The Best Gift This Valentine’s Day? Condoms

After surviving Christmas and New Year’s we’ve finally made it to the best day of the year: National Condom Day (AKA Valentine’s Day). In our view, National Condom Day is the perfect celebration. It is made for the pleasure of you and your sexual partners. It’s also a treat for your local sexual health professional, who is a big fan of people reducing their STI risk and having a good time.

Yes of course roses, chocolates and flowers are great, but doesn’t that get boring? We propose an alternative. Consider the romantic gift of safe, consensual, and pleasurable sex. Condoms and dental dams are the cherry on top of this gift, a chef’s kiss if you will.

If used correctly condoms will prevent the transmission of many STIs and are up to 98% effective in preventing pregnancy. Dental dams are also effective in reducing STI transmission through oral sex.

By asking your sexual partner, “Can we use a condom or dam?” you are also letting them know that “I respect myself and you, because I care about our health”. That’s hot if you ask us.

Sex with condoms doesn’t have to be awkward or uncomfortable, it’s about finding the right option for you, and having an honest conversation about your expectations with your partner/s.

However, we understand it can be embarrassing to talk about these things. So having some go-to lines for condom negotiation can help.

For example:

Your partner says: “It’s uncomfortable, to wear condoms.”

You: “Could we try out a different brand or size? It could take some getting used to but I’m not having sex without one”.

Your partner says: “It makes me less horny.”

You: “Having unprotected sex puts me out of the mood completely.”

Your partner says: “Do you think you’re going to catch something off me?”

You: “Sometimes people don’t even know when they have infections as they don’t always have symptoms. So why not be safe.”

Condoms are easily available, you can purchase them at petrol stations, grocery stores or stock up online. Trust us when we say no one cares when you buy condoms. Go in to your store and buy them with confidence, knowing you’re responsible and going to have fun because you deserve it. If you do feel a little nervous about anyone seeing you then you could try the self-serve checkout, or can collect free condoms from SHINE SA clinics. While you’re purchasing condoms make sure to pick up some water-based lubricant. It’s always better to prepared and have a spare pack of condoms and lube ready to go.

If partnered sex is not on the agenda this National Condom Day, that’s great too. Experiencing pleasure is just as valid with yourself as it is with another person. If you’re enjoying some time with sex toys it’s a good idea to look after them. Cleaning your sex toys is important to avoid transmission of some STIs and to avoid bacterial infection.⁠ Use warm soapy water to clean them but check the instructions first to ensure it’s appropriate for your toy.

Remember using condoms or dams means you can focus on having pleasurable sex, without worrying about STIs. Go forth and enjoy National Condom Day today and every day.


Useful links:

SHINE SA Condom Fact Sheet

Where Can I Get Condoms

How to Talk About Condoms

The Complete Guide to the Internal Condom