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Of forgotten condoms. And days without pants.

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Submitted by Heather Corinna on Tue, 2013-01-22 15:24

It occurs to me that the "we both forgot to use condoms" thing that comes up often enough is a bit like suggesting that a person forgot to wear pants.

For a whole day.

And didn't notice.

At all.

They got home, and after hours of being out in the cold or the sun, at work, getting lunch, taking the bus back and forth, only when they saw their pants laying on the bed did they go, "Whoah! I haven't had pants on ALL DAY! I had NO IDEA WHATSOEVER!"

Just think about it. Seriously. Think about it. If in doubt, try The Great Pantsless Experiment and see how long you go without noticing.

Here's a thing to know: chances are AWFULLY good that at least one person in that situation, and certainly the person who would be WEARING the condom realizes they're not wearing a condom. Probably right from the start, but if not then pretty darn shortly thereafter.

That person is highly unlikely not to feel any difference at all, because even though various kinds of sex can feel just as awesome with condoms on, it still does tend to feel different. Even when we're wearing the most comfortable pants that we own, most things we might do while wearing them, if not all things, are not going to feel the same as when we're sans pants.

So, at least one person in this equation knows a condom wasn't put on. But probably the person who also didn't, with them, take a second to stop, get the condom, get the lube, put the condom on, lube it up, then go back to what they wanted to do? They know there wasn't a condom, too. Or they at least know that they do not know if there was.

There's so much one could say about this issue and this script -- particularly since the why of this happening and people presenting it as "everyone forgetting" often involves some common dynamics, like engaging in sex when one or both folks really aren't ready to manage some of the notsexystuff we need to to enjoy the sexystuff, lack of communication, lack of assertiveness, or crummy sexual or relationship dynamics -- but because I want to keep it short and sweet today, ultimately, when sex is consensual, the deal is that we all make active choices about things like if condoms are on or not.

Everyone has the right to make that choice, but if condoms are your only contraception method and you don't want to take huge risks of pregnancy, or you want to radically reduce your risks of STIs, then at least one person involved, and ideally anyone involved in sex where condoms are wanted or needed, needs to take responsibility. For not only remembering, but especially since forgetting probably isn't what is really going on, for setting condom use as a hard limit, holding that limit, and making clear if sex is going to happen, SO ARE CONDOMS. And if a condom isn't put on, the kinds of sex where they are wanted or needed isn't going to happen. And if someone can't get down with those limits and givens, then that person also isn't going to be the person having sex with you.

In a word, at least one person, but ideally both, has to decide to ditch the denial script about everyone forgetting and instead be the people who hold the line for everyone remembering when anyone "forgets."

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