When a Woman Doesn't Want To Use a Condom

Here Are Some Tips To Try

Young man sitting on bed, woman sleeping in background
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Many people think that, in a heterosexual couple, it's always the male sex partner who is reluctant to use a condom. However, that isn't actually the case. Often it's a woman saying that she doesn't like sex with condoms or doesn't want to use them.

Some women are only worried about pregnancy, or unable to think of themselves of being at risk for STDs. Some women think of condoms as something that are for other people, because of class, race, or other factors.

These women can require some creative convincing to have safe sex. Sometimes, if they can't be convinced to use condoms, they may even need to be given a polite refusal. However, some women don't like condoms because they make sex uncomfortable or even painful. This group can actually be helped.

Three common reasons why women have bad experiences with condom sex are latex allergies, problems with nonoxynol-9, and partners who don't use enough lubricant. The irritation from any one of these problems can leave a woman feeling very uncomfortable. Worse, that irritation can also leave her vulnerable to urinary tract infections, yeast infections, and bacterial vaginosis. Fortunately, all of these problems are pretty easy to deal with.

If your partner tells you that condoms make sex hurt, listen. Then let her know there are some ways to make it more comfortable to practice safer sex:

  • Switch to unlubricated condoms.  Then use a lot of water-based, or silicone-based lubricant (making sure that it doesn't have N-9). You can (almost) never have too much lube. Lube is an easy way to make sex better.
  • Try a couple of different condom brands. Different latex condoms may contain different types of plant proteins. Interestingly, it's generally those proteins that individuals that are allergic, or sensitive. Few people are allergic tot he latex itself.
  • Switch to polyurethane condoms. These condoms are latex free and protective against STDs (which natural skin condoms are not). Even better, you can use oil-based lubricants with them! They are, however, somewhat more expensive than latex condoms, and may break more frequently.
  • Switch to polyisoprene condoms. These condoms are made with a synthetic latex that is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. They may be preferable to polyurethane condoms for some individuals. The sensation from them is also more like a traditional, latex condom. 

Some women may never like safe sex as much as they like unprotected sex. However, when safe sex is important, it can be worth the compromise. It's also important to remember that there are always tips and tricks for making safe sex hot sex. An open mind, a little imagination, and knowledge about latex alternatives can go a long way to making girls like condoms. 

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