Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ask Andrew - Condoms

Dear Andrew,

My question is regarding the use of condoms by gay men (or straights as well). How do you feel about men using condoms, even if they are in a committed relationship? Paraphrase of old adage: if you sleep with one you sleep with all previous lovers/partners. With all the risks out there and evil doers poking holes in condoms, how can you truly  be safe. What are your thoughts?

Dear Rita
You ask about using condoms in a committed relationship and the answer to that questions depends upon the couple and the relationship.  First, I'll go for the easy part of the answer. If a couple has been together for a while, has been tested and they're both negative, then they should sit down and have a discussion about their commitment to each other and possibly discontinuing the use of condoms.  This is what Dominic and I did a number of years ago as part of our commitment to each other.  This requires commitment and can be one of the ultimate signs of trust.
Now, if a couple has an open relationship, then that's a different story.  Having sexual relations outside of the actual relationship adds another level of concern.  The partners must sit down and determine what the rules are for that relationship, including the continued use of condoms within the relationship along with periodic testing. 
The purpose of condoms are to keep yourself and your partner safe and that should be important regardless of the type of relationship.  This is especially true if one of the partners is HIV positive, then condoms should be used throughout the relationship.  The partners should talk about continued prevention and testing. 
You can see my these developing I'm sure.  There isn't a one size fits all answer because couples and relationships are different.  But for most people, once you've decided to be exclusive, and you've each been tested to help wipe the 'sleeping with previous partners' slate clean, then deciding to 'go bare' can be an amazing experience, like the first time all over again.  The important thing is to open lines of communication and make decisions together about the kind of relationship you want and the use of condoms so you can play safe and happy. 
Hugs and Love
Ask Andrew is your chance to ask questions of a gay romance author.  The questions can be about the writing process in general, writing sex scenes, gay men, sex, characters in romance, characters having sex... okay you probably get the picture.    I promise to answer your questions as frankly and with as much humor as I possibly can.

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  1. Well said, Andrew. In any relationship, m/m or m/f, the use of condoms requires discussion - open and honest- about the depth of the relationship.

    With women, most use them for disease protection, not birth control, and they must have that same conversation about the use of them.

  2. And with regards to age! Seniors have to get smarter about condom use! Huge rise in STD's among Seniors. They correlate condom with pregnancy ... NOT disease! Doesn't matter the type of relationship ... it matters about your health & your partner's health. If you like them enough for sex ... like them enough to protect you both!