By Kavya J Oct. 31, 2020
There are lots of reasons couples put forth for not using a condom. Unfortunately, none of them are good ones.
I once met a guy who ticked half of my boxes, which made him a superstar. He was hot on one side, cool on the other, and quick-witted in between. Or so I imagined.
As we got busy, I asked him (rhetorically) if he’d put on a condom. Would I mind if he didn’t, he wondered aloud. I did mind, but I asked him why, just out of curiosity. He gave me the most spectacular answer. He looked me in the eye and said, “I’m just too big.”
I snorted loudly, assuming he was joking, only convinced otherwise when he withdrew with a wounded expression. Did he forget that I could see his average dipstick?
Here’s a lesson you might want to learn in a hurry: Even the nicest guys can reveal themselves in the moment when it comes to negotiations on wearing a condom.
Men always have stupid reasons for not wanting to wear condoms, and they all sound like someone who wants to fly a plane with the doors open because they really enjoy the breeze. But mostly, it’s just the same reason dressed up in as many outfits as Sonam Kapoor in Cannes: It deadens sensation and he can’t feel anything.
Thankfully, that’s all about to change. Condom brands like Durex have caught on to the most popular reason men duck the rubber – reduced pleasure. Now, ultra-thin condoms like Durex Invisible create a sensation of having almost no physical barrier between partners, freeing couples from the choice of choosing between pleasure and safety.
Despite the existence of a product that provides an easy solution, coming up with authoritative-sounding reasons not to wear a condom is a specialised field of mansplaining unto itself. A friend I once thought of as intelligent once said “It feels like I’m wearing a plastic bag down there. Condoms aren’t supposed to be part of sex, and they feel unnatural because they are.” Of course, he said this while wearing spectacles and shoes. He was born with neither, and they are therefore equally “unnatural” as condoms, but the irony was lost on him. We do many “unnatural” things to improve the quality of our lives, and having great sex while staying safe is at the top of the list.
Men unleash all their creativity when it comes to finding ways to go condom-less. In long-term relationships, some combine mathematics, biology, and astronomy to convince their girlfriend to follow the calendar method – a primitive form of contraception that involves counting the days since a woman’s last period, to figure out when she’s ovulating. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t work. You can’t calculate these things neatly since each body has its own rhythm. And why would you gamble on a three-day window in a woman’s menstrual cycle when you can just strap up every time and be spontaneous?
Even the nicest guys can reveal themselves in the moment when it comes to negotiations on wearing a condom.
Of course, there are times when women are involved in the decision to ditch the condom as well. A girlfriend on a night out confessed to me that she likes to follow the “pulling out” method with her partners, which is so risky it sobered me up for the rest of the evening. What jumps out from these ill-informed conversations I’ve had is that to these people, a pregnancy is as real as visiting fairies, and STDs – unless they come with a large billboard declaring “This Sexual Encounter Will Leave You with an Eruption of Vivid Red Rashes” – don’t exist.
The sad truth for all the bareback riders out there is that despite the parade of excuses to not wear a condom, none of them pass muster if given a moment’s scrutiny. The no-condom brigade needs to get with the times. In 2020, if we can’t leave our house without a mask around our face, we shouldn’t be entering the bedroom without protection below the waist.
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When left by herself, Kavya likes to get lost in a good book. Knowing this, you'd expect her to be smart, but then she thinks Kolkata is in Karnataka and Bangalore is in West Bengal. You couldn't trust her with a map.