How to Talk About Condoms

Getting condoms doesn't have to be awkward! You can get them at sexual health clinics and youth clinics for free or buy them at drug stores at any age.

The conversations about how to prevent sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy should happen a long time before sex. Sometimes it’s not talked about because one or both partners feel too awkward, shy or embarrassed to bring it up. However, if you’re thinking about having sex (or are already having sex), you should be able to talk to each other about anything!

Here’s some ideas on how to talk about using condoms, even when it feels awkward.

My partner thinks I don’t trust him/her because I want to use condoms. What do I say?

You can reassure your partner that it’s not that you don’t trust him/her, but that you would feel a lot safer and less stressed if you used condoms every time you have sex. You can talk about how when both of you are less stressed, sex will feel better!

My partner said that we don’t need to use condoms because we’re also using the Pill.

If you’re taking birth control pills, you can tell your partner that although the pill is only 99% effective if it’s used perfectly. Perfect use means taking it at the same time every day without mistakes. Most pill users only use it to 92 % effectiveness. Your life is probably super busy which means sometimes we forget to do things, like taking the pill. So condoms are your backup method in case there’s a mistake in taking the pill. Condoms are also the only thing that will help to reduce the risk of STIs – the pill doesn’t do that.

What if I feel awkward talking about condoms?

Talking about condoms may seem awkward at first, especially if you don’t know how your partner feels about them. Good, strong relationships are based on trust and communication, so you should be able to talk about how you feel. Why not use the opportunity to talk about condoms when one of the many commercials (Trojan man, anyone?) about condoms is on?

Talking in person about using condoms shouldn’t be a big deal, but if you feel that it would be easier to bring it up over the phone or through text, do that instead. Any communication is better than none at all.

What if my partner says that condoms don’t feel good?

Let your partner know that the condoms we have today are thinner yet stronger than any of those in the past thousand years! There are lots of different kind of condoms – why not try a bunch of different types to see what feels best for both of you! Many studies show that if you think condoms will make sex feel less pleasurable, it will.

What if I already know my partner doesn’t like condoms and doesn’t want to use condoms?

Even if you already know that your partner doesn’t want to use condoms, you need to talk about it. Be honest and talk about the reasons you want to use condoms. If you’re partner doesn’t agree, you will need to be clear about whether you are prepared to take the risk of having sex without condoms.

Where can I get condoms?

  • You can get condoms from Island Sexual Health Clinics and youth clinics for free.
  • You can buy condoms from drug stores and other stores at any age.
  • Some middle and high school counselling offices have them available for students.