A sexuality educator’s job is to help students learn about sexuality. As a sexuality educator of adult learners, my job is to help students un-learn. In particular, I help people unlearn all the myths they were taught about sex, including myths about condoms. Here are 4 condom myths I’ve had to set straight with my adult students:
Seatbelts fail too, and someone wearing a seatbelt can still die in a car crash, but can we agree that your odds of surviving a collision with a tree at 65 miles per hour are a hell of a lot better with a seatbelt than without one?
Judging by the number of students who have been puzzled about why flavored condoms exist when vaginas can’t taste, I suspect there is a myth out there that penis-in-vagina sex is the only sex act that could benefit from a condom. Not the case! Flavored condoms are flavored to enhance the enjoyment of fellatio while helping to protect against things like oral herpes, gonorrhea of the throat, and HPV (the #1 cause of mouth cancer). Flavored condoms can also be cut open as a DIY dental dam for protection of the same pathogens during cunnilingus and analingus, and condoms can also be used for protection during anal sex and play with sex toys.
In addition to the STI prevention functions, condoms can be incorporated into a number of sex acts to make clean up easier (like mammary intercourse, i.e. tittie fucking), or to train for lasting longer before having an orgasm.
This is a persistent myth used to discredit the value of sex education, but it’s simply not true. Research study after research study has demonstrated that teaching young people about how to use a condom doesn’t all of a suddem make them go have sex- as if the idea never occurred to them and suddenly because mom or dad acknowledged that sex exists, it’s going to be a free-for-all. The trust is that they’re probably going to start having sex whenever they were going to anyway, but when they do, they will be more likely to use a condom, less likely to experience an unplanned pregnancy, and more likely feel like they can trust you and talk to you as their parent.
For heterosexual women, I’ve encountered a common myth that they don’t need to think ahead about purchasing condoms, having them accessible in case a sexual encounter comes up, or knowing how to properly put one on and properly remove it, because the guy will handle all of that. In reality, it’s everyone’s responsibility to talk about how safer sex will play out in the sexual encounter. Don’t assume your partner will have condoms, or be experienced and efficient at using them properly.
Dr. Jill McDevitt
Rip n Roll’s Resident Expert, blogger, and social media Guru.
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.
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