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FAQ: Why doesn’t everyone like condoms?

In a previous post, we talked about stealthing, why people do it, and why it’s terrible [Link]. In it, in our discussion about people not liking condoms, we said:

Some people stealth because they hate condoms. Maybe they agreed to using a condom just to get their partner to have sex, and then took it off when they felt they could get away. You don’t have to use condoms in order to have sex, but you have to stick with what you agreed to with your partner. Stay tuned for a future article about finding ways to make condoms work for you.

Well, friends, this is that post! Here is where we’re going to talk about ways to make condoms work for you! This will mostly cover conversations about about external condoms (that go on penises or sex toys), but a lot of this stuff also applies to internal condoms.

Why do people use condoms?

Here are some reasons to wear a condom during sexual activity:

Lowers the risk of pregnancy – Used properly, condoms are 97% effective at preventing pregnancy. This doesn’t mean that there’s no chance of pregnancy, just that it’s less likely to happen.

Lowers the risk of STIs – Again, as long as the condom is used properly, the risk of contracting STIs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV are lowered. These STIs are passed through sexual fluids, and condoms are a barrier method that reduces the chance of swapping fluids.

As a back-up to another form of birth control – Lots of people use condoms in conjunction with another type of birth control, like the pill or VCF. This adds another layer (pun intended) of protection in the event of a missed pill or the VCF not dissolving properly. On the flip side, the other methods of birth control add a layer (no pun) of protection if the condom happens to break. Also, again, condoms protect against STIs, which other methods of birth control don’t.

Why Don’t Some People Like Condoms?

Below we have a list of just some of the reasons why someone might not want to wear condoms. Honestly, these are all valid reasons. Someone can choose to not wear condoms for whatever reason they want. But if it’s important to you that your partner wears a condom, you don’t have to accept these reasons. You can say no, or decide to do different activities with different types/levels of risk.

****Cool Tips****
Here are 2 ways that you can help condoms feel more comfortable:

  1. Use Lube! Lube (lubricant) can help increase pleasure and prevent condoms breaking. You can add lube to the outside of the condom or to the outside of the vulva, vagina, or anus. Only use water-based lube with condoms Other types of lube can break down the latex in the condoms, lowering how effective they are.
  2. Practice! Practice putting on condoms in a room with the lights on. This way you can see what you’re doing, and you can get used to the feeling of rolling them on or inserting them properly. Also, try masturbating while using a condom so that it’s a feeling you are familiar with (and ideally associate with pleasure).

For more info on how to use condoms, check out our info page How to use Internal and External Condoms [Link].

Again, these are all totally fine reasons to not wear condoms. You don’t have to wear condoms if you don’t want to. But if your partner(s) wants to use them, and this is something you’re not going to budge on, it may be that you just won’t have sex with your partner(s) because you can’t compromise on your views. There are lots of conversations you can have about reducing risk, other birth control methods, or getting tested regularly. However, if at the end of it you have different ideas about what risks people are willing to take then maybe you are not compatible sexually. And that’s totally fine. It’s not the most fun thing in the world, but it’s a totally valid incompatibility in a relationship. And maybe that’s a conversation you need to have.

More Resources:

If you have questions about this topic, feel free to contact one of our peer educators. [Link]