Condoms in college: Students tell why they do, and don’t, wrap it before they tap it

Stepha Poulin and Stepha Poulin

One of Addison Jane’s sexual partners said he couldn’t use a condom since his penis was too big. 

“Some guys claim they can’t ‘pop it up’ with a condom on,” Jane said, “and I’m just like, ‘really, though?’”

In response, Jane — who asked to use a pseudonym — opened a Magnum condom and shoved it over her entire right arm. 

She and her partner ended up using a condom that night. 

“Since starting the whole Tinder hookup thing, I strictly use condoms, even if I’ve slept with them beforehand,” said Jane, a 20-year-old BGSU junior majoring in creative writing. 

But according to the CDC, many college-aged people don’t use condoms on a regular basis. 

Among women ages 20 to 24, only 14.4% use a condom “most of the time.” Meanwhile, 27.4% of men surveyed used a condom that frequently. 

Respectively for women and men, 41.8% and 20.4% used a condom “none of the time.”

When Jane got her first long-term boyfriend, she stopped using condoms and got on birth control. They broke up, and she started hooking up with other people and using condoms again. 

This trend reflects CDC data. When people have more than one sexual partner, they are more likely to use a condom. 

But it may surprise some how few people use condoms. Jane expected more people would use them, judging by her sexual experiences.

“I’ve had sex with — let’s say — more than 10 and less than 25 people, including men and women,” Jane said. “Only a couple people didn’t want to use condoms. No one really fights against it.”

Even when she’s having one-night-stands with women, Jane still uses protection. Before college, she would cut up condoms for make-shift dental dams, which act as a barrier between the genitals and the mouth during oral sex.

Meanwhile Charlotte, a 21-year-old history major at the University of Toledo, has used condoms with half of their sexual partners, they said.

“I use them for hookups, especially people I don’t know or trust. In relationships I don’t, because it feels better for both of us. I trust them, and I have a cream pie kink,” Charlotte said. 

A “cream pie kink” is slang for when someone purposefully ejaculates into the vagina, typically allowing the ejaculate to ooze out, similar to cream spilling out of a pie crust.

All kinks aside, Charlotte realizes the necessity of safe sex and keeps condoms stockpiled at home. 

“I have some condoms I bought, and I expect them (a partner) to have some if they want to use condoms,” they said. “Whoever’s house we’re at, they should have them.”

Although they don’t currently use condoms, Charlotte has an IUD, and both she and her partner regularly get tested for STDs.

People might not use condoms due to their sexual preferences, allergies or desires to start a family, but condoms are the only method of contraception that prevent both pregnancies and STDs. Even if you’re in a committed relationship and on birth control, it’s best to use a condom.

Still don’t want to use a condom? Here’s why you should:

  • Condoms prevent pregnancies and prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections like HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhea.

  • Condoms are cheap.

    • The Falcon Health Center provides free condoms, and most pharmacies, grocery stores and gas stations sell affordable, durable condoms. 

  • Condoms are easy to get.

    • Once again, the Falcon Health Center is typically within walking distance for students. Stop by and get protected today!

  • Condoms can taste good.

    • Condoms come in flavors like banana, strawberry and blueberry. Why deal with that rubbery smell when you can add some flavor?

  • Condoms can add to your sexual pleasure. 

    • Most condoms are lubed up, allowing for easy entry and better sensation, especially for people with vaginas. But this is especially true for anal sex. 

  • There are no side effects. 

    • Hormonal birth control can affect menstrual cycle regularity and flow, and for some it may cause acne or cramping. If hormonal birth control hasn’t worked for you, consider condoms.