If you've ever had any kind of consensual sex without safer sex or birth control, you did because....

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I didn't realize or think there were any real risks.
13% (290 votes)
I didn't feel confident insisting on birth control or safer sex.
4% (82 votes)
I figured it was my partner's responsibility, not mine.
3% (70 votes)
I didn't know how to use safer sex or birth control and was embarrassed to say so.
1% (20 votes)
I didn't feel like I had any real say in the matter.
2% (50 votes)
I didn't care about the risks, or felt like they were worth taking.
10% (236 votes)
Everything just happened too fast.
15% (336 votes)
There weren't any condoms or other protection available.
10% (234 votes)
I wanted a pregnancy or an STI.
3% (60 votes)
My partner refused to use any protection or talked me out of it.
9% (211 votes)
Some other reason (tell us in the comments).
5% (119 votes)
I have never had any kind of sex unprotected.
24% (546 votes)
Total votes: 2254


What my boyfriend and I do sometimes we have sex for a little bit without a condom just because it feels better, but when we start to get really, really into it we put a condom on. From what I've read pre-cum can't impregnate you, right?

Yes, you CAN get pregnant from pre-ejaculate fluid! Educate and protect yourself accordingly, every time!

...and it didn't work for my parents, which is why I'm sitting right here today. I'd classify the choice you're describing, especially given what you're asking, as not knowing there are risks.

It is much less likely, to be sure. Considerably so. And it's understood that it is highly UNlikely if a guy urinates before sex, since urine will tend to clear the urethra of any traces of semen from a previous ejaculation.

But that is not without risk of pregnancy, and certainly poses the same risks of sexually transmitted infections as anything else. Especially when you're young, the risks of pregnancy AND STIs are nearly always higher than for older folks, so you really have to bear in mind with your sexual choices that, if you're of the usual age group we see here, your risks are probably higher right now than they are for the whole of the population.

For condoms to be effective, they need to be used for ALL genital contact, every time, from start to finish. If you want to help them feel better, use extra lubricant, including a few drops inside the condom before your partner puts it on.

Editor & Founder, Scarleteen: Sex Ed for the Real World
Author, S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and Col

My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years on the 25th of next month. We are both virgins, and have never had any kind of sex with anyone else before our relationship (I'm 19 and he is 18 -- my first kiss was with him, and I was only his second!). The "farthest" we have gone is manual sex, and we do not use protection for that because 1) there is 0 risk of pregnancy and 2) neither of us have any STIs. When we do decide to have actual intercourse someday, we will definitely be using protection: I've already been on the pill for about a year for general health reasons, and we will use condoms as well, every time! :)

i simply am allergic and we cant find non latex ones

You're aware that the female condom is non-latex, yes? As well, one common brand of non-latex male condoms are Avanti condoms, by Durex. They're pretty widely available.

If you can't find either of those around you, you can talk to your sexual healthcare provider or pharmacist and see if they can't get them in for you.

And just in case you mean a latex allergy keeps you not just from safer sex, but from using any kind of birth control, you have a lot more options for BC than just condoms. You can click over here to take a look: Birth Control Bingo!

Editor & Founder, Scarleteen: Sex Ed for the Real World
Author, S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and Col

Jerk insisted it felt sooooooooooooo much better for him nude and got petulant when I protested that I'm not on the pill. Well I didn't feel any more physical pleasure.

im 19 and shes 17 and it just feels better to have sex without any sex protection things.

The pertinent questions with that sentiment though, are for whom does it feel better (women can't often even feel a condom, especially when it's being used with lubricant, which also tends to make a big diff in how they feel for men), and for how long will it feel better? Will it feel better for the person who becomes pregnant when she doesn't want to be? Or the person who winds up with genital herpes? Probably not. Will some slight difference -- when there even is one -- in sexual sensation be worth a negative outcome, some of which are permanent? Doubtful.

