Look, I love condoms, I really do. They protect against most STDs, frequently prevent pregnancy, and are easily accessible and affordable. But they aren’t enough.
Without fail, every time CNN or a blogger or someone posts an article about the need for accessable, affordable birth control, someone inevitable smugly comments, “just use a condom!”
Here is why I will not just “use a condom”:
- Condoms break. They break from friction, improper use, and just plain old bad luck.
- Condoms can be tampered with. One can remove a condom discreetly during intercourse, damage it beforehand, use expired condoms, or put it on incorrectly. Neither party should have to put the full responsibility/trust of protection into another’s hands.
- Condoms are not 100% effective. Some STDs can still be transferred even with condom use through skin contact. Also due to the fact that they are essentially a latex glove, there is no guarantee it will stay in tact the whole session.
Bottom line: Condoms are great, but not always reliable. You know what can help patch up that hole of unreliability…?
- The pill is a wonderful back up in case of broken condoms.
- Being on BC leaves you in control of your baby-making (or lack of).
- BC means constant protection, whether you’re having sex or not.
- While not 100% effective against pregnancy, the pill used in conjunction with condoms gets you as close to that number as possible.
- Birth control makes more sense to most people in long term, closed relationships. You know you’ll be having sex fairly consistently with the same person (or people if you’re in a closed poly relationship), you know you are both clean and faithful, and you can hold off on kids till you’re ready without buying boxes of condoms that may or may not break.
Are condoms awesome and great at protecting against STDs? YES! Is the pill awesome and great at protecting against pregnancy? YES! Should you be able to choose which one or both or none to use when you want? YES!
Telling the millions of sexually active people in the world to simply use one method of birth control that is not 100% reliable is ignorant and careless.
And also, frankly none of their damn business.