How To Teach About Using Condoms
- Written by Bryan Harris
- March 12, 2015 at 9:32 pm
Condoms are known to help greatly reduce the transmission of STIs. Yet condom use among adolescents continues to be inconsistent and use decreases with age. When it comes to teaching about using condoms, the following learning objectives have been adapted from the National Sexuality Education Standards.
Kate McCombs, MPH a sex educator who teaches about safer sex, stresses the importance of including pleasure in your conversation about using condoms. “The activities that lead people to practice safer sex or not are about pleasure.” It doesn’t help to respond to pleasure focused questions such as, “Won’t a condom ruin sex?” with a response about preventing STIs and pregnancy. Instead, rely on the research showing that while condoms may diminish sensation, they do not negatively impact individuals’ overall experience of sex.
If using a stricter curriculum, she recommends the following two strategies to address pleasure.
- Talk about lube. “You can talk about lube without talking about pleasure because it increases the efficacy of condoms and decreases the likelihood they’ll break.” In other words, you’re providing students with a pleasurable solution without using pleasure as the selling point.
- Focus on communication skills building, particularly around negotiating sex acts. The conversations, she stresses, must go beyond “Yes means yes” or “No means no.”
Finally, McCombs stresses the importance of normalizing condom-use. One way of doing this is simply by discussing what they are, their use, and why people might want to use them. When it comes to skills building, it is also important to include examples of these in role plays, sexual communication exercises, etc.