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How do I ask my partner to use a condom?

Posted on: April 13, 2022

My name is Mirabel* and when I first started having sex, I was usually shy to talk about condoms with my partner. I couldn't even buy a condom or look at where it is kept in the supermarkets and so I was totally dependent on my partner's decision to either use a condom or not. In addition, I also did not want my partner(s) to think that I was planning on having sex with them before we would meet up. I felt this would make me look more 'good girl' that way. Finally, I also felt that explaining or insisting that I wanted them to wear condoms would spoil our romantic moments.

However, after a series of sexually transmitted infections and two unwanted pregnancies, I finally realized my health and well-being was more important than what my partner thinks about me and sadly that I had become such a people pleaser. So I decided to change my behavior with three easy steps that I would like to share with you.

3 Steps to make sure you use a condom:

How to make sure you use a condom

1. Bring your own:

I armed myself with different packs of condoms at home and then chose two and kept it in my bag hidden in an old compact powder case. This meant that the next time I was going to have sex, I was not going to rely on the guy to bring the condom. It also meant I could trust the quality of the condom and not end up using an expired or badly stored condom. Seeing as most guys keep their condoms in their wallets (which is a wrong move by the way), it makes sense to bring yours.

2. Speak up:

I made sure I asked the big question, "Will you use a condom?” or sometimes if I did not have mine, I would say, “Can I see your condom?" The tip here is to ask this question well before any serious tongue action starts. By tongue action, I mean French kissing or even oral sex. Let’s be frank, most ladies know where the action is headed so why would you wait until it is 'quarter to enter' before you start asking for condoms. If for any reason I did not come to see my partner with the intention to have sex and then somehow ‘it just happened’, then before the clothes come off, I make sure to sound a clear warning: “I will stop if you do not use a condom”.

3. Feel for it:

This isn’t a trust issue, this is just a case of being sex-smart. I always make sure I see the condom being put on or I feel the condom with my fingers before any dipping happens. This is because Points 1 and 2 can happen and then somehow the condom will mysteriously disappear, and this is why point 3 is SUPER important.

couple in bed

Honestly, it took a lot of courage on my part to do all these 3 steps, because I am a very shy person. Over the years, I have realized that not only was I communicating well on condom use, but when it comes to sex, I was communicating better in general. It was as though the lock on my lips had opened and I found it easier to express what I liked, what hurts, or simply to encourage him to give me some more of this or stop doing that.

To everyone reading this: Do not ever feel pressured to go with the flow just because your partner wants condom-less sex. You can always say NO and call it quits. Talking to your sex partner about condoms is your way of saying " My health and yours is of utmost importance and I want us to avoid sharing STIs and an unplanned pregnancy. ".

Any partner who will not respect your decision to use a condom, you should not be having sex. I did not understand this simple fact earlier in life and have my regrets, but I am glad I understand this now. It has shaped me into the confident, healthy woman I have become and I hope my Sexlife story inspires others to become the same.

*Name has been changed to protect privacy
Credits for this article go to our partner Whispa,


A coalition of international partners with an interest in sexual and reproductive health