Two virgins -- Use condoms?
Originally Published: September 1, 1993 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: December 29, 2009
I just met this great guy over the summer. He goes to Brown, and we plan on visiting each other on the weekends during the semester. We have fooled around, but haven't had sex yet. We are both virgins. (I know, it's hard to believe...). Alice, I think this is it — I'm ready. Do we really have to use condoms? I want it to be perfect!
Ready and Willing
Dear Ready and Willing,
Sounds like you had an awesome summer!
If you want the first time to be perfect, remember that an experience is only perfect with all its imperfections. It seems that you think condoms may interfere with perfection of your first time. It may be helpful to keep a few things in mind, such as:
- first intercourses are rarely perfect, still they are often memorable
- perfect or not, you can enjoy your first time if you keep the pressure low and focus on enjoying your partner's and your body
- condoms provide important protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy, however they can also add pleasure if you experiment with different textures, shapes, and styles
As you are likely aware, condoms protect against both pregnancy and many sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Using safer sex methods, i.e. condoms, is useful even in your situation, since both of you may define virginity in different ways. It's possible that either one of you could have had some form of sex (e.g., oral, anal, vaginal) with someone infected with an STI, even if you technically consider yourself a virgin. It's also (very remotely) possible that either of you may have received an STI congenitally. Until both of you are tested for HIV and other STIs, and those tests come up negative, condoms are a useful, safer choice.
To prevent unwanted pregnancy (if that is a concern), you also may want to think about using another form birth control, alone or in addition to condoms. If you do reach a point in this relationship where you don't feel it necessary to use condoms, you can talk with your health care provider or gynecologist about an appropriate form of protection for your situation.
You can reduce any discomfort about using condoms and get creative if you start using them at the beginning of a relationship. Free condoms are available to Columbia students at Primary Care Medical Services, the Alice! Health Promotion Program, or through your resident advisor (RA). And if you're interested in HIV testing, GHAP offers free and confidential testing, including pre- and post-test counseling, for all Columbia students. Call x4-7970 for the HIV testing time schedule, and to get additional info that guides you through the testing and counseling process.
In short, you don't have to use condoms, but they may give you the protection, and added piece of mind, that will help to make your first time as wonderful as you hope it will be. Check out the related Q&A below for more information about how to prepare for your first time and how to practice safer sex. Best of luck!
September 26, 200721333
Some people whine that putting on a condom slows things up and takes away from the romance, but it literally only takes a few seconds and does not usually kill the mood. Besides, which would you rather have... spending an extra two seconds putting on a condom, or having your boyfriend climax too quickly and then finding out you might be pregnant and have contracted an STD? These are possibilities you don't want to chance!