Condom use and the Adult Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse

There are two ways to prevent the infection of a Sexually Transmitted Disease; condom use and abstinence. Abstinence is not having sex, anal, oral or vaginal, at all with anyone. Abstinence carries with it a 100 percent guarantee or no risk of STD infection. This is excluding HIV infection which can be transmitted from mother to unborn child and intravenously. And it also excludes infection with the Herpes virus which can be contracted through skin to skin contact.

If you are sexually active and are not willing to abstain from sex then the absolute best and essential method of protection is condom use and testing. All those that are sexually active must be tested for sexually transmitted diseases – there are no exceptions to this rule. Testing should be discussed with your healthcare provider. Without appropriate testing and treatment, many STDs can grow from a slight nuisance or disease with no symptoms to a very complicated condition that results in infertility, cancer and even death. And without testing and treatment you can unknowingly infect someone with a serious and deadly disease.

There are many, many adult Survivors of childhood sexual abuse that consent to sexual intimacy with another willing partner. These sexual relationships vary from deep heartfelt relationships based on love and monogamy to causal sex partners, to sex exchanged for money to sex in relationships that are abusive and dangerous. Whatever the relationship, many women find that their partners are unwilling to use a condom. Condom use and safe sex is a significant problem for the Survivor Today as is represented by the disproportionate number of Survivors that are infected and affected each year.

Survivors are at a great risk for infection and with the only method of protection being condom use – the Survivor Today must learn to not only talk the talk of love using words of safe sex and effective condom negotiation skills but also walk the walk.  Women cannot physically make a male partner use a condom, but women can discuss condom use with their partners on a continual basis – not just before the sexual encounter and be prepared to stand their ground.  Here’s how the discussions can transpire:

He says: Sex doesn’t feel good with a condom.

Your response: Neither does an STD. Sex with blisters on my vagina and mouth aren’t sexy, they will hurt and will make sex painful for me.

He says: I don’t want to wear a condom when we have sex.

Your response: Well then you do not want to have sex with me.

He says: You must be cheating on me!

Your response: I’m not cheating on you – but if you really believe that – then you should really wear a condom then.

He says: Prove that you are faithful- let me have sex with you without a condom.

Your response: Prove that you care about my life and health – wear a condom

He says: I’m faithful to you – I’m only sleeping with you.

Your response: Good and I’m faithful to you. It sounds like you may be ready to take the next step and get married. But until then, we are using a condom.

He says: Only sluts want guys to wear a condom

Your response: You just turned me off – I don’t sleep with guys that talk about women like that       

He says: If you make me wear a condom, then I’ll leave you and you’ll be by yourself

Your response: Goodbye. I’d rather be healthy and alone then sick with you.

Women across the board complain that getting their partners to wear a condom is a very difficult situation and are at a loss as to what to do about it. There are only two options in this situation – have sex without a condom and risk infection or choose not to have sex at all and maintain your health. Walking away from a man you love because he won’t wear a condom is an extremely difficult situation to be in. But having sex is not all fun and games. It’s a matter of life or death. If you are overwhelmed with the fear of losing your man and cannot stand up for yourself and insist on condom use then you are not ready to be in a sexual relationship. Safe sex requires maturity, self-esteem, self-love, discipline and consistency. It also requires that you love and protect yourself above all. It may sound harsh, but it’s true – if you aren’t willing to stand your ground, especially in the heat of the moment, then you just might end up in the ground. Remember, if a guy really loves and respects you and himself,  and wants to be with you then he will wear a condom. If he doesn’t then learn how to say goodbye.

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