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If I carry a condom, do I look like I was expecting sex?

While some teens think that someone who carries a condom is expecting sex, most think that someone who carries a condom looks prepared and smart. In the end, though, staying safe and protected is more important than someone judging you for carrying a condom.

You can also encourage others to carry condoms—you might inspire a condom revolution! Just remember the following:

  • Store condoms in a cool, dry place. Storing them in a wallet, back pocket or in a hot car for long periods of time will make them more likely to break.
  • Avoid throwing them somewhere where they could get punctured by a pin or anything else.

What’s the bottom line? While letting sex “just happen” may feel romantic, it doesn’t protect your health. You need to talk about using a condom before you even start engaging in sexual behaviors. When you talk openly about your expectations, both you and your partner understand that if you do have sex, protection is a must. You could ask your partner, “Hey, what’s your favorite condom brand?” or, “Is there a drugstore near your place to buy condoms? You know, just in case we decide we want to do that?”

When you talk about using condoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are saying you want to have sex at that particular time. It just means that you place a strong value on avoiding pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or both!

Here are a few tips from other teens on talking about condoms and safer sex with a partner:

“I’d simply ask, ‘You have protection right?’ If they said no then I’d tell them, ‘No deal. No condom no sex, but most importantly, no STDs.’”

–Kristen, 17

“When we’re kissing, I ask my boyfriend, ‘Hey, you have a condom, right? Just in case?’ If he says no, then I let him know I’m going home early, so that we aren’t even tempted to go without!”

–Malik, 18

“My girlfriend buys condoms in bulk from a website, and I pay her back for half. That way we both know we have plenty of condoms. We both know we want to use them, and we both pay for them. It works for us!”

–Drew, 19

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