Some guys out there just really don't like condoms — and that includes plenty of guys who say they won't use condoms during sex. It's weird, because by now condom usage seems like it should be such a common sense thing — why wouldn't you want the sex you're having to be safe sex?
Some men's refusal to wear a condom is accompanied by reasons or excuses that range from "I don't like the way it feels," to "but you're on the pill/have an IUD/some other birth control method, so it doesn't matter." (This is all super frustrating, by the way.) So, if you're one of these guys in question, consider this an open letter to you, because there are a few things you really, really need to know.
First of all, here's the thing: Even if it's true that you personally enjoy sex more without a condom, that doesn't mean your partner will. In fact, your partner will probably be able to enjoy sex a whole lot more if they know they don't have to worry about pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections, because, guess what? The pill and other birth control methods don't protect against STIs — only condoms do — so it does matter.
Eventually, there might come a time when you and your partner mutually (the key word here is "mutually") agree to not use condoms together, and that's different — if that works for you both, have at it! But refusing to wear a condom when the person you want to sleep with doesn't feel comfortable having sex without one? That isn't fun for anyone. And you want sex to be fun, right? That means you need to be on the same page as your partner when it comes to consent and protection.
Is your reasoning for ditching the condom that you'll pull out? While the withdrawal method can be effective when done 100 percent correctly, it doesn't always go according to plan. In fact, according to Planned Parenthood, about 1 in 5 women who use the pull-out method will become pregnant every year. That's a pretty big risk. "But there's always Plan B!" you say. Sure, that's true. But Plan B, while safe, isn't something that should be used regularly for birth control — it's called "emergency" contraception for a reason.
Emergency contraceptive (EC) pills are expensive, for one thing. While you might be able to find some brands for less, Plan B costs around $40–$50, according to Planned Parenthood. Using EC can also cause some seriously annoying and uncomfortable side effects, like nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache and dizziness, according to Plan B's website. Not to mention, it can also cause bleeding between periods. So yes, while taking Plan B is an option, it's not one that you should want to rely on.
Honestly, the facts and statistics are important, but more than anything, it should come down to this: You should want your partner to feel safe and comfortable while you're getting it on — it shouldn't just be about your pleasure and satisfaction.
Refusing to wear a condom when asked — or even just making excuses to get out of it before putting one on — can make your partner feel like you don't care about their safety or their pleasure. Because let's be real, you can't really enjoy sex when you're stressed out about what could happen, can you?
So, the next time you're about to have sex and find yourself coming up with a reason not to put on a condom, take a second and ask yourself: "Am I making sure I respect my partner's needs along with my own?" Before you make a move, the answer should always, always, always be yes.
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