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How to talk with your partner about condoms and safer sex

Some people don’t like to use condoms, so it can be helpful to plan what you’ll say if you're ever with a partner who doesn't want to use one. Remember, you have a right to protect yourself and your health, and using condoms is a way to take care of your partner too – so you're not being selfish at all.
  • Talk this over with your partner before you start to have sex. If you wait until you’re horny, it might be too easy to have sex without a condom “just this once.”
  • Plan ahead and have condoms with you if you think you might want to have sex. Don't rely on your partner to have condoms.
A partner might have specific reasons for not wanting to use condoms. Look over this list to get ideas about how to respond if you ever feel pressured to have sex without a condom:

“I don't have any kind of disease! Don't you trust me?”
“Of course I trust you, but anyone can have an STD and not even know it. This is just a way to take care of both of us.”

“I don't like sex as much with a rubber. It doesn't feel the same.”
“This is the only way I feel comfortable having sex but believe me, it'll still be good even with protection! And it lets us both just focus on each other instead of worrying about all that other stuff…”

“I'm [or you're] on the pill.”
“But that doesn't protect us from STDs, so I still want to be safe, for both of us.”

“I didn't bring any condoms.”
“I have some, right here.”

“I don't know how to use them.”
“ I can show you – want me to put it on for you?”

“Let's just do it without a condom this time.”
“It only takes one time to get pregnant or to get an STD. I just can't have sex unless I know I'm as safe as I can be.”

“No one else makes me use a condom!”
“This is for both of us…and I won't have sex without protection. Let me show you how good it can be – even with a condom.”

How to put on a condom

Female condoms

Dental dams

Condom do’s and don’ts

How to talk with your partner about condoms and safer sex

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