Wear condoms: Sex. A space that demands equal pleasure, equal action but not equal protection? Yes, in our society, sex is a lopsided space where the man's pleasure, in a heterosexual relationship, matters more than the other.
And in a bid to seek more pleasure through sex, men often avoid using protection. They don’t wear condoms for reasons like "condom has no feel”, "can’t stay hard”, “are HIV negative” or “can pull out on time”. But dear ladies depending on lack of protection during sex or on the pull out method, however sexy it might sound after watching Bridgeton, is a cost that you are paying at your own risk.
Like the gender inequality that we face in the world outside, there is an imbalance inside the bedrooms too. Either, most men always want to take the lead during sex, stop once they reach their orgasm (without even caring about that of their partner) or refuse to use protection. It is assumed that the responsibility of protection, pregnancy and full orgasm of the man is that of women. And amidst this, if a woman gets pregnant or suffers from a sexual disease, who is to be blamed? Of course, the woman whose rupture of the hymen (outside wedlock) becomes equivalent to the ruins of her izzat.
As per The National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4, 97.9 per cent of men know the importance of condom but 94.4 per cent do not use them. And do you know the abortion rate? It is 47 abortions per 1000 women of age 15-49 in 2015.
But dear ladies, is It right to let men decide the cards on the bed when sex is an activity where both partners must be involved equally?
Is it right for men to not choose to wear protection? Just how negligent and self-centric a man has to be to not even make the effort to slide up a condom in order to spare us the pain and effort of undergoing emergency pills, STIs, pregnancy and abortion? Just to get a few more pleasure, why do men feel entitled and right to cause us discomfort for life, both physically and mentally? Is man's complete pleasure in sex more important than protection and women's sexual and reproductive health?
Don’t give in to this power dynamics, neither inside the bedroom nor outside it. Remember that your safety is more important than few more chances of pleasure for men. So here are few things that you should know before planning to have sex with your partner (if you are not planning pregnancy).
A condom acts as a sheath on the penis that prevents sperms from entering your vulva. This further prevents the transmission of STIs and controls the chances of pregnancy. (Also read: Why are women shamed for carrying condoms?)
Use lubricants can not only prevent roughness and dryness but also reduces the chances of cuts and irritation in the vulva during penetration.
If your partner doesn’t use condoms which are the best and cheapest means of contraception, carry protection on yourself. Speak to your gynaecologist about your long term plans and choose contraception accordingly.
Do not pop pills every time you have sex because it is known to not be a healthy means of contraception. It is known to have short term side effects like nausea, dizziness, fatigue, headache, breast tenderness, heavy bleeding between periods or heavier menstrual bleeding and lower abdominal pain. There are long term effects also like a history of heart disease, high blood pleasure and diabetes among others. Speak to a doctor for more details.
So the question really is : Why should you undergo so much pain and pressure when everything can be avoided if your partner wears a condom which is harmless and painless?
You need to remember that you own your body even during sexual intercourse. You have the right and agency to make decisions, choose the rights and wrongs for it rather than giving in to the pressure imposed by patriarchal men.
So next time when you have casual sex, remember to value your body, ask your partner to wear a condom and spare you the after-effects of a pleasurable moment. <Featured Picture is for representation purpose only>
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