Anyone having unprotected sex is at risk of not just pregnancy, but HIV/AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs). The fallout from all of these diseases is just not worth the risk. For example, chlamydia can cause infertility, human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cancer of the cervix and throat, and syphilis can lead to paralysis, mental and heart problems, blindness and death.
So when a man trots out the common excuses below, have the facts at your fingertips so that you can reply to his excuses expertly and firmly. Just remember that in the heat of passion, it’s easy to come up with rationalisations for not using a condom – but these excuses do not hold up in the cold light of day when you’re faced with the very real threat of an STD.
Also, always be sure to have condoms on hand, for him and for any sex toys, and use them for oral sex too. “Fellatio is the most common cause of throat gonorrhoea, and cunnilingus is the most frequent method of transmission of herpes, and both put you at risk of HIV,” says Professor Elna McIntosh, sexologist and director of the Disa Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinic in Johannesburg.
EXCUSE 1: “I don’t need a condom: I’m clean and healthy.”
Your reply: “You can be clean and seem healthy but still carry and pass on an STD.”
Fact: “About 70% of women and 50% of men who have chlamydia have no symptoms, and that, herpes, HPV and HIV can take years to show signs,” says Professor McIntosh.
EXCUSE 2: “I prefer it natural.”
Your reply: “I prefer it safe, and sex can feel natural with the right condoms.”
Fact: A drop of water-based lube in the tip can help make condoms feel more natural, as can superfine brands like Trojan Bareskin and Durex Natural Feeling Lubricated, and they’ll still keep you safe.
EXCUSE 3: “Condoms can break; they’re still no guarantee.”
Your reply: “They’re 98% effective if they’re used properly.”
Fact: "Using condoms properly means using only water-based lubes when they are latex or plastic, and using the right size (about 30% of men need a smaller than standard condom, and 15 to 20% a larger one like Trojan Magnum XL and Durex XXL)," says Professor McIntosh. It also means rolling them on carefully. Have fun practising.
EXCUSE 4: “I lose sensitivity with condoms.”
Your reply: “I lose the mood without them, and some actually improve sensitivity.”
Fact: A textured condom may boost sensitivity for both of you; but it can sometimes be an advantage for a condom to reduce sensitivity, to stop him ejaculating too quickly.
EXCUSE 5: “It affects my performance – I struggle to keep an erection.”
Your reply: “Not if we use it right – let’s try it together.”
Fact: “Performance anxiety can cause some men to lose an erection if they’re unpractised at using a condom and struggle to put it on,” says Professor McIntosh. However, there are ways to ensure this doesn’t happen. He needs to take responsibility and practise using a condom. You can also make putting the condom on him part of your sex play. If he still loses his erection, just go back a step or two and stimulate him again.
EXCUSE 6: “I’m sterile: I had a vasectomy.”
Your reply: “You may not make me pregnant, but you could still give me an STD.”
Fact: Very few men under 30 are sterile, and even if he’s been snipped, you’re not safe from STDs, warns Professor McIntosh.
EXCUSE 7: “I’m allergic to condoms.”
Your reply: “I’m allergic to getting STDs. Let’s try a different brand.”
Fact: A few men can be allergic to latex, the chemicals used in making condoms, or to the spermicide often added to them. Try non-latex condoms (polyurethane or polyisoprene), and condoms without spermicide. “Or try a female condom instead; it's made of polyurethane,” suggests Professor McIntosh.
EXCUSE 8: “I just don’t use condoms.”
Your reply: “I just don’t have sex with guys who don’t use condoms.”
Fact: If he’s that ignorant or careless, you shouldn’t be having sex with him.
How Clicks Clinics can help you
Did you know Clicks offers HIV testing and counselling at our clinics? To make an appointment at a Clicks Clinic, call 0860 254 257 or book online at Clicks Clinics online.
HIV home test kits are also available in-store.
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