How did condoms become uncool again?
Casual sex is all the rage – but so is an increasing aversion to condoms. Have we really learned nothing? How did we get here? Is there a way back?
More risk than reward
Nobody knows exactly when or how it happened. But it gradually became uncool to have condoms. After all the infomercials, all the statistics, all the work NGOs and other agencies put into getting people to use condoms in a country and continent that has been ravaged by HIV and AIDS, we’re back to square one.
And oh, the excuses are all so convincing. ‘I’m allergic to latex.’ ‘I can’t get it up when I wear a condom.’ ‘Don’t you trust me?’ In that exact moment of passion, even the most intelligent person may find these phony statements bypassing their guard. You’re almost aboard the Sex Express after all, right? They look healthy…they can’t be lying, right?
But fast forward to the moment right after the act, and the problems begin. The fear. The paranoia. The regret. That, and the person who was so convincing just a few moments ago is now getting dressed and ready to leave in a huff. Not so much as a pat on the back, and the warmth and care will be replaced by distance and scorn.
Too afraid to go for testing, you wait for some sign of something amiss: a missed period, onset of sickness. Cue the bitterness and need for retribution that follow. And if you manage to come through the ordeal unscathed? Far be it from you to learn your lesson – your air of invincibility leads you back to the beginning of this harrowing and unnecessary cycle. You didn’t get anything after all, right?
What about the vow?
Who can forget the recent Kenyan adverts calling for married people to use condoms with their Mpango wa Kandos (side girls and guys)? There are so many problems with this: number one is we’ve gotten to the point where infidelity has been accepted as normal. Number two: people in marriages seem to be putting their partners at risk by not using condoms. The number of new HIV infections in marriages has been rising consistently and alarmingly, because who is going to tell their husband or wife to use a condom? Too many questions will be asked, too much strain on what may already be a fracturing relationship.
‘Some of you are trusting people with your lives that you wouldn’t trust with your house keys.’ While the person who uttered this statement evades memory, the stark truth of this statement does not. Casual sex by nature is a very risky affair. This is someone you know little to nothing about, to whom you bare your body. Logic dictates that if you’re going to go this route, you should be especially careful. Most people are taking too many risks in the name of a more pleasurable experience, however. If even married people aren’t safe, what about the single ones?
Resist the broken system
This attitude towards condoms is a sign of the times, though: no one wants to take responsibility for their actions. It’s so much easier to blame someone else, after all: my parents never told me, my partner isn’t the same person… I thought they were telling me the truth… Adults don’t want to be adults anymore, and are making juvenile mistakes in the heat of the moment. It’s time to grow up, time to be responsible. So pick up that pack of condoms and use them, they may just save your life.
Do you take responsibility when it comes to casual sex? Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.