Feeling shy about discussing condoms with your partner? You’re not alone. According to a Trojan commissioned survey released today, over 80 percent of adults say that condom use is important to them, yet nearly 40 percent of people who didn’t use a condom during their last sexual experience did so without a word about it.
“Unfortunately I still think there are many women who think suggesting a condom or providing one creates a stigma about them and their sexuality,” says Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., sexologist, and sociologist at the University of Washington. Women may be afraid of looking too experienced or like they planned for sex.
The problem is, it's important to talk about condoms (hello, disease protection and unwanted pregnancies!), but some women don’t know how to approach the issue—they’re not comfortable discussing it, adds Sandra L. Caron, Ph.D., author of The Sex Lives of College Students: Two Decades of Attitudes and Behaviors. “Talking about sex has never been easy. In fact, some people even think it's wrong or that it ruins the mood,” she says.
Don’t let that stop you. To make sure you have a smooth conversation, talk before the heat of the moment. The best way to avoid risky bedroom behavior and help create respect between you and your partner is to have a conversation before you get into bed (and before you have to wonder about who is going to provide the condom!), says Schwartz. It’s kind of a rule of thumb not to talk about sex in the bedroom. Bringing the topic up when you’re both casually hanging out takes the pressure off, and opens the topic for discussion in a calmer way.
And don’t be shy to speak your mind. A line or two like, "I want to have sex, but I'm worried about disease," or “I really like you and I just want to be 100 percent safe,” will show you’re being honest and open. Putting your sexual health first and foremost will show your partner that it’s important for you to have sex safely in order to feel comfortable and have fun. While you’re at it, don’t miss these 7 Conversations for a Healthy Sex Life.