Editor & Founder, Scarleteen: Sex Ed for the Real World
Author, S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and Col

It happened on a school bus and the first sexual encounter for both of us and it was head which at the time didn't seem like a big deal. but wish i knew what i know now then. it turned out ok thankfully.

My last girlfriend was fairly paranoid about diseases. She and I got tested for all STD's (STI's) before we ever thought of taking our clothes off together. We remained faithfully monogamous with each other. I didn't cheat on her and at least as far as I know, she never cheated on me (she never gave me any reason to think that she was). A few months after we broke up, I got myself checked again, and came up clean.

Don't know if I'd recommend this method of disease prevention to anyone else, but this is how it worked out for us.

A certain jerk refused to use a condom because he had had a vasectomy and that it felt better because of his size. I should have realised then that he had little to no respect for my wishes. He later sexually assualted me and I promptly dumped him.

I'm a virgin with no prior sexual experience besides my current boyfriend (oral & manual), and his last sexually active relationship ended over a year ago. He has not had any symptoms/a doctor find anything during routine check-ups since then, so we figure it's generally ok. I'm going to start taking the necessary precautions now, though, after educating myself on this site. Thanks a bunch for all the great articles!

yes i know this is the kind of thing you read in magazines and think "WHAT HOW COULD YOU NOT KNOW?!"
but i didn't think you could get pregnant unless on your period :s
but thankfully my boyfriend must know because we always stop before any pre ejactulation anyway
we've ever used a condom but not purposely..
just dont have any ><

prime example why you should educate yourself on these matters. It's your body and it's your future- it definitely matters. If you know you don't know a lot about it, don't just go ahead with it anyway, research and find out. And it isn't just pregnancy that could be an issue, there are STIs and health issues at steak too. Be sure to learn from this and use this site to avoid this kind of ignorance in the future. Get you and your boyfriend tested and invest in some condoms. Not having condoms is not an excuse, get some, or else the conscious decision to have unprotected sex anyway would be on purpose.

I have noticed that when I am having sex with a woman for the first time, and we are moving from oral to intercourse there is an urgency... maybe even a fear that if we slow down that we'll back out. The problem of not slowing down to use a condom the first time a couple has intercourse, is that once the precedence has been set, it is tough to begin using a condom every time from beginning to end. The attitude is that, "oh well, we have already exposed ourselves to the risk of STD/STIs". Therefore, in the future, I find that we often rely on other forms of birth control (pill, IUD, Depo) and combine that with the withdraw technique. This of course, leaves us both complete open to contracting STD/STIs.

My partner and I were the same sex(physically) and I knew she had no STDs.

My boyfriend can't keep it up with a condom on, of any type, his doctor says it's an allergy. He's been tested for all of the STDs and I'm on birth control, only then did I feel safe sleeping with him without a condom.

See guyz, I am a male, but I think that we should try to control our desires till its safe and acceptable. I mean if the girl doesnt want pregnency at the stage then we should take precautions carefully. We should try to understand their feelings.

Neither of us orgasm. So he doesn't even need to pull out. Yeah, theres pre-cum but I've been on BC for a few years now for health reasons. Sex feels better for both of us without a condom. We're both clean. I trust him he trusts me. I know you're all rolling your eyes but its a decision we talked about and we've decided that for our relationship we won't use condoms. But if either of us start orgasming, the condoms are coming out even though I'm allergic to latex.

To all you girls who say 'oh can't I'm allergic' let me englighten you. Trojan Supra and Durex Avanti. both made out of polyeurothane. twice as strong as latex, half as thin and it transmits body heat. the guys I've used those with have said they can barely tell they have one on. I get them easily at CVS

relating to oral sex: we were both each others first sexual contact, and are each sure we're clean.

My husband and I looked into it and felt that it was very unlikely to get pregnant during the first 2 days of my period and decided to have unprotected sex. We use a diaphram the rest of the time.

