My Girlfriend Is Taking Away My Bodily Autonomy by Making Me Wear a Condom

My Girlfriend Is Taking Away My Bodily Autonomy by Making Me Wear a Condom

BY RICH JUZWIAK

Since the Dobbs ruling, my partner has been justifiably outraged and upset, as have I. We are fortunate enough to live in one of the most liberal states in the nation, and abortion rights are not currently threatened here.

Just after the ruling, my partner and I had a discussion about our birth control options—she is not currently on any form of birth control, and I am not either. She has a condition that makes getting pregnant extremely unlikely for her, so we use a combination of condoms and pulling out.

Until recently, we would begin intercourse without condoms, and then I would either put one on before finishing or I would pull out. We have had a great sex life, and no pregnancy scares. Since the ruling, though, my partner decided that she wants me to wear a condom every time we have sex for the entire duration of the sex. I will pause here to say that because she is the partner who is capable of getting pregnant, she unambiguously gets to unilaterally decide what type of birth control is acceptable to her. I have told her that as soon as non-surgical male birth control options become available, I will try them, and I am excited to, but those are still possibly years off. She has also urged me to get a vasectomy many times, which I’ve repeatedly told her I’m quite uncomfortable with.

This change has greatly damaged our sex life. After years of having incredible sex, I’ve been struggling to switch back to using condoms this way, and we have both been enjoying sex significantly less, partly because I often lose my erection when I’m wearing a condom. I feel that this is her way of trying to make me understand how it feels to have bodily autonomy taken away by someone else.

In having these thoughts, I can’t help but feel monstrous for thinking so much about my own pleasure. Nonetheless, we have not had enjoyable sex in weeks, when we used to have it almost every day, and I fear this is eroding at our relationship. Can I talk to her about my wishes to use a condom less, or would that be extremely insensitive, and should I just adapt to this new, less satisfying sex life?

—Struggling With Condoms

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