ADVICE: He won’t wear condoms.

I get email:

Hi laci. I have been watching your show for a long time and I know you always tell us to protect ourselves. I have been trying, but I have one problem. My boyfriend says that he does not want to wear condoms. He will not get tested either. Last night we had sex without one even though I really did not want to. Do you have any advice? Please help me I know I cant be the only person with this problem. Thank you

-J

J, good for you for trying! You are definitely NOT the only person with this problem. I can’t tell you how many discussions I have had to initiate after hearing some condom hate from my old high school students.

The fact of the matter is this: you are doing the right thing in taking care of yourself and you have the right to assert your health needs with your partner. If he can’t respect your health, maybe it’s time to reconsider if he actually respects you.

So, what to do about this refusal to wear condoms. I would say have him get tested so your risk is minimized without condoms…but it sounds like that didn’t go over very well. What excuses is he giving not to wear condoms? Here are some various responses you can give to things he might say:

Him You
It doesn’t feel good. 1. I don’t feel good when I don’t feel safe.
2. The safer I feel, the wilder I get!
They don’t fit. 1. There are lots of brands and sizes, lets find one that fits.
2. If it’s too big for a condom, it’s too big for me.
It ruins the mood. 1. Don’t we create the mood?
2. I think safety is sexy.
Just this once. 1. I have lots of condoms, let’s go more than once!
2. Once more is one time too many for me.
You think I’m going to give you something? 1. It’s not about you, I always use condoms to protect my health.
2. Aren’t you worried about the same thing?

Lastly J, don’t be afraid to be assertive to get what you need, whether that means “sorry then we can’t have sex”, or further discussion. It may help to talk about this anxiety you are having over the condoms situation. Tell him what you need, why you need it, and how your needs are going unmet. I would suggest bringing it up away from where you have sex when you are alone together. Within this discussion, if you feel comfortable, you might also bring up getting tested together. It can be fun – grab lunch together, go to the clinic, have steamy safer sex together when you’re done. :P

Remember, it’s your body and your health. While many STIs are not serious, some are, and I don’t want to scare you…but it only takes one time to transmit a serious disease. Condoms don’t eliminate that risk, but they do significantly decrease it when used correctly. You deserve a partner who recognizes this and takes your health into account!

Best of luck,

PS: General info about using condoms here!