Things that are sexy: stockings. Massages. Pedro Pascal in 80s Levis.
Want to know what’s not sexy?
From the first time I watched Mrs Taylor unfurl a condom over a banana in Year 9 PSHE, I knew I was destined to have a love-hate relationship with condoms.
I loved that they stopped me from getting pregnant and being infected with STDs.
I hated everything else.
But if you don’t get on with the pill – and millions of women don’t – what other form of contraceptive is out there?
It seems antiquated and odd.
Injections or implants?
Just another form of high-dose hormones.
The coil, like all of the above, doesn’t offer protection from all the sexual lurgies – and for men, there’s nothing else at all.
So while condoms might be as sexy as a Poirot marathon, they are a nifty and necessary part of intercourse.
I wanted to find out whether I was alone in my love sock loathing so I put the question out there – how do you feel about condoms?
The results are in.
Ross, 35, property developer
For me, it’s an age thing.
In my twenties I was basically smashed a lot of the time and did have sex without them.
They are awkward to use and once you’ve had a few drinks it can be hard to stop, especially if the girl you’re with is on the pill.
But by the time I was in my late twenties, I’d been through a scare with a girl and was much more responsible.
There was no way I was going to risk getting a girl pregnant so I always carried condoms with me and no amount of booze would stop me using one.
Rachel, 26, works in PR
I haven’t used a condom in seven years and I hate them.
It prevents me from having contact with my partner’s rather gorgeous penis.
They are a constant reminder that sex is potentially dangerous.
It might make him soft, which is very sad.
And unless I’m the one putting it on, I don’t know what to do with my hands while he is doing it.
Alistair, 32, doctor
It depends on the scenario.
If you’re having a quickie with a girl in her hotel room on a lads trip to Mykonos, then they really are a necessity.
But generally, I detest them.
They kill the mood and ruin the sensation.
Although I did have a few good posh wanks as a teenager.
Moira, 33, client liaison manager
Growing up, no one ever talked about condoms.
They should be as normal as brushing your teeth, and an essential part of sex, but there always seemed to be a lot of shame and secrecy about using them.
When I was younger, it meant I did have sex without them as we were both too nervous to stop and get one.
Now, so many people have one-night stands that you have to use them – you can’t trust that the person you’re sleeping with tonight didn’t slept with someone unprotected the night before.
But I still f***ing hate them.
They feel synthetic and you don’t get any proper sensation.
Julianne, 22, works in events
For one thing, they smell disgusting.
The smell actually makes my stomach churn.
And they feel horrible, all thin and slimy.
I would almost prefer it if they were a bit thicker and more sturdy.
I know you have to use one if you are having casual sex but they are a total, instant turn-off.
Will, 21, personal trainer
In my youth, I always used condoms but then I discovered how much better sex is without them.
It’s tough to go back and after 10 jaegerbombs my decision-making tends to centre more around short-term ejaculatory gain than the long-term pitfalls of unintentional baby creation.
Gemma, 30, PA
Condoms are a necessary evil.
They cause irritation – I feel sore the next day if I’ve used one and they feel nothing like the real thing.
It’s great when you’re finally exclusive, and have both been checked, and you don’t have to use them anymore.
Until then, it’s more about the necessary part.
Joe, 28, works in appropriations
I’ve always used a condom and I’m always happy to use one.
You can always take it off at the end and come, err, somewhere else.
Jen, 24, dental nurse
They aren’t sexy and it is so awkward to have to pause and grab one.
Andy, 31, journalist
I actually quite like condoms.
They’re really the only choice when you’ve just started seeing someone new, although I think your ambition as a couple is always to get rid of them as fast as humanely possible.
Michael, 32, accountant
I am indifferent to using condoms.
The risks of not using them outweigh the cons and I’ve never really understood why people don’t like them.
It’s like, OK, Casanova. As if you’re some sort of world-class lover and the condom is really salting your game.
Milly, 30, full-time mum
Doesn’t everyone just hate condoms?
The worst part is when you take them off and you have to dispose of them – it’s so grim.
I had a one-night stand once and the guy tried to flush it down my loo, except that condoms don’t flush.
He came back and then I heard my housemate get up and go into the bathroom.
I know he saw it and it was mortifying.
Sarah, 27, trainee teacher
I think condoms are better now than they used to be.
I use them at the start of every relationship until we both go and get tested.
It’s a nightmare when you don’t have one to hand and have to go off searching around the room but as long as you have them close to the bed, it’s not a huge hassle.
Meg, 35, sales executive
I used a condom with one guy and couldn’t sit down for a week afterwards.
That was when I found out I was allergic to latex.
I wish the non-latex varieties were more easily available.
Lenny, 30, teacher
Condoms are s***.
It’s like going swimming with your socks on.
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