Sex Talk

How to ask a sexual partner to wear a condom

Q A female, sophomore student from Arizona State University wantx to know... I know it's important to ask your sexual partner to wear a condom, but how should I approach the issue? I'm not comfortable discussing it.

Dr. Caron's Answer: Anyone you know well enough to be sleeping with, you should know well enough to talk about protection with. However, I recognize that talking about sex has never been easy. In fact, some people even think it's wrong or that it ruins the mood. But in this age of "fatal sexuality" - where people can die from unprotected sexual intercourse - it is crucial that you talk about using condoms. Forethought before Foreplay is essential: Talk with your partner before you end up in bed. You might try bringing up the subject by saying, "Gee, I keep hearing all this stuff about AIDS and safer sex. What do you think?" Or, "I'd love to make love with you, but I'm worried about disease." Talk about your need to have sex safely. If he's a former Boy Scout, he'll understand the concept of being prepared. If he's ever played sports he'll understand how important it is to wear protective gear before you play the game.

© 2008, Sandra L. Caron

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It is not sex that gives the pleasure, but the lover. - Marge Piercy

American teens have the worst of all worlds...Our children are bombarded and confronted with sexual messages, sexual exploitation, and all manner of sexual criticism. But our society is by and large sexually illiterate. Faye Westheimer

Dr. Sandra L. Caron is a professor of human sexuality at the University of Maine. To submit a question to Dr. Caron or chat with your peers visit Got a question for Dr. Caron? Visit and ask away! Get a guaranteed personal and confidential response to your question: or E-Mail

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