We dated in our early 20's in the mid 70's but we knew enough about BC then (from our own learning, no sex ed back then) and knew it safer then to have unprotected sex. We knew each other long enough to trust each other and were faithful to each other. We've continued to be faithful to each other going on 32 years of marriage. Note: Marriages CAN last more than five months or five years!!

Me and my husband just got married and i found out that i had an std a month after we started having sex.
I was treated but he hasn't been yet so if we have sex and he does go inside of me can i still get the std back?

Anonymous, I don't know what infection particularly you are talking about, but for the most part, yes: if only one of you is treated, you may well just pass it back and forth. Your healthcare provider likely told you that, as well.

However, too, given an STI has been recently present, having sex without latex barriers, period, until a few months pass and you both are retested is not wise. I don't know when the STI was acquired, but you obviously may also need to have a conversation about monogamy and find out if that's an agreement you both have or have not been respecting and do or do not intend to follow: if not, you'll want to always use barriers, from here on out.

Editor & Founder, Scarleteen: Sex Ed for the Real World
Author, S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and Col

My husband and I had been together for 8 years before we got married. Before we got married we both got retested. Please note the REtested part. We were both negative for all STI's and our blood test were both negative for Hepatitis B,C,D, & G, HIV and MRSA/VRE. Yes MRSA/VRE can be sexually transmitted. I'm not looking to get pregnant right not but since we are married it would be okay! We are married but most importantly we are in monogamy and we both agreed that we would inform each other before we strayed!

my boyfriend and i were both drunk, i was blacked out. we usually practice the pull out method, which is apparently difficult when intoxicated. i never expected him to make a mistake, but i learned my lesson. a) less drinking, b) more condoms.

Personally I would take a 3rd lesson in addition to the ones you listed: don't date someone who thinks it's okay to have sex with someone who's blacked out...

If you were blacked out, it wasn't consensual because you were in no position to consent...

I never drank or did drugs but I enjoyed the adrenaline rush of the risk of unsafe sex. It was like a high knowing it was dangerous. I also had a history of Self-injury and it played a major part in my decision making.

alcohol was of course involved. Theer was a little party at my cousins house after everyone left we slpet together on the couch, he was a friend so i wasnt to concerned about stds. Honestly i really didnt even think about protection. It wasnt becaus i had been drinkin either because i still knew what i was doing but i guess i felt the alcohol kinda geve me an excuse to be a little bit more wilder because i never would have done that if i wouldnt have been drinking.

My husband and I have been using natural family planning for 4 years. This method involves know exactly when the woman is capable of getting pregnant, and not having vaginal intercours at that time. It's all about having a strong awareness about your own body. We both got checked for everything before we decided to have sex. There are lots of reasons why we don't use barriers or hormonal birth control. I am on medications that would make bad interactions with the pill. I have a tilted cervix that wouldn't let me use a diaphram, cervical cap, etc. We are scientifcally opposed to using an IUD, and the failure rate of sponges and spermacides doesn't make them very realistic as a reliable method of birth control.

I'm underage, but very well informed about sex and contraception. Me and my best friend (who has previously been my boyfriend) are both consenting and I feel I'm ready for sex. I know that sixteen is the legal age of consent, but there's no set age for when I should feel ready to lose my virginity. We plan to use contraception (he and I are both very aware of STIs and pregnancy) and he's always used contraception anyway. He doesn't have any STIs and I'm a virgin so neither do I, but we still think using protection is a very important part of sex. We both recieved harsh criticisms for our choice (he's three years older than me, and strictly speaking is classed as a ephebophile, though the law will class him as a paedophile) but personally I think that if both parties are consenting and use contraception during sex then there's not really a problem.

I feel that we're making the right decision, and if not then at least we're being sensible and using contraception.

You are well informed and seem mature (beyond your years).

My comment is GENERIC: Use Protection.

You can NEVER know another person's sexual history (unless you have spent every moment of their life in their presence).

Get tested together. Understand the results. Know the risks.

