What if my partner won't use a condom?

wont talk about using a condom

What to do if your partner won't use a condom?

When you have sex, both of you are responsible for protecting yourselves against pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

They might say:

‘I'm healthy’ - You can’t tell if someone's got an infection by looking at them and they might not know themselves as many people don't have any symptoms (the things that warn you that you might be ill) such as sores or warts. Every year about 790,000 people find out they have an STI in the UK.

‘I like it natural’ - It may seem natural', but it put's you both at risk of infection and pregnancy if you are not using another form of contraception. Some men find that using a condom can make their erections last longer.

‘I can't be bothered’ - Your response should be: "If you can't be bothered to use a condom then I can't be bothered to have sex with you."  Using a condom is easier than dealing with an unplanned pregnancy or having to visit the Integrated Sexual Health Service to treat an STI.  

I forgot to use one’ - Drinking can make you forget about the STI and unwanted pregnancy risk. Keep a pack of condoms by your bed and make sure you have condoms on you when you are out drinking, just in case.

‘I can't get an erection with a condom on’ - Practise putting on a condom when you're not about to have sex with someone. Try masturbating with a condom on to help you learn to stay hard and to have an orgasm. This way you'll feel confident about staying erect next time you have sex. 

‘It ruins the moment’ - Think about sex while you're putting a condom on, ask your partner to put it on for you, watch your partner undress or masturbate as you're putting the condom on,  this way you'll stay aroused, and it will become part of sex, not an interruption.

They hurt’ or 'they're too small' - If the condoms you've been using are too small, look for brands that come in a bigger size. Try one on before you have sex to see how it feels.  A condom can hold 14 pints of beer, or around 24 cans of soft drink, so it should fit around your or your partner's penis.  The C-card stocks different sized condoms.

I've got no change for the machine’ - Keep condoms at home and always carry them with you when you go out, so you're always prepared. If you are 25 or under register to the C-card to get free condoms.

We've been seeing each other for a while’ - Even if you have been together for a while you may not be risk free as many STI's don't have any symptoms sp you may not know if either of you have an STI.  Discuss your sexual history and get checked at the Integrated Sexual Health Service before you stop using condoms.

‘I'm allergic to them’ - A very small number of people are allergic to condoms, so they may not be telling the truth. An allergy is not a good excuse to have unprotected sex because there are condoms that don’t cause allergies.  If you or your partner are allergic, you could try:

  • non-latex condoms made from polyurethane or polyisoprene, which don’t cause allergic reactions, or
  • using condoms that have no added spermicide.
  • You can get latex free condoms from the C-card or Integrated Sexual Health Service

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