The second best way to avoid sexually transmitted infections (STI) is with proper condom use. If you’re wondering what the first is- it’s abstinence. The only way to truly ensure that you’re protected is by not having sex at all.
An Aside: What is a STI?
Sexually transmitted infections are infections that are generally spread through sexual contact and include penetrative and oral sex.
Examples of these are Syphilis, Gonorrhoea, Human Papilloma Virus or HPV (there’s a vaccine for this get vaccinated!) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) among others.
No condom use or improper condom use is the biggest risk factor for transmitting and getting sexually transmitted infections.
While factors such as multiple partners, men who have sex with men and having sex with sex workers might increase that risk, it really boils down to whether or not you use a condom (properly).
“But condoms are uncomfortable!”
“Condoms don’t fit me!”
“Why do I need a condom?!”
Read one of my previous articles about why EVERYONE should use a condom regardless of their sexual orientation or who they have sex with.
The Deal with Condoms
Now the condoms don’t fit story might not be what we expect, while condoms can stretch to accommodate some crazy sizes it might end up being too tight or too loose on some men. Which can lead to discomfort during sex.
And if you think only men don’t like using condoms, many women complain about the same things as men do- decreased sensation… having to stop to put it on- which can ruin the moment.
It sounds like the condom may need some reinventing, luckily there are a few companies doing that, where they make the condom experience more enjoyable.. but because we live in Jamaica we might be a bit slow to catch on.
So What to Do?
When you go into pharmacies, gas stations or supermarkets to buy a condom, don’t be afraid to take some time to really look at the specifications of the condom.
Unless on the first try you found one that fits you perfectly and makes sex enjoyable, I say keep trying new condoms and see how you and your partner react to it.
Nowadays in our local stores we’re seeing condoms of different sizes, thickness, lubrication and other characteristics.
If you’re going to spend 500 – 700 JMD on a pack of 3 condoms you should at least like them!
Think about the problems you and your partner may have with the current condoms you use, is it that you’re not really feeling anything or its too tight/ loose or even too short/ long.
Look for condoms that aim to solve those specific problems, and sometimes it boils down to just trying new ones.
Sex is supposed to be enjoyable for both partners. Having sex, whether it’s casual or within a committed relationship, means you’re more at risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection than persons who don’t have sex.
Condoms are the best way that we currently have to prevent the spread of these infections. So why not take the time to find a condom that works for you and your partner and makes it less of a chore to use a condom!
If you don’t like your condom, after reading this head straight to the nearest store that sells them and try a new one- tell me how it goes!
Samantha C. Johnson