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Why do so many men believe they have a right to sex without a condom?

Tagged as: Dating, Health, Sex, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (30 July 2016) 18 Answers - (Newest, 4 August 2016)
A female United Kingdom age 30-35, anonymous writes:

I'm sorry if this comes across as a rant but I'm really annoyed at the moment and looking to hear opinions around whether I've been unlucky or if what I'm experiencing is the norm.

Why do the men I meet seem to think it's their right to get to have sex with me without a condom these days?!

I was with a man for over 6 years, and during that time I tried every form of birth control known to man. I had the implant, the injection, the patch and 4 different types of pill, all of which gave me terrible side-effects.

Firstly, my sex drive died completely.

This annoyed my boyfriend (somewhat understandably) as he wasn't getting as much as he wanted, so for the first 4 years I had sex a minimum of 3 times a week even though most of the time the idea made me want to rip my own face off.

I also had weight gain, mood swings, depression, anxiety and terrible acne to top that off, as well as recurrent thrush and cystitis. Lovely memories!

I finally couldn't take it any more so went back to the doctor and she said I'd tried pretty much all hormonal options so I should consider a non-hormonal option. The copper IUD. I wasn't keen as it was so invasive but my boyfriend pouted so much about the thought of using condoms I took the plunge and got one. Not only was the procedure seriously painful, but my periods and acne got a lot worse and my period pain was awful.

I was told it might take a while to settle, but one day the pain and bleeding got so bad my manager called me an ambulance and it turned out my body had partially expelled the device and the plastic had cut me internally. I had it removed that day and it took a good few weeks of painkillers and rest to feel better.

This left me with very few options, so I told my bf I felt we had no choice but to go back to condoms (we used them for the first 6 weeks). Well you'd think I told him I was going to chop his penis off! He was so huffy and pouty about the fact he had to use condoms. He kept saying I didn't understand how awful they were for men to wear. As awful as being hospitalised with internal bleeding? No didn't think so!

We have since split up (not entirely to do with that but that same selfish attitude seeped into all corners of the relationship), and I've been back on the dating scene for about 2 years now. In that time I've had 4 short term relationships (under 2 months each) ALL of which have ended once I explained that condoms would need to continue indefinitely.

To varying degrees, these guys have got angry/huffy; called me unfair/selfish; claimed that I'm lying; told me I can go back on the pill and 'just use lube' if I don't feel like having sex (!) and so much more, all because they have to wear a condom! One even questioned what 'the point' was in entering a relationship if a condom was still required!

So, my question is, why?! Why do so many men think it's their God given right to have bare sex these days?

I understand that the pill is an amazing invention, but it doesn't suit all as the decision to take it is not an easy one as the side effects can be quite debilitating.

Yet the men I'm meeting would rather me suffer them for the sake of a slightly better orgasm on their part. What gives them the right to expect that?! Ask by all means, but to expect that it's a woman's duty to sort bc?! No!

Again I'm sorry for the rant but I'm half angry half hurt just now. Especially since I know the lengths I went to to keep my last boyfriend satisfied when I REALLY didn't want sex. Apparently sacrifice is only to be done by the woman on these matters. If there was anything else I could try I would, but why should it all come down to me??

View related questions: acne, condom, orgasm, period, sex drive, split up, the pill

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (4 August 2016):

My ex-husband could not maintain an erection with a condom. Ever. Killed the mood for him.

Like some have mentioned, it is clinical and unnatural. And hinders the sensations and the whole experience. Likely even the orgasm itself.

So, guys don't like it because it limits their pleasure. And isn't the height of pleasure what they are after?

Thing is if they just hang in long enough for it to become exclusive or a relationship, then there is no more need for the condom. But if they are only after casual sex, then, yes, there is a need for a condom. And it's every woman's right to demand the guy wears one. Until she knows him. Until they are an item. Until he has a clean bill of health. AND she does. Guys need to put in a little work and it will pay off. But some need to jack off too quickly at the expense of all others. Including themselves. I mean, how do they know the woman they are sleeping with is NOT promiscuous herself???? How do they know she does not have a disease???

But logically speaking, no woman should ever have to be subjected to STI's and AIDS and all kinds of diseases just cause it feels better for a guy.

