In some areas of life, you don't need a perfect batting average -- not every grade you make will be an "A," not every meal you cook will be edible, not every Facebook update you post will get likes. But when it comes to safe sex, there's zero room for error: One careless decision could drastically impact your life.
Trojan recently surveyed 500 men and 500 women between 18 and 34, two-thirds of them single and a third in relationships, about their condom use and attitudes. Here’s what they found, including many areas for improvement...
Condoms are (far) more popular in theory than practice
While 81% of young adults said that condom use is important, only 35% reported always using them. That means 46% of people just like the idea of condoms, which is completely useless. Agreeing that condoms are important (without actual use) has never prevented a single STD or pregnancy in the history of STDs and pregnancies. Put your money where your mouth is! (No pun intended.)
Most couples don't get tested before going condom-free
Of the people in relationships who don't use condoms (62% of whom stopped using them within two months as a sign of “trust, commitment, and exclusivity”), 64% hadn't been to a doctor or clinic to find out their sexual health status. You can only build up so much "trust" in a couple months, but you can’t lie your way out of latex.
Too many partners don't have the condom conversation
When a condom isn't used, 43% of the time it happens without the partners actually talking about it first. We all need to communicate, and not just with our bodies.
Pop-culture could help more, but doesn't
Nearly three-fourths of survey respondents can't recall seeing a reference to condoms on TV or in a movie in the past year, but 62% think that pop-culture could be more influential about contraceptives -- it's been a long time since Elaine on "Seinfeld" defined the concept of “sponge-worthy."
Women need to insist on using protection
While 83% of women feel it's a shared responsibility to suggest using a condom, only 13% of women bought condoms for their most recent sexual encounter. That can become a problem when guys don't bother to purchase protection because they'd rather not bag their groceries (so to speak). C'mon, ladies, we've fought for independence, equal pay and the right to vote -- we can deal with an awkward CVS transaction.
Besides, half of women agree they couldn't "fully enjoy myself during sex because I would be worried about contracting a sexually transmitted disease." The female orgasm requires focus, which is impossible if you're distracted with pregnancy and STD worries. So when a guy says he can’t feel anything with a condom, he’s really saying that your feelings aren’t as important. Still want to have sex with a dude like that? Didn’t think so.
Visit MTV’s It’s Your Sex Life website to learn more about pregnancy and sexual health.