If you’re not in a monogamous relationship with a partner, you should be using condoms every time you have sex.
Condoms aren’t only there to protect against unplanned pregnancy, and HIV isn’t the only sexually transmitted infection (STI) you could contract. In fact, incidences of chlamydia and syphilis are on the rise among sexually active adults, and HIV/Aids is still one of the top causes of death among South African adults across the age spectrum.
That doesn’t mean you have to become a statistic. Protecting yourself against STIs is as simple as insisting on using a condom every time you have sex. Not sure how to start the conversation? Here are six simple ways.
6 conversation-starters when talking to your partner about using condoms
Struggling to know what to say? It doesn’t have to be a heavy or awkward conversation. These suggestions are a great place to start.
1. “I always use condoms with my partners – it’s the best way to protect us both.”
This shows that you’re taking the well-being of both of you into account, and that using condoms will benefit you both. It also gets the message across that this is something you’re non-negotiable on.
2. “Your condoms or mine?”
A light and fun take on “Your place or mine?”. This also leaves little room for negotiation, so make sure you always have condoms with you. Both guys and ladies should always be prepared.
3. “How many condoms do you think we’ll need tonight?”
This may play to your partner’s ego, and also sets a sexy expectation for the night ahead. Hinting that you’re going to be getting down is a great way to get into the mood. If your partner implies that you won’t be needing any because they don’t like to use condoms, respond with point number 1.
4. “Which condoms do you prefer? I’m buying.”
This helps your partner to be involved in the process and to ensure that you pick a kind you both like. If they’re using their favourite type or brand, there’s a much better chance they’ll be happy to wrap up.
5. “Do you have condoms, or should we pop into the shop quickly?”
Again, this leaves little room for negotiation. It also ensures that you don’t find yourself caught up in a moment without protection, and the temptation to go ahead regardless.
6. “I feel at my most free and sexy when I’m using condoms with my partner.”
This hints at the fact that you’ll be even more adventurous and relaxed in the bedroom – and who doesn’t want a partner who’s into a bit (or a lot!) of exploration?
What if my partner still refuses to use condoms?
Say no! Remember: if your partner doesn’t want to use condoms with you, it means that they are extremely likely to have had unprotected sex with other people – which puts you at even greater risk. Essentially, it means you’ll be having sex with all the people they had sex with – and so on, and so on.
It’s also important to bear in mind that getting tested together isn’t always enough. If you and your partner aren’t exclusive, then those results could change from month to month, or even week to week or day to day. Bottom line: if your partner refuses to use condoms, do not have sex with them. Their anger, disappointment or frustration is irrelevant; all that matters is YOUR health and wellbeing. Be your own safe-sex superhero!
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Pop into your nearest Marie Stopes centre for contraceptives, advice and a wide range of sexual healthcare services, including HIV and STI screening and testing.
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