Sexy Time: Bareback Mountin’

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There are a lot of decisions to be made in a long-term relationship — whose friends to hang out with more often, if and when to cohabit, whose place to crash at more often, and what you’d both like the future to look like. Once sex enters the relationship – whether if it’s on the first date or on the first night of marriage, there comes a whole new set of decisions to make.

For most couples, I think it’s fair to say that the go-to contraceptive plan usually involves condoms and some form of birth control (we were always told that two methods are better than one). Once that decision has been made and acted upon, the following months of getting-to-know-each other getting it on are usually passion-filled and use enough latex to make David Suzuki’s earth-loving head explode.

But regardless of what we’ve been taught, and regardless of how much we know we should be using condoms every single time no matter what, there does typically come a time in which the “should we go bareback” conversation will inevitably arise. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge proponent of safe sex, and I would never suggest going condomless outside of an LTR or without a backup form of birth control, but let’s be real here – it feels better and it’s just so much more convenient.

Yeah, I went there.

That said, there are some major issues to think about before you can even consider ditching the ‘domers.

Condoms are the only thing that protect against STIs. If you’re seriously considering removing condoms from your sex life (or at the very least, not making them an every-single-time necessity), you and your partner should consider being screened for any detectable infections. Yeah, that’s right, the detectable ones. Not all STIs can be screened for. Herpes, for example, can only be detected during an outbreak, and many other infections show no symptoms. Going condomless is a risk, and before doing so you need to seriously consider the repercussions.

Birth control, birth control, birth control. Unless you are hoping to start a family, going without a condom and not using another form of BC shouldn’t be an option. Acquire a form of birth control you feel comfortable with and can reliably take when you’re supposed to. Remember, taking that pill at the same time every day can be the difference between a pregnancy and a fetus-free uterus. Women’s Health has a great page that details the success/failure rates of different forms of birth control, which is a great place to start if you’re looking for a contraceptive that’s right for you.

Plan ahead. Even if you take your pill every day, or pull out right on time, or hell, even if you’re still using condoms, sometimes accidents happen. And by accidents I mean pregnancy. I think having sex with anyone needs to be prefaced with the conversation of what would be done if such an accident were to happen – and when you completely remove the semen-vagina barrier, that conversation becomes even more crucial. Are you and your partner on the same page as to what would happen in the case of an unplanned pregnancy? Do you know where to go to procure an abortion, or who to talk to about adoption? What would your life look like if you had a child now? All important things to figure out.

Like any other risky behavior, there’s a way to go about condom-free sex in a responsible way. It’s a personal choice, since the consequences are going to have to be dealt with by you and your partner. But what do you think — is going condomless worth it?

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