Artwork by Louise Rouse
So, what should I do if my partner doesn’t want to wear a condom? This can definitely be a difficult conversation to have, especially if the two of you aren’t on the same page. However, using a condom is the safest way you can protect every involved party from contracting a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI).
“It doesn’t feel as good (to wear a condom).”
Trust me, it will feel worse if you get an infection…(i.e sores, blisters, genital bleeding)
“But you’re on birth control- so we’re safe!”
There are two types of birth controls: hormonal and barrier. Hormonal birth controls such as the pill, depo shots, or IUDs DO NOT PREVENT STIs! The only birth control aimed at preventing STIs are CONDOMS!
“Wow- do you not trust me? I told you I don’t have STIs!”
Safety and trust are two seperate things. Trusting you does not inherently promise my safety. As my partner, I would hope that you would care about my safety: both emotionally and physically.
“We are both only having sex with each other! We don’t have any diseases!”
Some STIs do not always show symptoms, such as chlamydia, thus can go undetected for a long time. STIs can be transmitted in many ways, not just with sex, thus one can never be 100% sure. It is always important to discuss both you and your partner's sexual history with one another and to regularly get tested.
“I’ll pull out- I promise!”
That “method” aims at preventing pregnancies- WHICH IT DOESN’T, BY THE WAY, VERY UNSAFE. It does NOT prevent the spreading of STIs.
What if I’m afraid of my partner’s reaction when I tell them that I want to use a condom?
In healthy relationships, partners are able to discuss their their issues openly. It may take time to explain to another person your point of view- but possessing fear when asking for a need might be a sign that you’re in an unhealthy relationship. If you feel as though you are in an unhealthy relationship, if you are in an abusive relationship, or if you need help please refer to TELL Japan- a free, anonymous, confidential telephone service (03-5774-0992).
After all of this, if your partner still insists on not using a condom, ask yourself: is it worth it? In the moment, it may not seem that bad. However, the potential long term effects this can have on both your physical and emotional health are pretty high. Having an STI is not a fun stroll in the park, by protect yourself you are able to empower your own choices and prevent STIs from further transferring from person to person.