Fran Bushe: A Letter To The Guy Who Refused To Wear A Condom

Dear guy who refused to wear a condom,

It had been really nice to meet you. We had a lot in common, both enjoying visiting remote sandy beaches and walking through the streets of London at night.  It was like a cheesy Rom-Com, slowly strolling with ice creams in hand and getting caught in summer rain. It was nauseatingly romantic, but I felt you really cared about me. 

We’d been having sex for a few weeks, always using a condom. I had an IUD copper coil, but always like to use condoms to protect from STD’s, as the coil doesn’t cover this. Hands up, I’ve definitely had times where I haven’t used one, no one is perfect but I do try to be safe when I’m dating.

On that particular day I noticed at the last minute that you weren’t wearing a condom.  I stopped you immediately. ‘Aren’t you going to put a condom on?’,  I said and got one from your drawer. You had always had one on standby in the past, which I really appreciated. Rolling onto your front you said, ‘We’ve been dating for long enough now to not use condoms. Don’t you trust me?’.

I had heard of people using all kinds of excuses to not wear condoms: ‘I’m too big’, ‘ it ruins the moment’, ‘I can’t feel and enjoy the sex properly when I’m wearing one’ – just to name a few. But this was the first time it had happened to me. 

I have to admit I was taken aback. I did trust you, but I still wanted to be safe. ‘It’ll be more fun without a condom’ you continued, ‘Don’t you want us to have fun?’.  Fun? My idea of fun was not having to worry during and after sex! 

You then delivered the most hurtful statement. ‘You are the first person who I’ve been with who insists on always using a condom’.

I would love to say that at this point I swung my legs out of bed, threw on my clothes, swept out of the room, slamming the door behind me and leaving an incredibly sassy comment hanging in the air. I wish I could say I’d stopped seeing you then and there. It’s always easier to say what you should have done and said in hindsight, but I didn’t want you to think I was boring and not ‘fun’. I really wanted you to like me. I tried to initiate sex again but you told me the moment was gone. 

Every time it came to sex we had the same conversation. The condom sat between us, as you explained wearing a condom meant I thought you were ‘sleeping around’. Several weeks later I got tired of having the same argument with you and we stopped dating.

I did stop trusting you, but it wasn’t because I thought you were having sex with anyone else.  I stopped trusting that you respected me, my body and my decisions about sex and contraception. You were trying to wear down my consent and had made me feel guilty about what I needed to enjoy great sex. No one should ever make someone else feel bad for their sexual choices. 

I now feel much more confident having open discussions about contraception with partners and feel able to say ‘no thanks’ if someone is applying pressure on me to have sex in a certain way.  Asking someone to wear a condom should be a really brilliant, positive thing. It shows I am responsible and care about my own and the other person’s health, happiness and wellbeing. 

I wish I could tell younger Fran that asking someone to wear a condom doesn’t make her boring, she was, and is, really fun. And I hope that you’re not still using the  ‘You are the first person who insists on always using a condom’ line – because it simply isn’t true and I suspect it never was. 

Best,
Fran

ellaOne® 30mg film-coated tablet contains ulipristal acetate and is indicated for emergency contraception within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Always read the label.