With great sex comes great responsibility. Sexual safety is important for any relationship. There are plenty options to choose from when it comes to contraceptives. Couples could choose birth control pills, an IUD, abstinence and many others. As effective as these methods may be, there is one form of birth control that reigns supreme among college students. The condom. It will come as no surprise that many college students choose condoms as their favorable form of birth control. There is; however, one burning question that couples have. Should the man or the woman be buying the condoms? This seemingly simple question has raised quite a bit of debate among couples for years. Men are the ones who wear the condoms, so they should be in charge of buying them, right? Wrong. There has been a long standing myth that solely men should be supplying the condoms. The logic behind this is beyond flawed. To say that the men are “in charge” of having the condoms is the equivalent of saying that men are “in charge” of sexual safety. Purchasing condoms should not be a sign of masculinity. Gender should not even be a factor. This double standard could lead to unprotected sexual activity. If a situation arises where a man does not have condom on hand, there would no protection for the man or woman against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. Safe sex should be practiced by everyone. This isn’t just the simple act of buying condoms. It’s a matter of taking control of your own sex life. Being adequately prepared for sexual activity of any kind is a crucial part of a healthy sex life. Condoms are the most popular form of birth control among college aged people. It is reported; however, that many college students are foregoing birth control. A study done by the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada discovered that nearly 50% of sexually active college students aren’t using condoms at all. This is especially concerning considering college students make up for about half of STD cased. According to the Center for Disease Control, about 20 million new STD cases are reported every year. What’s especially chilling for us college folk is that half of these 20 million cases are from young people between the ages of 15 and 25. These facts aren’t thrown in here to scare you away from sex, but to highlight the importance for both men and women to be appropriately prepared. This doesn’t just protect you; it protects your partner, as well. What might cause such a commotion between couples over who should buy the condoms could just be the process of getting them.
The walk down the contraceptives aisle can be a daunting one. Many people could feel embarrassment, and even shame, over purchasing condoms. This is especially prevalent in women. The fear of being labeled as a “whore” or a “slut” stops women from feeling comfortable buying condoms. This is a societal issue that needs to be done away with. Not only should women feel comfortable buying condoms, they should feel encouraged to. It should be a liberating feeling to know that you are being sexually responsible. There should be no negative stigma placed on anyone taking the initiative to protect themselves, and their partner. Communication among partners is crucial when it comes to buying contraceptives of any kind. Condoms come in a vast array of sizes, brands and fits. It might seem easier to let the man buy the condoms simply to avoid a potentially awkward conversation. Avoiding these conversations could lead to a disconnection within the relationship. Talking to your partner about condoms should not be an uncomfortable situation. Couples should make an effort to sit and talk openly about sexual preferences; this would include condoms. This allows for a better understanding of what each person likes and dislikes. Being informed of these things about your partner leads to an overall openness and understanding in the relationship. These types of conversations are what create an intimacy between couples that stems well beyond just sexual activity. Both men and women should take responsibility for their sex lives. Now we can finally put this debate to bed. Who should be buying the condoms? Everyone.