February is National Condom Month!
However, talking about condom use and safer sex should happen all year long!
Do you have condom sense? Before you get intimate, consider this sexual health checklist!
Know your body & value yourself.
Do you know what's "normal" for you? Do you know what feels good for you? Being sexually healthy starts with valuing yourself--feeling good about who you are as a person leads to better decisions, feeling more in-touch with your emotions, and results in healthier, more enjoyable positive relationships.
Know on-campus resources.
The Student Health Clinic offers testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and the Gardasil HPV vaccination. You can make your own safer sex kit in the SHC lobby (external/internal condoms, dental dams, water-based & silicone-based lube, condom carrier cases, resources). Free condoms can also be found in the upstairs fitness area restrooms of the WRC, restrooms within Maucker Union, restrooms within Rod Library, and in the offices of Gender & Sexuality Services and CME. Student groups and RAs can request larger quantities of safer sex supplies through our Safer Sex Express form.
Get smart & practice safer sex.
If you choose to be sexually active, take steps to protect the health of you and your partner(s). STIs are super common with approximately 1 in 2 adults contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) by age 25, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). So, if you've had an STI, know you are not alone, many other folks are experiencing the same thing, and treatment is available.
Take control of your sexual health by using a condom or dental dam correctly every time you engage in oral, anal, or vaginal sex to lower your risk of contracting STIs. By using protection, you can worry less and focus more on PLEASURE and your partner (yay!). Remember, safer sex is for EVERYONE! Check out our LGBTQ+ Safer Sex Guide!
Talk to your partner about condom use.
Making condoms part of your sex life, rather than seeing them as an interruption starts with talking to your partner(s). While this may feel awkward at first, remember you are worth having your concerns heard and needs met. Check out our conversation guide to make using condoms less awkward! For more tips, explore resources via Planned Parenthood or the American Sexual Health Association.
Both partners must agree to sex, every single time, for it to be consensual. Consent to any sexual activity may never be obtained if one or both partners are mentally incapacitated, including through the use of alcohol and drugs. Learn more about UNI’s definition of consent through visiting the 13.02 Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Experiment with trying different condoms & barriers.
Condoms are like clothes, not everything you try on is going to fit or be comfortable. Try different types, styles, and sizes to find what works best for you and your partner. Explore the variety of options for barriers and how to use them!
Here are just a few reasons to love condoms:
- External and internal condoms are the only contraceptive methods that help to prevent both STIs and pregnancy
- Along with forms of hormonal birth control, can improve the effectiveness of contraception
- Proof of protection
- No prescription necessary
- Come in different shapes, sizes, flavors, materials, & types (external & internal condoms) that increase sensation for both partners
- Less mess & easy clean up
- Can delay ejaculation, so sex lasts longer
- Let you focus on pleasure & decrease worry
- Prevention of reactions to semen allergy
- Easily accessible and free on campus
- An external condom be made into a dental dam (latex or polyurethane sheet used between the mouth and vagina or anus) for safer oral sex
- Wearing a condom shows you care, love, responsibility, you're making a difference in our community.
Make sure you know all of the steps to proper condom use!
Jump on the Safer Sex Express -- Request a larger supply of safer sex supplies for your group members! Complete the request form.