BE SMART. I am sure you will be fine, but know that at the age of 13, you are not going to marry this BOY. Do not sacrifice your well being for some (prolly fun/awesome) Sex.

Peace Love and Acceptance.

Alcohol has made me have sex unprotected.

Alcohol---do not get me started.
alcohol is fun and is commonly abused by persons exposed to it at an early age and under really Weird circumstances (or am i just speaking for myself?)

my point is---STOP.

i am drunk as i write this and am in an abusive relationship Because Alcohol causes me to accept UNACCEPTABLE conditions (sexually and otherwise)


Please, do not let alcohol destroy you as it has me.

I believe in the power of women helping women.

I have no mother, no sister...I have no one...but YOU are HERE. and I am HERE. and if this helps, then it all makes sense.

I don't know you, but I Feel you. I know your situation, and (sadly) I prolly know your MINDSET.

p.s. I am 20 and so destroyed from sex that i KNEW was Harmless...yea...young emotionally distraught girls are in no position to make sexual decisions with the potential to ruin their lives.

If I am out of line, I apologize. But if this reverberates with your inner sensibility, feel free to contact me or question me further.

Peace Love and Acceptance.

Dear Seeker,
You've given some wonderful advice on this site, but I wonder, are you following it yourself? I'm younger than you, but I think we share a common belief in women helping women- so maybe I can help you too. My mother taught me this: that everyone has a certain set of "dealbreakers". A dealbreaker is something that you just can't live with in a relationship.
I'll share with you mine: 1. If a man ever physically abused me, or if I saw him abuse someone else, he would never see me again. I would be out the door THAT DAY. 2. If I were ever verbally abused, I would make every effort to work it out, but with the understanding that some things are just not worth working out. 3. I am no one's second choice. I better have his full attention and that means no polygamists, cheaters, or three ways for that matter. 4. I can forgive a man who cheats and apologizes, but he better have a damn good reason, because I don't believe in third chances. And no bringing home any STIs or babies either. I cannot forgive the man who cheats and doesn't tell me. 5. If I am not treated as an equal partner, I can't be happy. So I will neither play his mother (that means he better help clean house if I work too!), nor will I ever tolerate being treated as an inferior.
You say you are in an abusive relationship and so I'd like you to consider this question- what are your dealbreakers?
And if you need courage, there's a kick-ass Spanish songwriter called Bebe who wrote a fantastic song "Ella" (She). Check it out, I'm sure you'll be able to find an English translation if you Google it.
Please don't stay in unacceptable conditions any longer. You don't deserve it, because you are a strong, generous and capable woman. If this is apparent from something you posted online while drunk... well I think you see where I'm going with this.
With love and hope- a girlfriend.

My boyfriend and I were just trying things out. We were both virgins at the time and neither of us have any STDs or STIs. We did not plan to continue long enough for either of us to reach orgasm,and we made sure that there was no sperm in his pre-cum by having him pee first.

When we do have intercourse long enough for either of us to come, there is always a condom involved (as mine can sometimes trigger his).

Always be SAFE.


I trusted men because I believe in the good of humanity (also, I love sex), but an optimistic outlook and good intentions are not a safeguard against reality.

I wish the world was a Utopian paradise of pleasure and Fabulosity...but it isn't.

ALWAYS be Safe. Even if you LOVE him, you need to LOVE YOURSELF. If he cares for you, he will respect and want you more as an offshoot for you caring about yourself.

Be Well. BE strong. Be a Woman.

I always use birth control, and I'm really good about taking my pills, or not having sex when I miss one or more until I've taken seven consecutive pills on time.
But I just hate condoms! They feel horrible, and as much as I want to be safe, and as much better as I feel when I'm clean afterward, I just can't bring myself to sacrifice all sexual pleasure for it. The last time we tried, both my partner and I felt like we had burns and soreness from the friction, even though it was a lubricated condom and I was well warmed up. My poor boyfriend had a stinging sensation all day- but neither of us are allergic to latex!
Any ideas for me?

