Here’s Why Unprotected Sex Isn’t More Intimate, According To Sex Experts

Have you ever been about to hook up with someone, only to have them try and refuse to use a condom because they say it's more intimate to have that direct contact? Even for folks who really believe in always practicing safe sex, the promise of greater intimacy might sound like a really compelling argument. After all, who doesn't want to feel closer to someone they care about? But is that even true? Is unprotected sex really more intimate than having sex with a condom?

Since there are so many risks associated with having unprotected sex, like STIs and pregnancy, you really should know if what you gain by losing that safety is worth it. So I reached out to a couple of sex experts to ask if it is really true that going condom free will help improve your intimacy with your partner, or if that's just an excuse people use to skip out on barrier protection. And overwhelmingly, the answer was no! As it turns out, having sex with a condom is way more more intimate, for a handful of reasons. Here's why the experts say, if you want to be more intimate with your partner, have protected sex.

You can just relax and be in the moment.

According to Good Clean Love founder and psychosexual therapist Wendy Strgar, good sex is safe sex. “The use of contraceptives, whether a condom or any other type of contraception, is used to make a sexual encounter safe. Creating a sense of safety makes for a more intimate connection. The idea that using a condom makes sex less intimate is part of the mythology that is perpetuated to justify non-compliance around a shared reproductive responsibility,” she tells Elite Daily. “Feeling safe when we have sex is a huge element of being able to let go and relax into the experience. Agreeing on what that safety means to both people in the couple builds confidence. For some couples this safety may be about disease transmission, for others it maybe about agreement around having a baby.”

Kayla Lords, a writer and sexpert for completely agrees. “Any sex that involves worry about the future outcomes is the opposite of intimate. If your fear about sex without a condom is ‘what if,’ what you're not focusing on is how good, relaxed, or satisfied you feel before, during, or after sex,” she tells Elite Daily.

Safe sex shows you care about your partner.

If you want to know if your partner cares about your wellbeing, Strgar says one of the ways they show it is by protecting both your sexual and reproductive health by using a condom right from the beginning of the relationship. “In new relationships where people may not be aware of each other's sexual history, offering to use a condom can actually make the sex more intimate, because it shows that you care about the long-term wellbeing of the other person.”

Want more intimate sex? Communicate.

If what you really want is deeper intimacy, and not just an excuse to go bareback, Lords says to focus on communication to make your sexual encounters more passionate and connected. “Sex that you communicate about and open up about is automatically more intimate,” says Lords. “It's not necessarily about wearing the condom, it's about having the conversation about sexual health and protection. Once you can easily or matter-of-factly discuss that, it's much easier to talk about how you like to be touched, what kind of sex you want to have, and what feels good to you — all topics that can be difficult to broach and that all impact the level of intimacy you experience with a partner.”

As you can see, what you gain by giving up condoms is really nowhere worth the risks it involves. “The consequences of unprotected sex, whether disease transmission or unwanted pregnancy, can have long-lasting impacts on your life. I don't think any sex is worth risking your health and future over. And being asked or demanded to take that risk by someone who you are thinking about having sex with is anything but intimate,” says Strgar.

"Unprotected sex that you're pressured into, coerced into, or made to feel guilty about is never worth it. Add possible and unknown risks, and the situation becomes even worse,” adds Lords.

At the end of the day, you and your partner get to decide whether or not you use condoms, and why or why not. Just make sure that if you do go that route, it’s because you want to and that you have taken all the steps necessary to make sure you are doing it as safely and responsibly as possible. No "intimacy" is worth giving up your sexual autonomy over, and no partner who would expect you to deserves you.