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7 reasons married couples might use condoms

by Dr. Jill McDevitt May 18, 2016

Reasons to use condoms


My husband and I have been together for eight years, and we had sex without a condom for the first time last month.

Yes, that’s right. Before one month ago, our genitals had never actually touched each other without a condom between them. Never. Not once. Not even the tip. Not for a second.

“But, WHY!?!” people will ask as confused and curious and somewhat concerned as you may be right now. As a sexuality educator, I blog about my sex life and how it relates to larger sociocultural sexuality topics, so it has been no secret to my friends and followers about our choice to use a condom every time, and we get a whole lot of “but, WHY!?!”

That confusion arises because when it comes to sexuality and human nature, so often we assume that everyone else is just like us, and therefore other people do their sexuality the way same way we do ours. For some folks, gleefully ditching condoms upon marriage is the way they do their sexuality, so they just don’t realize how different people have different reproductive needs, relationship arrangements, pleasure experiences , sex rituals, personal histories, and private beliefs about sexuality, and that as a consequence, they may find that condoms really work for them, even in a marriage.

In the interest of expanding your sexual world view about the diversity of condom experiences, I give you 7 reasons married couples might choose to use condoms:

  1. Maybe one or both of them isn't monogamous. Maybe they're swingers, or polyamorists, or unfaithful. Maybe they have threesomes and orgies.
  2. Maybe one or both of them has an infection. Maybe one of them was born HIV positive. Maybe one of them contracted herpes from a previous partner, or from childhood sexual abuse, and doesn't want to infect the other. Maybe one of them works in a career that has them coming into regular contact with blood-borne pathogens.
  3. Maybe they don't want children yet or ever, but the woman can't take hormonal birth control because she has cardiovascular disease and it would put her at high risk for stroke, or because it gives her severe nausea. Maybe it's against her religion, or she just doesn't like synthetic hormones in her body. Maybe condoms are a back-up in addition to birth control pills for a woman who is known to be forgetful with taking them, or has gotten pregnant while being on the pill before and prefers a condom as a safety net.
  4. Maybe they like condoms. Maybe they think the ones that have warming and cooling sensations, or ribbed ones with tingling lube, feel good and add to their sexual enjoyment.
  5. Maybe they want to prolong the sexual encounter and make the man last longer before having an orgasm.
  6. Maybe their favorite part of the sexual encounter is holding each other afterwards, and condoms make it such that they can lay there and cuddle with minimal interruption for clean-up.
  7. Maybe one or both of them was raped by someone not wearing a condom, and bare ejaculation in the body is triggering and traumatic.

Snippets of the above article were originally published in Cosmopolitan back in 2013 but Dr JillI and RipnRoll both feel it's too good, and too under discussed, to not publish again. We value Dr. Jill's contributions and expertise.

Dr. Jill McDevitt

Rip n Roll’s Resident Expert, blogger, and social media Guru.

Dr. Jill McDevitt

Dr. Jill McDevitt
Ph.D. Human Sexuality
M.Ed. Human Sexuality Education
B.A. Sexuality, Marriage, and Family

Dr. Jill is the only person in the world with
all three degrees in human sexuality.

Dr. Jill McDevitt
Dr. Jill McDevitt


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