Tips for Talking About Condoms
Talking about condoms can be difficult, but our health and the health of our partners depends on it.
To start, think of opening lines. How might you bring this up with your partner, and how might they react? Practice these conversations with a friend or on your own.
Make it clear that you will not have sex without a condom and that you will not have sex with someone who doesn’t respect you or themselves enough to use protection.
Condom Conversation Tips
Have the conversation outside the bedroom.
It is normal to be nervous, but the condom conversation may be easier than you think! Have the conversation ahead of time so that when things get hot and heavy you know that you are on the same page.
Get comfortable with condoms.
Make sure you know how to use them.
Have condoms handy.
Keep condoms in a place that they are easy to access. Bring some with you if you are going out. Be prepared. Show that you respect both yourself and your partner by planning ahead.
Prepare with some facts.
Many people have sexually transmitted infections and do not know it. Condoms come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors; you can find what works for your relationship. Make condoms more pleasurable by adding lube to it before putting it on.
Practice some opening lines and responses.
“What condom brand do you prefer?” “Do you have a favorite color or texture?”
Condom Conversation Lines
If your partner says: “I won’t enjoy sex with a condom.”
You could say: “I need to be relaxed to enjoy sex. I can’t relax unless I know we are being safe. We need to use a condom to protect both of us.”
If your partner says: “I don’t have any infections. Trust me.”
You could say: “I do trust you. But many people have infections and don’t know it. I want us both to be safe.”
If your partner says: “I don’t have a condom with me.”
You could say: “I do!” Or, if you don’t have a condom: “We can do other things like massage, kissing, or touching.”
If your partner says: “It’s uncomfortable.”
You could say: “We can try different brands or sizes to find what is right for us. Or we could use an insertable (female) condom.”
If your partner says: “It puts me right out of the mood.”
You could say: “Having unsafe sex puts me right out of the mood. Permanently.”
If your partner says: “If we really love each other, we should trust each other.”
You could say: “I do trust you, and it’s because we love each other that I want to be sure we’re both safe and protected.”
If your partner says: “Are you nervous about catching something?”
You could say: “Sometimes people don’t even know when they have infections, so it’s better to be safe.”
If your partner says: “I won’t enjoy sex if we use a condom.”
You could say: “I can’t enjoy sex unless it’s safe.” Or: “Let me show you how good it can be.”
If your partner says: “I don’t know how to put it on.”
You could say: “Here, let me show you.”