So, if he isn't willing to wrap it up, then it's perfectly within a woman's rights to WRAP IT UP. Next.....

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (4 August 2016):

"Why do women believe they have the right to use men for money?" -- It's an unfair (and mostly inaccurate) stereotype, just like the question in this thread.

Most people aren't like the worst of their sex. But there are enough of the bad ones on both sides to keep you busy for the rest of your life if that is who you go for.

Everyone needs to take responsibility for choosing better partners instead of stereotyping the other side when they don't.

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A female reader, llifton United States +, writes (4 August 2016):

llifton agony auntThis is random, but here in the United States, the right to contraceptives is actually a Fundamental Right under our Constitution. This includes the right to procreate, the right to an abortion (not procreate), and access to contraceptives (avoid unplanned procreation).

I read your post and got a bit angry for you. This is something I take for granted, considering I'm gay, so unwanted and unexpected pregnancies are not something I have to worry about. All gay pregnancies are exceptionally planned out haha. So basically, I get to have all the unprotected sex in the world without worrying about getting knocked up or knocking someone else up. So basically, what I'm saying, is that this is an area I haven't had to place much thought. The expectation that you not only inconvenience yourself, but potentially harm your body, so that these guys can have a better orgasm, is downright f*ed up. I can't even fathom responding to a woman this way, or being that unimaginably selfish.

Chigirl raised a very good point. Why is the financial responsibility only on the woman to pay for birth control? Doesn't make much sense, if you ask me. If you're both wanting sex and no babies, then both should pay for the cost, as it's for the both of you.

The male anon also raised an interesting point. Why are there no alternatives for men besides condoms or getting snipped? Men do get the financial shaft when it comes to babies. At least here in the United States. They get no say in whether the woman has an abortion or not (which I wholeheartedly agree that they shouldn't get a say). But that still can be a rough deal for them. And they can also get put through the financial ringer by a woman who has his child, albeit even if he didn't want it (once again, not saying I disagree with this, but just pointing it out). That being said, for men's protection, shouldn't there be better alternatives for men as far as birth control is concerned? If they have so much liability, why not afford them better safe-guarding?

But I digress. I'm shocked that so many men are opposed to condoms. As I said, this isn't my area of expertise, so I have to take everyone else's word on this. But you'd think more men would be afraid (terrified) of unwanted pregnancies and just wear the rubber. If I were a dude, I'd be terrified of accidentally getting a girl pregnant! Hell, I'd probably wear 4 of them. May not feel as great, but it would feel better than having my bank account be empty for the next 18 years!

This is an interesting thread.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (2 August 2016):

Hi, this probably isn't too relevant, but my wife was on the diaphragm for years. I loved it (anything is better than condoms LOL!) but in the end it turned out she was mildly allergic to the spermicidal jelly. She ended up with an IUD and now we're both much happier!

Best of luck!

(BTW even if you do use the diaphragm or IUD or something, wouldn't you want to still insist on condoms to avoid infections?)

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (1 August 2016):

CindyCares agony aunt Yes, not all men are like those you met, you just have got some bad luck from this point of view. I have never met in my whole life anybody who'd throw so many tantrums about condoms; then again, it's also true that in my case there was no need for condoms to be a permanent solution. In regard to this, I 'd like to remark that there is a difference between your bf of 6 years and the other more casual partners that you mention.

In the case of the bf, yeah, he is rather abominable. If he stayed 6 years with you, he was supposed to love you, or at least to care deeply about you and your wellbeing. You develop a health condition, and he gets stroppy because that spoils his fun ?? Pfui !

As for the other guys, they were self centered too- but , frankly, I don't see why they should not have been. When you start dating somebody, and it's early days, you haven't developped any strong attachment yet, you are still trying to figure out if your new date checks most of your boxes and meets more or less your criteria of compatibility and desirability. These guys PREFER a woman they can have condomless sex with, and , although that puts you at a disadvantage by no fault of yours - still, I don't think you should take it personally. They were still in a phase of choice, of screening... and if they feel they'd rather be with someone who can be on the pill, it's basically the same as if they prefer a sporty type while you are a couch potato, or a party girl while you are a teetotaller etc.