I don't mean to sound mysogynistic, but a lot of the responses here seem to villianize men. My thing is, just say no, and if you can't practise refusal skills, then intercourse for you should be out of the question.
The other reason I'm posting is that when I lost my virginity, it was unprotected sex. She had only had one other partner and was tested diseas free (thank god). I went to her place and she insisted that I didn't wear a condom, but instead "just pull out." I did, and we walked away baby-free, but in hindsight, I probably should have insisted on the condom, seeing as she wasn't on the pill either.
I'm not saying it's her fault, as sex is kind of one of those "pair" things, because I realize I should have wrapped it, but was short sighted by A) not wanting my first time to feel unnatural and B) not wanting to make this girl "the one that got away."
It isn't all our fault ladies, you need to tell us no if we are too stubborn to me smart about sex.

I've actually never been in a situation with a condom.. I've only had sex with one person, and I've been on birth control since the start, he was clean, i was clean (and a virgin), and even though there is a slight chance of still getting pregnant on the pill, if i do, i'll find out in one cycle and take the necessary measures at this point in my life.
basically, baby is not an option and i'm super pro-choice.. my body, my choice.

The only times we've had sex without condoms is when we don't intend to finish. It just to like..feel each other I suppose. I'm on the pill so I'm not really worried about the precum.

(Just want to make sure everyone knows that when it comes to safer sex in terms of preventing infections, not ejaculating doesn't remove the risks, and may not even reduce them, particularly with infections like HPV and Herpes which aren't spread by fluids in the first place. And pre-ejaculate can carry the same infections ejaculate can.)

Editor & Founder, Scarleteen: Sex Ed for the Real World
Author, S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and Col

Sometimes me and my boyfriend use the pull out method because we find it so exciting. We've tried hormonal birth control and other ways of having sex without a condom, but it turns out it's not the sensation of no condom, it's just the idea of doing something so risky!

well me and my girlfriend are both "virgins", but the first time we had anal sex we didnt use any form of protection. to be fair, she was on her period and neither of us have any stds, and anytime we've done it since then we used spermicidal jelly, just in case anything...dripped out...

I am in a monogamous relationship and both of us have been tested for STD, STV's and I'm unable to get pregnant, so the only time I use protection is when my partner wishes too (which is 75% of the time or more).

Despite having discussed it many times and told my partner I want him to use condoms and pull out I let him persist in having sex with me without doing so to hurt myself and make myself feel bad.


Darling, the experimentation and threshold testing of pain mixed with pleasure is one thing. But going out of your way to actually FEEL both physical AND emotional pain purposely is not good. Life can be so beautiful and lovely if we want it to be. But we also have to remember that life doesn't owe us any favours. It will all eventually come down to what YOU end up doing and what YOU want. Clearly you're not happy about this, and if you were one of my friends I would already be over there having words with this jerk you call your "partner". Just remember, within a partnership is a strong bond of understanding and compassion. If that understanding and compassion isn't mutual and shared between the both of you equally then there is NO way that it can last or get better.
If you want happiness, and everyone does deserve it, love, then you need to make a stand and take the proper steps to get there. Even bring along a girlfriend if you haveto. They're there to help and if they're real friends then they always will be.

I hope that I've helped you somehow. Just keep in mind that you do deserve to be happy and there shouldn't be anyone capable of taking that away from you. Everyone is entitled to this life and also the entitlement to live it happily. Babysteps, love.

Goodluck with everything.

I had sex with my ex girlfriend without protection 7 or 8 months back.I fear that she might have STD or something.There are still no symptoms.So I think I m clean.Plus,I cant consult it with anyone.We broke up.Do you think I have any kind of STD?Plus I m in a relationship with someone,who truly loves me and I also love her a lot.W talked about having sex,and we had oral sex,but there was no symptoms.It has been about 2 months I guess.We really want to have sex without protection at least give it a try once.Should I?When will it be alright to have sex without protection?please reply.Thank you

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