Having sex is an important decision that you should take seriously and with consideration for the risks involved. Unprotected sex can result in infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancies. Hence, it's a good idea to understand the potential consequences before engaging in sexual activity without condoms.

At condoms.uk, we create informative content on safe sex practices to help you make informed decisions. Here are ten reasons why condoms should be used for intercourse and other sexual activities, and then we will discuss these points in detail.

  1. Condoms offer the best protection against STIs when used correctly and consistently (Source). Male condoms offer 50-90% protection from STIs such as HIV, Hepatitis B, gonorrhoea and chlamydia. They are less effective in protecting against HPV and herpes simplex. This is not 100% protection, so even those who use condoms reliably and consistently every time they have sex should have regular STI tests (Source).
  2. Using condoms can provide additional physical sensations during sex, such as decreased friction and increased warmth.
  3. Condoms reduce the risk of transmitting infections, including HIV and other STIs, from one partner to another by preventing skin-to-skin contact and preventing semen being deposited in the female genital tract.
  4. Different types of condoms available, such as internal (or female) condoms and lubricated ones, can provide an additional layer of protection and enhanced pleasure.
  5. Condoms can help prevent the spread of STIs in communities with a high prevalence of specific infections.
  6. It is possible to avoid transmission of some STIs, such as herpes and genital warts, by using condoms and dental dams.
  7. Condoms are easy to use and can be put on in minutes — no need for an awkward conversation with a partner or dragging out the process of getting ready for sex.
  8. Condoms don't require complicated techniques or practice — pinch the air out of the top and roll it on in the right direction.
  9. You can use condoms for any type of sex, including oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse.

Table of Contents:

Can You Have Sex Without a Condom?

Some couples may decide to have sex without condoms if they have tested negative for STIs and are in a committed, exclusive, and preferably monogamous relationship. Your decision should not be taken lightly as there is still a risk of transmission of infections or an unplanned pregnancy even if both partners have tested negative for STIs.

Suppose this is the path that you have chosen. In that case, it's important to continue getting regularly tested for any potential changes in your sexual health, use alternative forms of contraception to prevent pregnancy, and ensure you are both comfortable with the decision.

Does Sex Feel Better Without a Condom?

Many partners feel that using condoms can reduce physical sensations during sex, while others think it adds a layer of pleasure. The type of condom used may also affect the sensation of sex, and it's crucial to find one that you both like.

Having unprotected sex is unnecessary for a pleasurable experience; anxiety about pregnancy and STDs can, for some people, take all the joy out of sex. Many other sexual activities can be enjoyed without risk, such as mutual masturbation, sensual massage, and oral sex (we recommend condoms or dental dams to protect against STDs. See the paragraph below).

Is Oral Sex Safe Without Protection?

Oral sex is less likely to transmit sexually transmitted infections than penetrative sex (vaginal or anal intercourse). However, it is still possible to contract a STI if your partner has a sexually transmitted infection in their mouth or throat.

It is, therefore, advisable to use condoms during oral sex and dental dams for cunnilingus and anilingus. Dental dams are thin squares of latex covering the vulva or anus during oral sex, effectively preventing direct contact with bodily fluids.

Is Anal Sex Safe Without a Condom?

It's crucial to prioritise safe sex practices when engaging in anal sex. The tissue inside the anus is thinner than the tissue in the vagina. Therefore, anal tissue can tear and create an environment where infections can thrive. Additionally, if semen comes in contact with the vagina, there is still a risk of getting pregnant.

It's vital to use condoms every time you have anal sex. Additionally, since the anus isn't self-lubricating, it's recommended to use water-based lubricants during anal sex. Prioritise your health and use these precautions to ensure safe and enjoyable experiences.

How Long Should Sex Last With a Condom?

How long should sex last without a condom is a challenging question to answer because everyone's experience is different; it's a bit like asking how long a meal should last.

That said, some condoms can make a man last longer; condoms for this purpose are called delay condoms and are generally a bit thicker than regular condoms and contain a chemical called benzocaine.

A small amount of benzocaine can temporarily numb the penis and reduce sensitivity, helping men to delay ejaculation. It's important to note that these condoms can irritate, making sex less enjoyable for both partners.

Ultimately, discussing your likes and dislikes with your partner is best for an enjoyable experience. With or without a condom, sex should be pleasurable for both partners and last as long as you want.

In Conclusion

Having unprotected sex carries many risks: unwanted pregnancies, STIs, and emotional vulnerability. It is advised to use protection such as condoms or dental dams whenever you have sex.

If you decide to risk it and have sex without protection, use a form of reliable contraception. There are 15 different methods of contraception currently available free of charge on the NHS. (Source)

If you have burst a condom and don't want to become pregnant, you should get advice about emergency contraception (the morning after pill) immediately. Don't delay - time is of the essence.

In addition, discuss your sexual preferences with your partner so that you both can enjoy a safe and pleasurable experience. For more information on safer sex practices, visit condoms.uk, sex education blog.

Dec 8, 2023
Reviewed by:
May 3, 2023
Written by:
Victoria Walsh