(Reprinted with her permission)
(We commend Dawn for addressing this critical component of success with condoms. With condoms as with other methods, women's sexual assertiveness and equitable relationships between male and female partners are essential to preventing unintended pregnancies and abortions, not to mention sexually transmitted infections like HIV/AIDS.--Marysia)
I’ve heard all types of reasons why men don’t want to wear condoms. But, by not using them, your safety is at risk. Using condoms every time you have sex offers the best protection from catching an STD, including HIV . It is even suggested to use a condom if on The Pill (or other prescription method). If a man says that he is “too large” to fit into a condom, open one up, put your hands together (like you’re clapping), roll the condom over your hands, then spread them apart about 12 inches wide – ask him if he is bigger than that!
Here's some excuses men give and responses you can use.
Time Required: 15 Minutes to Practice Responses
1. If he says: "It ruins the mood."
How to respond: "Having unsafe sex puts me out of the mood. For good!"
2. If his excuse is: "A condom spoils my enjoyment of sex.”
How to respond: “I can't enjoy sex unless we’re protected.”
3. If he says: "If you really love me, you should trust me."
How to respond: “It is because I love you that I want to be sure we’re both protected.”
4. If he complains: "I can’t feel anything when I’m wearing a condom.”
How to respond: “Many condoms have extra features to actually make sex better, and that you will both be better able to relax knowing you are safeguarding yourselves against STD’s and unintended pregnancy. Plus, men can actually experience more pleasure with a ribbed condom than without one at all.”
5. If he says: "Condoms don’t really work; most of them get busted."
How to respond: "If we use it the right way, its 98% effective."
6. If his excuse is: "Wearing a condom is uncomfortable."
How to respond: Suggest a different brand or size.
Or, if you are feeling a bit feisty, you could come back with, "Yes, and so is being pregnant for 9 months and then having to give birth."
7. If he says: "Don’t tell me that you actually think you’ll catch something from me."
How to respond: "I’m sure I won’t, but it's better to be safe than sorry."
8. If his objection is: “But you’re on the pill.”
How to respond: "The pill won’t protect us from STD’s that we may not even know we have – a condom will give us that protection.”
9. If he insists: “But we’ve had sex without a condom before.”
How to respond: “That that was a bad decision, and I don’t want to make it again. We were lucky, and I am not chancing it again.”
10. If his excuse is: "I don't know how to use a condom the right way."
How to respond: "I’ll do it for you."
1. Don’t be afraid to ask your partner to use a condom because you think he won’t trust you. If this is so, then it may mean that you don’t trust him enough to ask him to use a condom.
2. Remember, there are many reasons to use a condom. Learn all of the ways a condom can protect both of you, so you can remind him (and yourself) of why you should use a condom every time you have sexual intercourse. Don’t let your partner’s excuses stop you from protecting yourselves.
3. Read these ways of how you can respond to your partner. If it will make you feel more prepared, rehearse them; then, you can be ready to challenge him if he gives you an excuse for not wanting to wear a condom.
4. Remind yourself that asking someone to use a condom shows that you have respect for yourself and for them, so refuse to have sex with someone who does not respect you or themselves enough to use protection.
For the rest of Dawn's reprints:
- Tips for Contraceptive Success (introduction to the series)
- What Leads to Contraceptive Failure?
- How To Prevent Condom Failure
- How To Respond to Men's Excuses for Not Wanting to Wear a Condom
- How To Prevent Diaphragm Failure
- How To Decrease Failure with the Fertility Awareness Method
- How To Prevent Oral Contraceptive Failure
- Medications and Inhibitors that Lower Hormonal Contraception Effectiveness
- How to Prevent IUD Failure
To learn more about contraception, please visit Dawn's work on About.com.
Or you can consult the Nonviolent Choice Directory's extensive Pregnancy Prevention resources. The Nonviolent Choice Directory also sells nonprescription family planning and safer sex items through our website.