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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » If you went without condoms once/before...

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Author Topic: If you went without condoms once/before...
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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...and then started using them, what got you to start?

I'm in the middle of a new piece on really good reasons to practice safer sex, and it'd be great to hear from any of you who either started having sex without them and changed your habits to use them or who started using them right from the start.

What was it you heard that really influenced you in practicing safer sex? For that matter, what didn't?

If you also want to talk about what got you to start getting tested, that'd be a goodie, too.

Thanks!

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Love-Life
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For me always using a condom, and knowing how to use it properly, was largely due to this site, I was on here before I started having sex (thanks to my sister) so it was always in the back of my mind to be safe, and have used condoms from the start!

One thing I find hard about practicing safe sex is standing up for myself and being able to say "No condom = No sex." I've only ever been pressured into having sex without a condom by a boyfriend once, and never let it happen ever again.

An interesting tidbit into my sex life, I have only ever had one boyfriend (my current boyfriend) who is as pro-condoms as I am. When we had the conversation he was like "I don't feel comfortable ever having sex without a condom" and I was like "yay!" With every other boyfriend I've had (3) I have always had to be very firm about it, and stick to it, because I was *always* the one who had to say no.

I haven't ever had an STI screening (Bad, I know)! And the only reason for that is that I donate blood so the really scary things are tested for, and I just... never got around to it (Bad, I know!). However, I'm making an appointment and going with my sister because I know it's very very important, which is due to Scarleteen too. And my sister.

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There is an upside to everything, sometimes you just have to turn it upside down to find it.

:-) Vikki (-:

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Anyone else?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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LondonBlue
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I have always been on hormonal BC since having sex, and I'm comfortable with the risk level from that, so I have always considered my sex "safe" without condoms. However, there have been times when I want to use them for other reasons--they make cleanup a lot easier, and make my boyfriend last longer, etc. I found that when I wanted to use a condom, midway through foreplay I would just say "We're using a condom today" and grab one and put it on him. He was usually so pliant by that point that he wouldn't put up much resistance, although he doesn't like the way they smell (he says the feel isn't very different). (Also, per his dislike, I'm looking into non-latex condoms now to find less smelly ones [Smile] )

That probably isn't what you were looking for, but I was going off what Love-Life said about getting your man to use condoms. [Razz]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I'm talking about safer sex here, just FYI, not about birth control: about the actions we take to try and prevent sexually transmitted infections, not pregnancy.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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bluejumprope
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 40774

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In the back of my mind I always wanted safer sex and testing, but just didn't feel able to ask for it because I was afraid of looking stupid or paranoid because lesbian sex is more low risk. I also felt really confused about what those risks even were.

Some things that got me to start:

-A better understanding of STI transmission.

-In general feeling more confident talking about my sexuality and what I want with people. Scarleteen definitely contributed to that.

-Realizing that there were a few STIs I really didn't want. In other words, my desire to avoid STIs began feeling more important than avoiding a possibly awkward conversation. (Also, realizing that I didn't want to be sexually involved with anyone who didn't deeply value talking about sex and safer sex.)

-Being in a non-monogamous relationship and feeling like I wasn't just putting myself at risk, but my partner too.

-A few times hearing older dykes talk about how FREAKING HOT they find gloves. [Smile] Having safer sex framed as something sexy by people who I thought were super cool had a big impact.

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without tenderness, we are in hell. -Adrienne Rich

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Last call on this one: I'm planning to finish this today!

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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treetops
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I didn't use condoms with my first partner as both of us were pretty much new to sexual contact. We didn't get tested either. If I had to do it all over again though, I think I would use barriers more and get tested. I'm much more careful about that kind of thing now, partly due to now having had casual sex/sex with people who have had previous partners, partly due to wanting to know my STI status and look after my health, and partly through reading resources like Scarleteen which remind me how important it is.

Initially in my sex life, too, I wasn't properly aware of all the different kinds of barriers (dams, gloves) and all the times when they should be used. I'm much more clued up on that now.

Basically, the two factors that made me change my behaviour were 1. greater education and awareness and 2. greater confidence in my desire to look after myself and be a responsible partner.

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orca
Scarleteen Volunteer
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With my ex-boyfriend, I went without condoms a couple of months into the relationship without testing first because I hadn't had a partner previously and he claimed he didn't (but I'll never know if that's true). I was also young and really didn't know much about safer sex practices, so I shrugged it off. His penis looked "normal" so I assumed that meant he didn't have anything. We were together for 3 years and he sexually abused me and sexually assaulted me many times throughout the relationship. I tried during the relationship to get him to use condoms again because I was afraid of pregnancy, but he refused and said it was my fault if pregnancy happened because "the woman is supposed to take care of that stuff."

After I finally left him, I tried not to think about any of it, but several months later, I got a full STI screen at my GYN. I freaked out and cried a lot during the week I waited for the call back, because I knew he'd lied to me a lot and had never been tested, and I didn't know if he had been with other people. I got really, REALLY lucky with a full negative screen (except HSV=1, AKA oral herpes AKA cold sores, which is quite common in the adult population of the US and all my sibs and my mom have it). After that, and after a lot of counseling and a lot of education here at Scarleteen, I saw that going without condoms was dangerous because of the risk of STIs and I realized that a caring and loving partner would never put me at risk like that or put me through that emotional torture of not knowing and worrying (because not knowing really is the worst part; once you know, you can take action--there are cures available for most STIs and effective treatments for the rest so people who are positive can still live full lives--but until then, you're just left with doubts and fears).

Now I have a strict rule on testing. I don't have any kind of sex other than manual sex (still protected, though) until both myself and my partner have been tested and share the results with one another, and then we still have to use condoms for at least six months, when we will test again. So far, I've not found a partner who's willing to do so because I live in an area that still expects women to bear the brunt of sexual responsibility (and the few good ones aren't single!), but that's okay because I'd rather have good sex with a caring and responsible partner than risky sex with someone whose actions show they don't really care (actions speak way louder than words).

[ 11-24-2009, 01:51 PM: Message edited by: orca ]

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Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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These are really helpful, y'all: thanks so much for your candor!

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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