When it comes to condoms, everyone I meet thinks they know everything there is to know on the matter.
As the conversation progresses, it is obvious that the knowledge is incomplete and in fact, I discover that there are more than a few condom myths floating around.
Here are some condom myths:
Myth: Condoms haven’t evolved over the past few decades
Most people think condoms haven’t changed over the past decades and since the time our parents might have been using them.
Today’s condoms have evolved and been designed to enhance our senses and increase both partners pleasure.
There have been lots of innovations in condoms; the shape, the size, the use of lube, the thinness of latex, the ribbing, the dotting, not to talk about flavors and colors.
There are condoms that prolong pleasure by delaying ejaculation. Even condoms that glow in the dark!
Myth: Condoms aren’t that effective
We have all heard the same statistics; condoms, when used correctly, are 99% effective. The secret is in the “used correctly”.
What I say to new users is; experiment on your own on fitting a condom before you have the pleasure of using it with your partner.
Condoms are the safest way to prevent unintended pregnancies, STDs and HIV.
Myth: Sex with condoms isn’t as enjoyable as sex without condoms
Maybe this was the case 40 years ago – thick condoms, big smell. These preconceived notions make us believe that condoms don’t feel good or condoms aren’t fun.
The reality is that new technology condoms feel great, they are shaped and have added features for greater pleasure. Condoms are thinner than ever before, and it feels like skin to skin experience.
And condoms not only have lower latex odor today but are enhanced with flavors.
Most importantly, condoms give us the ability to be fully engaged in the act of sex and not worry or think about the “what ifs”.
Myth: You can stop using condoms once you are exclusive
It is common practice to drop usage of condoms after you and your partner have been dating for a few months.
Couples tend to use the withdrawal method or pulling out but this is very unreliable at preventing pregnancy and contributes massively to the high number of unplanned pregnancies and high abortion rates in Nigeria. Of course, this method does not protect you from STDs and HIV.
Myth: Condoms are expensive and hard to get
Going by popular culture, couples are not always completely honest about their sexual fidelity. Until we get to that point, every couple should use condoms in every occasion.
That may have been the case long time ago. These days, condoms are widely available and sold in supermarkets, pharmacies, medicine stores, chemists, table tops, in hotels and even at traffic, and outside beer parlors and nightclubs – the mallams that sell chewing gum, candies, cigarettes, also sell condoms.
Myth: Condoms should only be the guy’s responsibility
There is this notion that because someone with a penis wears a condom, he’s also to be in charge. How more wrong can this be? Who will end up getting pregnant in case of accident after all. The guy?
It is good that we are seeing changes here, and women who want to take ownership of their body, pleasure, and health. Women are informed and make the right choices and take charge of their sexual reproductive health with the use of condoms and other contraceptives.
Sakellaridis is the country director at DKT Nigeria.