Talking about condoms with a new partner can be awkward... But it's much less awkward than talking about an unplanned pregnancy or an STD down the line...
Bringing up condoms can feel awkward. Just remember two things: your partner may be just as nervous as you are when it comes to talking about condoms. So taking the first step will be a relief for them, too! Secondly, it shows that you are a responsible person who cares about your health and your partner's. Nothing awkward about that, right?
…have arguments ready
Sometimes, a new partner may be reluctant to use condoms. Then it's important to know a few facts and make a convincing argument as to why you should be using condoms. You can bring up the risk of unwanted pregnancy and STDs, and the fact that you find safe sex more enjoyable than sex with a health risk.
If you are nervous about bringing up condoms with your partner, practice beforehand. Either on your own, or have a good friend play the role of your partner. It may seem silly telling the mirror that you want to use condoms, but it will make you more confident bringing it up in real life.
…leave it until the last moment
The first time with a new partner can be hard to pick the right moment to raise the topic. If you leave it till your underpants have already hit the floor, it could well be too late. There’s a high risk you’ll get carried away, and condom talk feels like slamming on the passion brakes. But if you raise the topic too early, you might worry that your partner thinks you’re being too forward.
If your partner isn't willing to use condoms, you need to be strong. Condom use shouldn't be negotiable. Don't believe any of the myths your partner might tell you in order to get out of using a condom.
…be afraid to bring it up again later
Talking about condoms at the beginning of a relationship is a great start. But you shouldn't be afraid to bring it up down the line again. In a committed relationship, people tend to switch to other contraception methods, like the pill or an IUD. But those don't protect from STDs. Unless you and your partner get tested regularly for STDs and are 100 per cent faithful to each other, condoms may still be necessary.