Okay, a surprising number of people object to the, in my opinion, fairly uncontroversial notion that you have to use condoms.
About the whole “it’s my body, you can’t tell me what to do with it” thing? It’s true, I do not have a bunch of condom ninjas that kidnap everyone who has unsafe sex and deposit them in front of my skull throne. (Wouldn’t that be cool, though.) If you want to have sex without a condom, be my guest. All I can do is call you a dumbfuck. I mean, dudes, it’s wrong to shame people for being (happy, healthy, consensual) sluts or (happy, healthy, consensual) virgins because both of those are completely neutral things– in matters of taste there is no dispute and all that. There is something wrong with unsafe sex though! You’re risking the health of yourself and your partner for momentary pleasure. I don’t care about shaming you, because you should be ashamed.
Also, while of course people who have sex with cis men should probably make sure a condom is involved at some point, the article I was citing was talking about reasons cis men don’t use condoms, not reasons why their partners don’t.
Anyway! I have decided to present a list of things cis men who find that condoms reduce the sensation should consider so they can have safer and enjoyable sex. Not all of these will be applicable to all cis men who find that condoms reduce the sensation.
Switch condom brands. Sometimes a condom brand just doesn’t work with your penis and you need to experiment to see what does work. If you haven’t tried thin or ultrathin condoms, use them. Apparently it’s “the next best thing to bare.” And no, they are not more likely to break– in fact, they are exactly as likely to break as any other type of condom (or even less likely, because of the reduction in friction). Make sure you are using the correct size of condom. Both ones that are too large and too small are likely to be unpleasant. See if you could possibly have a latex allergy; if that’s the case, use a brand of condoms that don’t contain latex.
Masturbate with a condom on. The idea here is to get used to the idea of sexual pleasure and condoms being linked in a situation that’s less high-pressure than sexual intercourse.
Lube, lube, lube. There are three secrets to great sex and all of them are lube. Make sure your partner is adequately lubricated, and put a little lube in the tip of the condom.
Outercourse. There are plenty of sexual options that don’t involve much risk of STI transmission at all (just ask your friendly neighborhood lesbian). Handjobs and fingering. Stripping. Sex toys (remember to put a condom on any dildos!). Sharing fantasies. Titfucks. Footjobs. Intercrural sex, much beloved of the ancient Greeks.* Dirty talk. Massage. Showering together. Phone sex or cybersex. Masturbating for each other. Pegging. Almost all BDSM acts. Some of the many sex acts classified under the name “dry-humping.”
Not fucking people with STIs. If your partner has been tested for STIs and doesn’t have any, then you’re not going to get an STI. It’s not like they spontaneously generate. (If they do have an STI, may I recommend some of the lovely outercourse options available?) Unfortunately, this only applies to monogamous or polyfidelitous relationships– if someone has sex with someone outside of the network of people who have been tested, they might bring home an STI and spread it to everyone. Remember that some STIs, including HIV, take months to show up on test results. Many people lie, so it’s based to take this route with someone you trust (or have seen the test results of).
Unfortunately, I don’t have a non-plastic penis, so it’s quite possible I’m missing something. Share your advice in the comments!
*Mom, aren’t you so glad you’re paying for that college degree?