Advice from three of our guy friends. This week a straight woman asks,”It’s been my experience that it’s the woman who has to insist on the condom, and that if she were happy to forgo it, then he would automatically be too? What’s with that? Why don’t guys seem to be as concerned about STDs and unplanned pregnancies?“
Gay Single Guy (Jay Dyckman): I can emphatically state that I am one of those guys who do not worry about unplanned pregnancies. Score one for the gays! But yes, I do believe that most guys prefer not to use a condom because it simply
feels better not to use one. (I’m not advocating it, I’m just saying what every guy knows to be true.) If the woman doesn’t insist on one, I believe most guys will assume she’s on some other form of birth control. As for STDs, the only one I think most guys worry about is HIV. And there is a common perception that it is quite difficult to get if you are the penetrative partner. (Again, not advocating or validating this, just stating what seems to be a general belief.) So because the risk factor seems low for the worst STD, and the other STDs can be annoying but effectively treated (I know, I know, herpes might not be curable but it’s not fatal), the concern level about catching something doesn’t appear to be as high for men as women. And as for pregnancy, well, most men have trouble thinking a week in advance so nine months might as well be 2072.
Straight Single Guy (Tyler Barnett): Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I’m usually the one who has to insist on the contraceptive, knowing that if I should choose to go without (which I NEVER do unless in a committed relationship) my partner would most likely forgo it too. Maybe the women I am with know how responsible I am when it comes to safe sex and as a result have less concern. Maybe when women start to have babies on the brain, their guard, both literally and figuratively, goes down quite a bit and the daily suppression of human nature calling for reproduction lets loose after a few drinks. Maybe it’s a modern form of feminism — the idea that they will have a baby when they want to have a baby. That said, I do, unfortunately, know more than a few guys that will do the deed unprotected, risking unplanned pregnancy and STD contraction for a few minutes of pleasure. Ultimately, maturity is much more of a factor than gender in determining who is more responsible for protection.
Straight Married Guy (David Felsen): When it comes down to it, most guys think with their dicks, and the dick wants what it wants. It’s also a lonely hunter. The dick brain doesn’t care about getting burned (though it should) or making babies. I wish it weren’t this way, and I’m sure there are lots of guys out there who mentally override their dick brains (manual override is something altogether different) and do the responsible thing, but we’re generally pretty shortsighted and selfish. It’s our nature, it’s our culture and while the worm is beginning to turn, it’s still on the wiser sex to be responsible.
Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Straight Married Guy is NY writer-comedian David Felsen; our Gay Guy is Jay Dyckman, an LA copywriter; and our Single Straight Guy is Tyler Barnett of Tyler Barnett PR in LA. To ask the guys your own question, click here. To ask the guys your own question, click here.