I mean, I suppose that in a matter of a few weeks these guy ( and you ) had not developped any deep attachment yet- so it figures that these people may want to look for someone else with your qualities AND also no contracception issues. Inconvenient for you but, IMO, it's not disrespect; it's dating, the process to try and get the best possible partner who's available atm.

Anyway :

. through NHS in UK you CAN have the diaphragm AND also the cervical cap ( Fem Cap ) : Both non hormonal.

- I think nevertheless it would be good to have an in depth consultation with an OB -GYN, nowadays the options and possibilities in BC pills are almost countless, and with a bit of patience there is a viable solution for almost everybody. Of course it's not a matter to just switch casually from one brand to another, that's why I think you should see a specialist who could advise you more cognizantly, also based on specific blood/ hormon / allergy tests he might prescribe, and simply drawing on a wider , more specific experience than a GP.

You CAN , and should , ask your GP a referral for a gynecologist through the NHS: there's nothing unusual in that ( my source : my sister's bestie is a gyno in Greater London ).

If your GP dismisses your concerns ( in which case... it's time to change GP ! ) you can skip the referral and just go directly to a sexual health clinic. Check on line " NHS sexual health information and support services " for locations. They should be able to help you.

Finally, if you are an extremely disciplined, organized, punctual type , and you can commit to a certain routine with Swiss watch precision- maybe the Fertility Awareness Method is for you. It is based on taking your temperature every day first thing in the morning before getting out of bed, and observing accurately the daily variations in your cervical mucus. These two data combined give you with remarkable reliability your fertile days when you should avoid intercourse. Personally I am skeptical ( maybe because I am not a Swiss -watch type ) but they say that if applied properly it's 94 % effective- not that bad if you think that even the pill is only 98% effective.

-I see from your "rant" that you see this as a male issue, so your reaction may be, sort of, " But why do I have to sweat it that much ?! Why do I have jump through ( contracceptive :) hoops just to make some selfish guy happy ? "...

I am a bit perplexed, frankly- because I can't see it in these terms. I am not a huge fan of sex with condoms myself,- in fact, I am, but just for safety and protection when necessary. As a lesser evil. Of course it's better to lose a little in sensation and enjoyment that to get an STD or an unwanted baby ! But.... without it feels better; and another thing I have never met in my Whole life , is a woman who says that sex with condoms feels better than without.

So, IF there are no issues about possible STDs, and IF there is any viable solution,beside condoms, to your problem , - seeking it and adopting it is not a favour you do to the guy, it's a favour you do ( and owe ) to yourself !

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 August 2016):

I was saying that the condom-rejecting men you run into are not all of us. Pretty much every guy I know wants to use his own BC and we wish we had better choices than condoms. Most of the guys who don't want to bother with condoms are either too rich, too poor, or too irresponsible. Guys who want a good financial and emotional future do worry about it. A lot.

I call male BC a "human right" because women consider it a human right to have sex and still be able to control their reproduction. Men don't have that same right yet. We only have one (failure prone) BC method, no morning-after options, and we have no legal say in the abortion decision. Those are pretty bad odds.

The problem for men is due to technical roadblocks, not a lack of demand. There would be an ENORMOUS demand for better male BC if it existed.

I'm sorry you keep running into men with other attitudes. But I wonder if maybe it is partly the men you choose. The majority of young men in 2016 don't operate that way IMO.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (31 July 2016):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thanks Tisha! I actually have very few health issues but I am sensitive to various chemicals it seems which is what's causing me problems.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (31 July 2016):

Tisha-1 agony auntI checked the NHS site, and diaphragms are available:

Good luck, sorry to hear you have so many health concerns. Be well!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (31 July 2016):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thanks so much to everyone for your answers! Im in less of a rage than I was yesterday and I do realise it's not all men, it's just the injustice that annoys me sometimes. A few extra things:

1. The diaphragm isn't something that's regularly offered in the UK as far as I can tell Tisha. Spermicide makes me slightly nervous as I've read it can aggravate cystitis (which I do suffer from) but I would be willing to give it a try and see how I get on. We don't have individual gynaecologists here either but I'll ask my GP about that.

