This summer while working at a summer camp in Germany, I was having a conversation with my fellow counselors. I don’t remember what the exact conversational jump-off point was, but at some point while talking about sex, one counselor named Raph started off about how he didn’t like condoms. He explained that he had tried them once and never used them again (Raph is married in his late 30s with two kids). It wasn’t just because they killed the feeling either; he seemed to be
philosophically against them as well, and while he couldn’t or didn’t articulate exactly and precisely his issue with them, something beneath his words struck a chord with me. And of course, seeing as the ladies in the group were a bit in shock from his unconventional views, I joined in the condemnation of prophylactics for the lulz, claiming with as much seriousness as I could muster that condoms were feminist tools of male subjugation and emasculation -(“All the tonic effects of getting a nice stiff one in you without having to sink to the level of intimate physical contact with a man”, etc.).
Me and Raph had a laugh and someone eventually changed the subject but an idea had been planted which I thought about subsequently. Trying to piece together the hidden wisdom in Raph’s words, the best I have been able to come up with thus far is that sex with condoms, if it is indeed objectionable, is so because it is frivolous.
Is frivolous sex a bad thing? Well, it’s certainly not the worst thing. Lord knows it’s fun…
But when it comes down to it, I’m tryng to do something.
My thoughts can be summed up in the film Rounders: Matt Damon’s ,Mike McDermott quotes poker great, Doyle Brunson: “Put a man to a decision for all his chips.”
At face value this may not seem particularly relevant but I like the idea of not playing unless you’re playing all-in so to speak. I think when you apply that all-in mentality to sex it has the potential to make people take their couplings a little more seriously -or at least it fits well into an overall sex education which emphasizes something beyond the physical act and going through the motions.
Of course this isn’t to say that sex with a condom is simply going through the motions, but the stakes are definitely lower, and that can lead to all kinds of frivolity. Conversely, just because the stakes are raised doesn’t mean people will play more responsibly; our human history has been characterized by a lack of reliable contraception/general protection and that has been no guarantee of people taking it seriously. Countless bastard children and the spread of venereal disease are a testament to that.
Bearing in mind this human tendency to take stupid risks no matter how high the stakes, I am certainly not advocating for any kind of condom or birth control ban.
I googled ‘African Cardinal’ -I’m not even sure who this is but he looks like someone I would picture if we were to talk about banning contraception.
Instead I would like to see a consciousness take root in men; one in which they are a little more intentional in their approach to women. An approach where they don’t think about getting laid, but rather one where their mentality when approaching women is: “I want to do something with her that has consequences.”
They should think it, but to ensure they mean it they should say it out loud, because it’s a lot harder to lie to yourself out loud. If they can’t say it truthfully for whatever reason (in love with someone else, don’t really wanna risk being a father, the chick in question is a toad-faced skank, etc…) then they probably got no business making romantical (sic.) overtures.
To bring this all to a neat dovetail, a wise man once said, “If you’re only doing it for the money, it’s probably not worth doing in the first place.”
I think its equally true to say, “If you’re only talking to her to fuck, she’s probably not worth talking to in the first place.”
Somehow, I think the ladies might approve of this message as well.