Friday, October 9, 2009

"Negotiating" Condom Use

A recent post on female condoms at Feministing revealed to me how difficult it still is even for feminists to see female body as valuable, inviolable and worthy of protection from disease at any cost. The need to privilege male comfort over female safety seeps even into feminist discourse, which is profoundly disturbing.

The following question appeared at the end of the post and shocked me very deeply: "For those who use FCs, do you find that they help reduce the need to negotiate condom usage with a partner?" I honestly thought that any "negotiation" of condom usage was a thing of the past.

Is there any woman in her right mind that enters into any kind of a discussion with a man who attempts to have sex with her without a condom? In this day and age, where you could catch any kind of disease from unprotected sex, why "negotiate" condom usage? Why not just tell the person who attempts to suggest something so potentially dangerous that they should take a hike and never come back? Who needs a sexual partner that is so stupidly careless about such an important issue? God knows how many people they "negotiated" with before and how many diseases they accumulated as a result of those negotiations.

It is highly distutbing to see a feminist blog talking about condom usage in this way. It is as if we still lived in the times where there was any necessity for a woman to please a partner at all costs, even at the cost of her health and possibly life.


Amanda said...

Young people of both sexes can be stupid about condoms-- in my own case, I was generally more stupid than boys. I was the one who would try to negotiate-- I got tested regularly and knew I was clean, and would ask them if they were clean, and if so, good enough for me! Not always good enough for them, though-- which meant that condoms often did get used, at first at least. I always hated condoms though, and I still do-- they feel funny, smell bad, and up my chances of getting a uti, plus I don't like the break required to put them on. I realize that makes me a bit like a teenaged idiot, but at least now I'm in a committed relationship where I'm not going to catch anything-- and if we ever did experiment with a third, condoms would be involved.

Veronica said...

The complaints were about female comfort- one commenter who had tried an early version said it was like having a shopping bag up her vagina. How's that good sex ? Women have a right to pleasure too.

oldfeminist said...

Unfortunately, not all women are in relationships where they can demand condom use when it is appropriate.

For those women, having the female condom available can be the difference between life and death, or health and disease.

I wish we were in a better place, but we aren't.

Clarissa said...

Irrespective of FCs, I think that everybody who is in such a relationship needs to leave it as soon as possible instead of trying to accomodate it.

Clarissa said...

Anybody who will try to post their stupid advertisement on my blog will see their comments deleted.

Stop doing this, people, it's annoying.

Anonymous said...

"Unfortunately, not all women are in relationships where they can demand condom use when it is appropriate."

What do you mean? Are you referring to victims of rape? I don't see any possible relationship where it is inappropriate to ask the partner to use a condom. I don't even understand why someone would demand the use of a condom. It should be a given, beyond discussion. Someone can tell you that they are clean but even if they were tested the day before it takes months for symptoms to develop and hence for the individual to test positive. They might be spreading it without even being aware of it. Why would anyone run the risk???

Clarissa said...

Thank you, Anonymous! That's exactly how I feel about the issue.

Female condom instruction said...

Female condom is being introduced. It is intended to be introduced within the vagina prior to sex. It also has its pros and cons, but it helps in protecting against STD's. Once used, it can never be used again. It should be cautiously removed from vagina.