2. Chigirl, that's a really good point. We're lucky here that contraception is free on the NHS but if it cost money then it shouldn't just be the woman that pays. Just like I wouldn't always expect the man to pay for condoms on his own either.

3. First male anon - have you tried anything to get over your mental block with condoms? It seems like a psychological thing, so it's probably worth working that out?

4. The last male anon, I'm confused about what your point is. Condoms are a way for men to take control of their own reproduction and the men I meet DONT want to use them! I also dispute that it's a 'basic human right' to control reproduction too. Contraception is a brilliant thing no doubt, but its not a right. Sex exists for reproduction, and although we humans have found a way to play God and prevent pregnancy (for the most part), it doesn't mean we have a right to expect it. I also don't think doctors have been able to create a successful male hormonal contraceptive yet so it's not really a male inequality issue either.

5. Honeypie, sadly I fully agree with you that many men put their own sexual satisfaction first. Women tend to be the opposite too in my experience (as in putting up with crappy sex for their man's benefit) which makes it easier for these guys to get away with it. Like you say it's not all men though.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (31 July 2016):

I don't know any (remotely responsible) man under the age of 40 who isn't frustrated as hell about the lack of decent BC options for men. We don't think it's an annoyance to pay for a simple pill or implant type BC. We think of it more like a basic human right to control reproduction that we don't have. 50 years ago women marched in protest for basic human rights that men still don't have.

I mean, we WORRY about this. We LOSE SLEEP over it. We turn down casual sex over it. We are FRUSTRATED about it. It affects our lives.

Do you want a normal sex life, as a man? Then you have to sign up for possible financial slavery against your will. Not to mention prison sentences if you fail to pay for costs you cannot pay (and that is NOT some rare horror story, this is COMMON).

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (31 July 2016):

certainly not all mean are like that.Not even a percentage are like that.You just seem to be mixing with the wrong bunch.Of all the friends and colleagues I had in the past with whom was on friendly enough terms to talk about sex there was only one I can remember who complained about condoms and he was an AH who had impregnated twice a woman out of wedlock and the poor soul was going crazy as a single mom trying to look after them.As for the rest of us tbh we were happy if we could get a woman to sleep with us let alone force our conditions on them. What I am trying to say is there are good guys out there, you just have to be more selective to find them.

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (31 July 2016):

chigirl agony auntI want to add, I once had a boyfriend who asked me if he should pay for my birth control pills. I almost dropped off the face of earth. No man has EVER asked me that before or after. But come to think of it, why shouldn't the man also pay for these pills? Why isn't it a natural conclusion for more men? I didn't even think to ask before my ex, because no man had ever offered before, but since then I have started to ask my boyfriends to chip in if they want me to go on birth control. Some of the brands can be really expensive you know.

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States + , writes (31 July 2016):

Tisha-1 agony auntAre you trying to avoid pregnancy AND STIs or just pregnancy?

Whatever happened to the diaphragm with a spermicide? That was an easy, convenient, if a bit messy, form of non-hormonal barrier birth control.

Obviously you’ve gone through many forms of BC, so you know what does not work for you.

If the guy gets huffy/angry, calls you unfair/selfish, accuses you of lying or decides he’s an expert in your body to the extent he’d put you back on the pill, well, guess what, he’s a jerk! Thank goodness you found out early enough not to get too attached.

Talk to your gynecologist and find the best barrier method that works for you, and be sure to ask about the diaphragm. It’s easy to use once you get the hang of inserting and removing it, and it’s something that doesn’t involve the man at all! You can put it in hours before intercourse and take it out if intercourse doesn’t happen for some reason.

Another option is to date men who would have to wear a condom to practice safe sex. Again, another conversation to have with your gynecologist.

I would insist on a condom for at least 6 months. If he’s all about being bare then he’s all about sex and not all about making you the love of his life.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (30 July 2016):

Honeypie agony auntDISCLAIMER - I am Not saying ALL men are like that, but there is a HUGE group that is.

I don't think the majority of men really understand what women HAVE to go through trying to AVOID pregnancies. I don't think they understand WHY some women CAN NOT use birth control such as the pill, the patch, Nuvaring or even the IUD because it's just NOT working "as intended" for these women.

