Making Condoms a Sexy Part of Lovemaking

How can I better incorporate the putting on of a condom during our lovemaking? I hate how it seems to create ''time out'' of romance and passion. --iVillager ''S''

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Dear S:

Having taught safer sex education since the early 1980s, I've heard all the arguments against condom use, including the popular lament that they ''break up the mood.'' Truth is, with a little forethought and a good attitude, this simply needn't be. Here's what you need to do to make the putting on of a condom a natural and even sexy part of your lovemaking.

First, be creative! Some couples engage in lots of non-penetrative foreplay before moving on to intercourse and refrain from actually putting on the condom until just before insertion. This is fine, just so long as your partner's penis and your vulva don't come into contact; remember, sperm and STDs can be transmitted before actual intercourse. If you tend to get carried away during your foreplay, be sure to introduce a condom early on. Don't worry about the condom falling off if his erection waxes and wanes. This won't happen, as the elastic on the end will hold it on firmly.

Some couples actually incorporate sex play into their condom preparations. One innovative way is to practice putting the condom on with your mouth. Carefully place the condom with the opening between your lips, slightly unrolled, and then sexily slide it all the way onto your partner's penis. Another technique is for you to stroke your partner's penis to a full erection, lubricating it thoroughly, and then slip on the condom as you are finishing this manual stimulation. Regardless of how you put on the condom, doing so needn't be a damper at all, but can actually be quite exciting and erotic for you both.

The two biggest factors for experiencing satisfying sex with condom use are adequate communication and sufficient lubrication. Clear and respectful communication increases the probability of consistent condom usage, thereby freeing you both from worrying about unwanted pregnancy and STDs. Sexual lubricants can make condom use more enjoyable, which also reinforces continued condom usage.

I encourage you and your partner to experiment. Test out several different brands and styles of condoms to find ones that feel sexiest to you. Also experiment with how you can eroticize condom use during your lovemaking. The time and effort you put into this now will pay off in pleasure and intimacy dividends for a long time to come. In fact, one of the best parts of all this experimentation and dialogue is that you and your partner will enhance your overall level of intimacy and, along with it, your sexual connection and satisfaction.

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