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Reasons Why He Won't Wear A Condom And What You Can Do About It

Gay Men and Safer Sex

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A gay couple reaches for a condom.
© Keith Brofsky/Getty Images
This past holiday, Santa bought me an iPhone. I say Santa did it to cover up my gadget obsession. So, here I am in the pedestrian town of New York City with this beautiful piece of machinery (I did say I was a gadget nut, right?) all wrapped up with a hard shell case and a protective film for the screen. It's like Fort Knox around my phone and I hate to look at every protected inch. Part of the enjoyment of the phone is being able to experience the craftsmanship in design the folks at Apple put into the device.

Now, this isn't a plug for Mac lovers, but my wrapped up iPhone experience got me thinking about how many things in my life have to be protected, from my gadgets up to my body. I also thought about the many excuses not to protect my assets: I like the way it looks uncovered; it's bulky when it's protected; it takes the fun out of playing with my toy, etc.

Sure, I want to play with everything in its natural state, but what if I get bumped unexpectedly, trip up a stair, accidentally make a wrong move, or slip up and what I'm trying to protect goes flying toward unrepairable damage?

The fact is, despite my desire to go unprotected, it just has to be done. I remember what my mom always told me: It's not the what is's that we protect ourselves from, it's the what ifs. And those what ifs can have a huge impact on our entire lives if we're not careful (and I'm not just talking about an unfortunate fall of an iPhone on concrete). Our health can fall victim to a number of unwelcome crashes if we don't protect our bodies.

When it comes to health and sex, I often here reasons why guys either refuse to use a condom or let others explore without protection. Here are the top excuses that many of us have heard and your strategy for practicing safer sex and staying protected:

What He Says: "I Can't Stay Erect"
What You Do: Offer The Alternative
Any man that tells you that he can't stay erect with a condom on or is allergic to latex and still asks you to have unprotected sex with him is lying. A man that actually has a diagnosed aversion to latex should already know that there are alternatives to latex condoms, such as these non-latex brands. And if he is telling the truth and asks you to hit the sack without a wrap, then believe he doesn't have your best interest in mind.

There are men, however, who are allergic to latex. That's why they make prophylactics that are latex free, but just as effective at protecting you from HIV or STDs. Keep both varieties of latex and non-latex condoms in your stash just in case. And if you're traveling for an adventure, add a latex-free alternative to your bag. What He Says: "I'm Clean"
What You Do: Get Proof
Our external health (or the perception of) doesn't always match what's going on inside. Many STDs, including HIV, don't show on the outside, even though they can be transmitted. So, the next time you see a guy that "looks clean," don't assume they are STD free. It may be awkward, but ask for his safer sex license or for proof of his recent test results. Don't take his word at face value, even if he is a sweet and trustworthy guy. And always side with caution by using a condom. What He Says: "It'll Ruin The Mood"
What You Do: Incorporate Condoms Into Foreplay
Pausing for contraceptives can kill a bedroom buzz; that is if you don't prepare for it. The mood is what you make it. Keep the condoms close by. Practice opening the package quickly to avoid a cumbersome unwrapping. Ask him to help you put it on. Get creative with how you present it. Incorporating condoms into the moment can add to foreplay, as opposed to cutting through the mood. What He Says: "My Friend Said [Insert STD Myth Here]"
What You Do: Get The Facts Yourself
There are certain things we can trust to our friends' advice, like recipes and movies and car buying experiences. When it comes to your health, do your own research and make sure you are getting information from reputable sources. STDs like HIV and herpes are one hit wonders. Once you get them there is no going back. Why leave that up to chance and gossip? What He Says: Anal Is The Only Way
What You Do: Show Him Another Road To Paradise
There is more than one way to the sexual promise land. Some guys do think that anal is the only way to a good time, but there are alternatives, such as intercrural or oral sex. There are also a number of toys that can add spice into the bedroom. If anal isn't your thing, get creative. There are many reasons why going bareback may seem like the best way to go, but the risks outweigh the benefits. Despite what he says before or during sex or your desire to enjoy sex uncovered, protecting yourself from the damaging elements of sex.
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