What to Do if Your Sex Partner Refuses to Wear a Condom

What to Do if Your Sex Partner Refuses to Wear a Condom


Safer sex

People are always complaining about condoms; they say they’re uncomfortable, kill their erections, or disrupt the intimacy or sensitivity of sex. Others feel that being asked to use a condom implies a partner’s distrust or promiscuity. If your partner uses his disapproval of condoms as an excuse to avoid wearing one, you’re not alone.

Condoms so drastically reduce the risk of becoming infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and avoiding pregnancy, however, that it’s worth finding a way to change your partner’s mind. Here are a few time-tested strategies that may help.

Plan ahead

Before things get hot and heavy, set ground rules with your partner about what risks you’re willing to take and which measures you’ll take to protect yourselves and each other.

Get the right size

One condom does not fit all. Luckily condoms come in many shapes, sizes, colors, flavors, textures, and materials, so chances are pretty good that there’s a style that fits your needs for comfortable and enjoyable sex. “I encourage people to investigate different condoms and lubes with their partners to find what works best for them,” says Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, a psychologist specializing in HIV at New York University.

For instance, you can find condoms that are ribbed or studded to increase friction for both partners, or something with a warming lubricant. “Microthin” condoms minimize the barrier between partners without sacrificing safety. You can experiment with different shapes such as Trojan’s Twisted Pleasure or the extra-loose Pleasure Plus, which claims to simulate unprotected sex.

Try a dose of Reality

If you’re a woman who can’t get her man to wear a regular condom, you might try the Reality female condom, which you wear in your vagina. These should not, however, be used in conjunction with male condoms, as friction between the two can cause tears.

Adjust your attitude

Insisting on the use of a condom is about protecting not just you, but your partner as well. “Asking a partner to wear a condom is not an indication of a lack of love, but a true expression of the affection that you share,” says Halkitis.

Keep it up

Some men have difficulty maintaining an erection while wearing a condom. Sometimes a poor-fitting condom causes this, and other times, it’s psychological, related to a sexual dysfunction, or caused by alcohol- or drug-related erectile dysfunction (ED). If switching condoms (or sobering up) doesn’t resolve the issue, see your doctor

Be practical

Sliding on a condom doesn’t have to put the fun on hold. Do what you can to minimize the interruption, such as keeping an ample supply of condoms within arm’s reach.