Dear Di,

My partner and I have been going steady for a few weeks now, and everything is great except he seems really condom-averse. Since I’m on birth control he thinks he doesn’t need to, but I’m still pretty paranoid and feel a lot better doubling up. In addition, he doesn’t think he needs to get tested, since he’s only had one partner before me. What are some sexy ways to bring up staying safe?

—Rubber Lover

Dear RL,

Contraception can be a touchy issue among some couples. As you may already know, condoms are the only type of contraception that protects both against unwanted pregnancy and STIs. However many men (and a lot of women) report that using condoms reduces sensitivity during sex, and puts a damper on the whole show.

The first thing I would suggest to get your guy into condoms, in a more delicate manner, is make sure he’s using the right size. He might be complaining about comfort because his penis is being choked for air, or on the other hand, isn’t appreciating its poncho. Guys can get touchy about size though, so try to be sensitive.

You could also make picking out condoms something fun you two do together. Splurge on some crazy-scented condoms you find online or in your nearest sex shop. With products like J&D’s bacon-scented condoms, or McCondom whiskey-flavoured condoms, the opportunities are endless. I would also recommend trying out female condoms. While they may get a little pricey as you get more adventurous, using condoms can save you a lot of stress and cash in the long run.

Next, don’t be afraid to add condoms to your foreplay! First, make sure they’re easy to reach. The last thing you want when he’s eating you out is for him to come up for air, and dig through his wallet for an old condom. Pick your favourite flavour, and then put it on for him. Use one hand, two, your lips or your tongue, find a friend—anything that will get that condom on, and turn you both on.

In terms of getting your partner to get tested, it’s normal for things to feel a little awkward. Regardless, it’s important that he’s listening to your concerns, and you listen to his. See where his apprehension is coming from.

Even if your guy has only had one partner before, he probably isn’t thinking about oral sex, or any other type of non-vaginal penetration that can still result in the contraction of an infection. Often times, pulling up facts from a third-party, let’s say a Laci Green video or a Planned Parenthood article, can help your case.

Alongside with your concerns, try to communicate that this process is happening because you want this to work out. Offer to get tested with him, if this would make him feel more at ease. Get him a cake afterwards and offer to eat it off his body, if that’ll do the trick. A lot of communication and a little bit of foreplay can often go a long way.

Love,

Di

Dishing with Di: Not quite saints

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have quite the romantic origins that most people would assume. The holiday dates back to the glory days of the Romans, and was originally the feast of Lupercalia. It didn’t get the name of St. Valentine’s until Emperor Claudius II executed two men named Valentine on Feb. 14 in the third century. These two men were named saints by the Catholic Church, and in an effort to clean up the debaucherous image of the feast of Lupercalia, combined the two events. Throughout history, the holiday became more lovey-dovey and was romanticized by big wigs like Chaucer and Shakespeare. It didn’t take its modern form until Hallmark began mass-producing cards in 1913. Ah, nothing sexier than capitalism, am I right?