And I don't think the majority worries that much about it either. After all...... they are NOT the one who would get knocked up, carry the baby to term or (at times) be the one to raise that child. Yes, hey would (most likely) be financially responsible for 18 years if she did get pregnant, however that is rarely the thought in the fore front when having sex...

While I get that condoms can desensitize the feeling for a man, I am sorry I just don't think THAT is more important than a woman's fear of unwanted pregnancies, STD's etc.

Condoms are BY FAR the EASIEST and LEAST invasive form of birth control that exist.

Female condoms may be a good idea, but UTTERLY impractical. Hormonal BC can be dangerous, IUD's can be dangerous (rare but it CAN happen).

The notion that the woman can "just" have an abortion or a "the day after pill" and not worry.... NEITHER option is something anyone should HAVE to go through JUST so the man can "feel" whatever on his penis.

I, thankfully, have only been with ONE man who "couldn't" use condoms for all kind of bogus reasons.

If I were you, OP I'd be VERY upfront about ONLY having sex with condoms. If the guy can't do that, HE isn't someone for you.

While you can get VERY intricate and work out your cycle and ovulation, pair it with pull out method or what have you... what it comes down to is finding someone who is compatible on several levels. ONE being respectful.

For someone to suggest you JUST use lube when you DON'T want to have sex and thus aren't aroused is one selfish twat.

Sex is a 2 way street, it should be ENJOYABLE for both and I don't think ANYONE should HAVE to have sex if they don't feel like it that day/hour.

But to answer the question "Why do so many men believe they have a right to sex without a condom?" Because SOME men think THEIR sexual satisfaction is WAY more important than women's.

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (30 July 2016):

chigirl agony auntHahaha! I feel your pain!

Some men are just incredibly stupid and childish. Lets just say, you need to weed out a lot before you get to the few worth keeping. I've never been asked "what's the point of a relationship if you need to use condoms" though. But I HAVE been asked by one night stands, or just guys Im not serious with, about going without condoms. That question stops immedeately though when I reply with "Oh yes, and the baby will be so cute with my eyes and your smile" wink wink. Or, you could even go further and say "Sure, once you've gotten tested for STI's and we're exclusive and you buy me that expensive Baby Comp/Lady comp, then lets do it!"

Because there is that Lady Comp thing on the market, in case you haven't heard of it. I'm thinking it's more for long term relationships, but it's said to work just as well as any other birth control.

I think birth control pills have just become the norm, it's almost weird if a woman doesn't use it. The men just haven't thought twice about what it actually means to be on birth control. They don't get it, simply because they've never had to take it. For most humans, believe it or not, it's very difficult to imagine how it feels for someone else unless they've been in the same situation themselves.

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A female reader, MissKin United Kingdom + , writes (30 July 2016):

MissKin agony auntIn a way this gives you a good standard for your partner to meet. Once you've found someone who cares enough that they will be willing to use a condom indefinitely, then you know you've found a good one.

I think you've very much encountered a bad bunch of bananas!I've met one guy like this, and I very quickly moved on. It says a lot about their personality and at least it highlights their negative points before you've invested too much of your time! Don't give up because not every guy will be this way.

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (30 July 2016):

aunt honesty agony auntThe answer is it shouldn't. The men you have been meeting sound very immature and selfish. Maybe you are going for the wrong type of men just? The way I see it is if you find someone who cares for you, they will do anything so that you don't need to suffer. The men you are describing sound like teenagers!! I totally see why you are angry and upset, but don't give in, mr right will show eventually.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (30 July 2016):

I'm sorry you have had such terrible experiences with your recent boyfriends. They have no right to demand this of you.

I speak for many men, I believe, when I say it is difficult for me to maintain arousal with a condom. It feels surgical, not sensual. For me, the feeling of a woman's moisture on my penis is essential to maintaining arousal during sex. That's just the way I am.

That being said, not every man needs that bare feeling. In my group of friends, about half say they can't maintain arousal with a condom and the other half say it doesn't bother them at all.

You just need to find men who are (a) respectful and (b) able to climax inside a woman while wearing a condom. They exist! As with all things that are important to you, just make sure to be upfront early about this expectation.

Good luck and, again, I'm sorry for your recent bad experiences.

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