Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Carrying Your Own Condom is Worse Than Not Using A Condom At All?

Ever think about how much does it really matters where you have sex, who carries the condom, or even what time or day you choose to have sex? Maybe more than you think. In this 3 part series, we will share how these 3 Sexual Habits may be affecting your sexual health and tricks on how to break em.’

There was a “social memory” study done where 57 female undergraduates read a fictitious woman's diary describing a sexual encounter where the woman provided a condom, the man provided a condom, or the couple had unprotected intercourse. Now, they were asked to make behavioral and interpersonal judgments about the couple in addition to rating the female on several personality traits.

Do you know what the result was?

Women rated the female’s behavior more negatively and inappropriate if the woman was the one providing the condom compared to her partner offering one or both not using any protection at all. In addition to judging the woman’s behavior from a moral standpoint, they also felt that the woman would think less of herself if she were the one to offer using a condom. (again, compared to her offering one or not using anything).

Image by Otis Historical Archives of “National Museum of Health & Medicine”

Quite the sexual double standard. Apparently, carrying your own condoms as woman is worse than not using a condom at all. Smh.
To be honest, I can count on one hand the number of times I have actually bought my own condoms. I have no problem getting my birth control or even getting my tampons. However, why is buying condoms still embarrassing? It shouldn’t be. Like the woman in the study, I assume I’ll be judged negatively. Now, this does not make any sense, if I can’t be a big girl and buy condoms then I shouldn’t be having sex to begin with. Why do we assume it’s the man’s job to protect us? This is the perfect example of how gender stereotypes continue to infiltrate our modern day dating culture.  
So, who should carry / buy and offer it? The Billfold asked people about whether the woman or the man should pay for condoms and whose responsibility it is. The following were some of the main responses of the survey:

    1. Women and men should be equally responsible for paying for condoms.
    2. It’s the same debacle of who should pay for dinner.
    3. They’re always free.
    4. Everyone can agree to have them in the house, girls can put them in purses, and boys wouldn’t have to always worry about putting them in their pockets.
    5. Everyone should keep them in their bedside table.
    6. The person more committed to being laid or the person more committed to using a condom.

For fear of ruining the pleasure and spontaneity, we are not consistently using condoms. This is why the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenge in Global Health are offering $100,000 to someone who's clever enough to develop the next generation of condom. In case you did not know, condoms have been in use for about 400 years yet they have undergone very little technological improvement in the past 50 years.

Here’s the trick, start buying your own condoms. Add them to your grocery list. Grab a box when you go to the drug store. Bring a girlfriend with you or ask a buddy to get some with the drink mixers. Keep a stash in your apartment, a few in your glove compartment, slip one into the nifty Just In Case compacts where you can hide it in your makeup. One can fit in a wallet and of course place a handful in the good ole’ sock drawer. It’s not his responsibility or hers’. It’s everyone’s.

When is the last time you went out a bought your own box of condoms?


  1. Independent strong bisexual female here.

    Yes, for homosexual relationships, I agree the responsibility is 50/50.

    This is a different issue for heterosexual couples. For 40 weeks, a woman is physically at a disadvantage/vulnerable whilst pregnant. From a survival standpoint, it makes sense to pick a mate who is strong + smart + wants to protect the mother of his child and the child growing in her belly.

    If a man doesn't have the resources (time/money) + the forethought to buy/bring condoms before copulating/making love, that to me speaks volumes about his character.

    Same principle when it comes to who-pays-for-the-date (again, more applicable to heterosexual couples). If a man does not have the resources to pay for the date, what does that say about his ability to support you when you're not able to work while pregnant + support the additional costs of raising a child? Even in a heterosexual couple where the woman is the breadwinner and the man a "house husband" there is still that 40 weeks of pregnancy when the woman/breadwinner cannot work.

    My 2 pence.

    - Janica

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  3. Thank you for your input! I think that heterosexual or not, if you're having sex with someone that it should be a shared decision. In the case that the man or woman for that matter don't have the finances to purchase condoms, there are so many clinics/places that give out condoms for free. Yes, If the man doesn't have the common decency or forethought to bring condoms than chances are you're not the only person he's doing that with. With that being said, its clearly not working for us to rely on the man to bring the condom in considering the fact that STI rates are very high. It also seems like we're not consistently saying "NO" if the man doesn't have a condom. So, what does that say about woman who still go through with it? Pregnant or not or being the breadwinner or not, it's in everyone's best interest to be better about protecting their own health.


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