Loving oneself involves knowing where you stand. As an empowered individual, you can always say no to risky sexual behavior, such as going bareback or going raw. “Bareback” in the old days meant riding horses without a saddle. Nowadays, the term is more commonly used to refer to raw or unprotected anal intercourse.

A common belief among men-having-sex-with-men (MSM) is that bareback sex brings extra pleasure, but it also poses the risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as HIV. Getting or not getting an STI is a game of chance you partake in every time you engage in unprotected sex. 
Here are some tips to consider when your partner, talks you around going raw.

The initial talk

Good communication is beneficial to any and all relationships, especially intimate ones.Before getting into bed with your partner, talk to them about what you like to do, what makes you feel good and your limits. Let them tell you the same. Knowing  each other’s needs and limits will make the experience more fulfilling. Reach an agreement so you don’t get unpleasant surprises along the way. You can also get tested together first, if time permits.

When they say “It feels better raw”

If you’re about to do it and your partner still tries to escape using protection with words like “condoms reduce pleasure” or “it’s not as intimate as raw”, look them in the eye and tell him that it won’t feel as great for you. What’s more intimate than enjoying pleasure and knowing that both of you are safe?There’s pleasure even in safety. It’s as simple as applying a few drops of water-based lube on the head of your penis before rolling on the condom, and applying just enough outside of it. Besides, condoms today have features that help enhance pleasure – some have special additives and textures, while some are made ultra thin to imitate skin-to-skin contact.

“I’m clean, you can trust me.” or so they say

Your partner may be confident about his sexual health – he may tell you that he’s “clean” and “safe”, but he may be honestly wrong or just lying through his teeth. When having unprotected sex, both parties are at risk. So if they don’t care about what you can transmit to them, then he won’t even give a second thought about what he can give to you.These tidbits are not meant to scare your partner away; they’re meant to inform or remind him of the potentially dire consequences of unprotected sex. That’s showing care for yourself and for him. 

Bottomline: Safer sex or no sex? 

Saying “no” with not enough certainty may result in nothing. Be vulnerable enough to express how condom use makes you feel, and how you want your partner to feel the same way you do when using protection. If they appeal to your primal sense of passion in a bid to sway your decision, counter that by appealing to reason – Again, make him understand that using protection is not selfish, but an act of caring as you’re not just protecting yourself but the both of you.

If he still insists to the point of forcing you to go raw, throw him the question – “Safer sex or no sex?”

It might sound blunt and unfeeling to your partner, but at the end of the day, your utmost consideration is the well-being of the people involved. 

Besides, sex won’t be as enjoyable and intimate if you have doubts or worries on your mind. These thoughts may make you stop halfway through, leaving you both unsatisfied.

Choosing to use a condom can be difficult when your partner tries to convince you otherwise with his smooth words, thrilling touches and dreamy eyes, but remember that you are responsible for your sexual health and you are the master of your body. Plus that fact that you now have all the means to artfully craft messages to say no to raw sex. That fact should be enough to bring you back to the reality that using a condom properly and consistently is the number one rule. Always remember – “Sex is better if you package your wiener.”

Have you tried Premiere® Condoms? They have eight different variants that can make your intimate moments much more exciting. You can purchase PREMIERE Condoms at your go-to convenience stores or buy them on your favorite online shopping sites.

Text by LoveYourself Communications