Cars can be quite fun to ride in. We enjoy using them to go places, we value them, and we take good care of them. We also know how important it is to wear a seat belt. While it isn’t the most comfortable thing, a seat belt keeps us safe whenever we drive or ride in a car. Everyone knows that seat belts are important and almost everyone uses them, so why do so many people not think to take the same care in protecting their body when it comes to sex?
Being in a car is of course very different from having sex, but is the metaphor especially far-fetched? Many of us drive or ride in cars, and many of us have sex. Riding in a car can be lots of fun and sex should be fun too. We know to be careful when in a car and to wear our seatbelt because we never know what could happen, and yet safer-sex is often met with a shrug and people saying, “Do I really need to use a condom/dental dam/etc.?”
When used correctly protective barriers such as condoms can lower your risk of pregnancy and/or transmitting an STI immensely, up into the 98% range. Condoms are important for vaginal or anal sex as without a barrier method you are at much greater risk of acquiring an infection or getting pregnant (if having vaginal sex). Just as you wear a seat belt to be safe when in a car it makes sense to use a condom when having sex with someone.
Next time you are about to have sex and your partner protests a condom being used or you find yourself considering how a condom, “Isn’t comfortable,” before saying, “Am I really at any risk?” just think about if you’d say the same thing in regards to not wearing your seat belt. Both seat belts and condoms keep our body safe, and when we don’t use them we are putting ourselves at much greater risk. Therefore, when you’re about to take someone home make sure you use the protective methods available during your commute and for whatever fun happens after! It’s much more pleasurable to be safe now than sorry later.