How to build intimacy while protecting yourself

How to build intimacy while protecting yourself

«When we use a condom, I feel like we’re not as close» 

Does protecting yourself mean you’re less intimate with your partner? 

A lot of couples feel like using protection is less natural and have a hard time including it in their sexual life. The arguments are often similar: 

«I feel fewer sensations» «I trust my boyfriend, I know he’s clean» «We love each other so we don’t need to protect ourselves from infections» 

Here are some good reasons why using a condom shows how you care about the other and not the opposite! 

  1. You put yourself first. Caring about your health and safety is the first step towards loving someone else.  
  2. You care for your partner. Asking to use a condom is showing how you want them to be safe. 
  3. You want to have a good time without worrying. Protecting yourself allows you to fully live the present moment with your partner, without worrying about infections or unwanted pregnancy. 
  4. You set your limits and are able to disclose yourself to your partner. Asking to use a condom can be difficult. Intimacy is based on personal disclosure to your partner and on your partner being able to do the same. Being able to do this shows that you can be yourself with the other. 

Many tips can help you include the condom in your ritual, while still enjoying discovering your partner. Here are a few steps to improve intimacy around this sometimes, uncomfortable process. 

STEP 1: FIND YOUR FIT. Not all condoms are the same, but it’s the only contraceptive method that will protect you from infections, while still preventing unwanted pregnancies. You react to latex? Try polyurethane, which can be found in any pharmacy! Find a size that fits and have fun with the colors or flavours. Taking care of yourself should never be a burden to your pleasure, and your partner will thank you for being so responsible and trusting.   

STEP 2: TALK ABOUT IT. Negotiating the condom when you start to caress your partner can be intimidating. Having a conversation about it before, at a time where both of you are alone and at ease, to know your partner’s values and thoughts about it, might be very important. If you didn’t get the chance to do so, how can you prepare yourself for such a situation? What are your own thoughts about it, or your limits? To help you negotiate condom use, the most important thing is that you have a few arguments prepared, so inform yourself on this protection method so that you feel comfortable answering your partner’s concerns.  

For example, if a guy tells his girlfriend: «you are already on the pill, why should we use a condom?» what could she answer? She could tell her boyfriend that the contraceptive pill only prevents pregnancies, and that a condom will ensure they both stay safe from sexually transmitted infections (STI) while offering even more protection if they don’t want a baby!  

STEP 3: MAKE IT A GAME. Involving condoms in your sex life can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be boring! You can ask your partner to put it on, include it in your foreplay, and surprise each other with new textures and colors! 

Now, I only have one question for you… what kind of conversation will you have with your loved one tonight? 

Valerie Major, sexologist M.A.

Valérie Major is a Clinical Sexologist in Verdun. You can contact her at (514)758-2210 to book a consultation or through her website www.sexologueverdun.com

Valérie Major est sexologue clinicienne à Verdun. Vous pouvez la contacter au (514)758-2210 pour toute demande de consultation, ou via son site web: www.sexologueverdun.com

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