Women fear condom-carrying image

LAUREN, a 24-year-old lawyer, walks around with a pack of condoms in her purse… for those “just-in-case moments”.
Just like many other women her age, she enjoys sex and since she does not have a steady boyfriend, she carries the condoms at all times.

Many call her different names for choosing to walk around with her own pack of condoms in her bag, but is it really wrong? And if so, according to whose standards?

I carried out a snap survey last week, just to see how women felt about buying their own condoms. The results were nothing short of shocking.

Of the 45 women asked, 40 said that they would never carry protection around, saying they were scared if they did their partners would think they were too forward.

The five who said they carry their own condoms were all commercial sex workers, who made it clear that they insist on protection as they were governed by the “no glove, no love principle”.

Interestingly, the very same who said they would even buy protection said they swore by the morning-after pill…
Prompting the scarring conclusion that most women are more afraid of falling pregnant than they are of the deadly HIV and its related illnesses!

Honestly and respectfully, this is the most twisted logic I have ever come across, pharmacists say they are always low on morning-after pills during weekends, but condoms are almost never sold out.

The very fact that commercial sex workers insist on protection and “decent” girls don’t is nothing short of disturbing.
I have a twenty-something friend in the US who, for purposes of preserving our friendship, I will call Mary. As Mary is a human being, she likes to have sex.

One thing Mary does not like, however, is protection.
Condoms, she says, make her “crazy”. As she puts it, condoms “just don’t feel good. We all know that.”

There is a very sickening cultural assumption that all men hate condoms and they view women who carry them around as too forward.

I have even heard of women who claim they are “latex intolerant”… oh please, then why don’t you just go ahead and be sex intolerant?

Some of us grew up in the HIV/Aids era of the 80s and 90s, so why aren’t people afraid of contracting the virus anymore?
The rate at which one-night stands are happening, we should all be afraid… yet, we willingly dive into unprotected intercourse, for what?

Let me tell you this, girls must not be passive participants when it comes to sex. Women should be more involved and much aware of what they want.

Since we all move around claiming to be “educated”, how come we do not practise safe sex?

So, if you are a woman debating whether it’s okay or not to bring condoms with you, it is totally ok to carry your own backup plan.
You really cannot expect men to remember to pack one. Let us face it ladies, men do not carry a purse like we do.

Unlike men who can leave the house without carrying a single thing, save for themselves, women will spend some time preparing all the things they would need and pack those in their purse, gym bags, totes, or what-have-you.

Also, by packing the condoms yourself, you can choose whatever flavour or design you want. You can also choose the most reliable brands and avoid the ones you do not like that much.

Secondly, it is a very clear indication that you care. When a woman is involved as she can be when it comes to sex, it reflects her sense of concern. It means that she cares about herself, her partner, and their well-being.

By being ready, you will avoid untimely pregnancies and avoid the risk of acquiring STI’s. Also, when you have condoms with you, it shows how reliable you are as a partner, which would reflect on how reliable you are in general.

Remember, you need to exercise a lot of responsibility once you decide to play hard. Nowadays, a condom can be a girl’s most important ally.

Save yourself from acquiring sexually related health concerns and have a healthier womanhood by always having a condom with you.
According to a Rhodes University, South Africa survey, only 33 percent of single women carry and use condoms… Jesus!
Why on earth is the figure this low? I know for a fact that the Zimbabwean reality is not too far from the South African one.
I was participating in this debate a few weeks ago. It is important to protect oneself through whatever means necessary, but I do not want to spend today debating how safe condoms are or are not.

I think we are all mature and intelligent enough to know that abstinence is the only full proof means of preventing pregnancies and STIs.

A very hypocritical male friend of mine, whose name I will not use, revealed the most shocking sentiments to me after I had asked him if it is okay for girls to carry condoms.
“Hells nah. I was humping dating this one girl once, when she whipped out a smorgasbord of condoms she kept. There were assorted colours, sizes, flavours, brands, etc.

“It seemed like anything the condom industry had ever specialised in was contained in that bowl. What was worse is that she offered me no explanation for her Ripley’s Believe It or Not collection of assorted prophylactics. Not that she owed me one. But I have never frowned so hard in my entire life” my friend said, unapologetically roasting the poor girl.

“I’m sorry, but whenever a girl whips out a half-empty box of condoms that is a huge shot to a man’s ego, pride and subconscious. I’m going to start asking myself a few internal questions. One of the answers to those questions might lead me to conclude, “Oh, she is a garden tool, for sure,” very few opinions have ever made me sick.

But my friend’s utterances just disgusted me beyond measure.
The poor girl enjoys sex but does not want to contract a gazillion diseases from the men she does it with, how dare he judge her?
Buying condoms can be seen as the man’s job. It goes on him, mostly after all, and a man taking responsibility for contraception cannot be a bad thing, right?

But establishing men as the partner with primary contraceptive responsibility can actually perpetuate deep-seated stigmas for women, especially when it comes to sexuality.

These stigmas have led to many women being embarrassed to grab a pack from store shelves, worried their actions will be perceived as slutty or overeager.

But it is time to put that stigma to bed, once and for all.
In the video “Should women carry condoms?” created by New York-based Lovability Condoms, men and women are asked what they think about women providing the protection — and their answers confirm how positively men actually feel about women carrying condoms.

“I think if she were to present [this condom],” one man said, “It would tell me that she cares about herself, and that she cares about us.”

Clearly, women should feel empowered, not embarrassed, for taking control of their own sex lives. Why do so many women still feel uncomfortable buying condoms? Lovability’s video is part of a bigger discussion about how we view condoms.

A 90s study by a British Division of Health Psychology found that while women generally have a more positive attitude towards condoms than men, they are more inhibited about buying and keeping them.

They concluded that “women’s positive attitudes failed to result in increased condom use because the women felt they had to rely on a male partner to buy, keep and supply the condoms.”
Another study from the Psychology of Women Quarterly, conducted in Australia found some women felt more awkward than men providing condoms in the first place.

One participant said that when guys did not provide a condom, “I’d get embarrassed by the fact that I could produce a condom and they couldn’t — it made me look so eager. Finally, I got tired of the conflict with the men and myself and blew off even suggesting prophylactic protection for a while.”
That insecurity has not abated much to this day, as numerous anecdotes confirm.

The fear of embarrassment has real-life consequences.
Spreading acceptance of condom use for men and women is key to improving everyone’s sexual health.

According to a PSI Zimbabwe, only 23 percent of sexually active men and women between the ages of 15 and 44 consistently used condoms from 2006-2010.

Then there is the issue of the female condom, many women like me, feel very uncomfortable wearing it. But then, if that is your case, just buy the male ones for your partner!

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