off or rip/tear. Part of the problem is that not everyone is using condoms correctly – lube on both sides of the condom helps tremendously. There is also the complaint that it “ruins the moment” to put on a cold condom. The solution is to pull it out early and roll around once it’s on so the guy’s erection returns and he gets comfortable with it on. If you are concerned about STI that aren’t covered by condoms the female condom is good for that.