We’re happy to welcome in Dave from theohface.com, a blog that discusses sex, gender and sexuality issues from a sex positive perspective. His mission is to help create safe spaces for dialogue about these issues and to diminish the stigma surrounding them. Look out for more posts from him in 2013; he’ll be guest posting monthly about sexual health from a male perspective.
Today, he’s asking why people don’t use the female condom:
The female condom (FC) is a strange and altogether unsexy looking thing. It’s big and shapeless and even a bit intimidating. But to be fair, the male condom isn’t particularly sexy looking either. So why is it that so few people use the female condom?
There are some really great reasons for women to consider using the female condom. They are the only HIV/STI prevention device that puts the power of protection squarely in the hands of women. The traditional condom is often the male partner’s responsibility to supply and apply before sex. Not all men have adequate condom education and this can lead to improper application and higher risk of STI transmission and pregnancy.
One of the most common complaints about the FC is the unsightly ring that hangs out around the vulva. This ring, however, is an effective form of HPV and Herpes prevention. HPV and Herpes are both spread through skin-skin contact and traditional condoms do nothing to prevent this. It has also been reported that, during intercourse, this ring can be a source of pleasure as it creates friction against the clitoris.
The other main barrier keeping people from using the female condom is that they just don’t know how to use it. Women who are considering using the FC are encouraged to go to their local clinic or drug store and pick up a few to take home and become familiar with. Learning how to insert it and remove it from one’s own body and becoming comfortable with the female condom can be a big step for women wanting to take control of their sexual health.
Female condoms empower women to be in complete control of their own STI prevention. Like all new things, it may take some time to get used to. Women wanting to use the FC may have to educate their partners and perhaps even face some resistance about using them, but few things are quite as sexy as an STI test that comes back negative. Educate yourself about the Female Condom, go out and grab a couple, talk to your friends or partners about them. Fear of the unknown shouldn’t prevent you from being as safe as possible while enjoying your sex life.