How to talk about condoms in your relationship or to a new partner?
- Taking responsibility: Talking about condoms is not a sign of distrust towards the partner. Instead it shows that somebody wants to protect themselves and their partner. The other person might have been thinking about it as well and might actually be relieved.
- Trust: A conversation about protection and condoms can strengthen the mutual trust.
- Simple terms: You could say something like “I want both of us to protect ourselves“ or “I have a condom on hand and I would like us to use it.”
- Making a nonverbal statement: You could put a condom where your partner can see it. This might make it easier to start a conversation about condoms and to use them. But perhaps there are reasons not to leave a condom in plain view. You can judge this best for your own situation.
- Taking action: Having a conversation before sex might not work. If you are a man and you want to use a condom, you can just put it on. It is not recommendable for a woman to put a condom on a man’s penis without asking him first. You should only do this if you are certain that he will react positively.
What to do if your partner does not want to use condoms or has a different understanding of sexuality?
- Decide for yourself: If you want to use a condom but your partner does not agree, it is your choice whether you want to have sex without protection. You can decline it. That means you will not have sex with them. Your partner must respect your choice and is not allowed to put pressure on you. In Germany, forcing someone into sexual acts is sexual assault which is forbidden.
- Discuss problems: Try to ask your partner why he or she does not want to use a condom. Your partner might be inexperienced in the use of condoms or maybe he just did not find the right condom size yet. You can solve these problems together if you have the opportunity and trust to talk about them.
- Respect and sympathy instead of violence: Even if two people have a different understanding of sexuality, they should still treat each other with respect and consideration. They should not put themselves or each other under pressure. Instead, take time together to find out what both of you like or do not like.
Generally, sexuality is about experiencing together what both of you want and enjoy.
If a person shows they do not like something (e.g. by turning away or saying “No”) the partner must act on that. Sometimes it is necessary to accept, that a fulfilling sexuality is not possible with a certain partner. On the other hand, there is always the chance of two people finding new ways to lovingly discover each other.