When I ask friends if they’ve used or ever considered using female condoms, the reaction is mixed. Because of the cost and perceived hassle, they opt to use other methods. However, since today is Female Condom Day ,I think it’s important to review the benefits of this form of contraception.
First, it’s safe to use if people have a latex allergy. I’ve worked with several women who can’t use latex condoms and often, have unprotected sex because of it. Having unprotected sex with non-monogamous partners puts you at an increased risk for contracting STIs or HIV. However, with the female condom which is made of rubber and not latex, you can still utilize this barrier method which is 95% effective is used correctly every time.
Also, they can be used as a part of sex play. Because the female condom should be inserted prior to penetration, it can be inserted by your partner. Grab some lube and play with your partner. AND the external ring can possibly stimulate the clitoris during intercourse! (bonus: you can use oil-based lubes too! …as long as they’re body safe)
Additionally, the female condom stays in place even after a man loses his erection whereas a latex condom may slip off a flaccid penis. Also, did you know the female condom can be used to anal sex as well? Just as it is inserted into the vagina prior to intercourse, it can be inserted into the anus.
So where can you get them? Female condoms are available at family planning clinics and even your local grocery or big box store. They can range in price from $2-4 each, but are a great alternative to latex condoms. Although this method may not be for everyone, it’s a viable option that provides many women the opportunity to exercise choices in reproductive freedom.
De-Andrea Blaylock-Johnson is a licensed clinical social worker and sex therapist in private practice at Sankofa Sex Therapy, LLC. She’s on the Executive Board of the Women of Color Sexual Health Network and has been featured as a sexpert on Ebony.com and Shape.com. Check out her YouTube show, Ask A Sex Therapist, where she answers your questions related to sex and sexuality and visit her website, SankofaSexTherapy.com.