To all the moms who feel like they have a seat reserved at the Mad Hatter’s table, we GET You! 

Can I interest you in some free condoms?

Can I interest you in some free condoms?

Free Condoms to a Good Home!

I have a box of condoms. Do you want them? We don’t need them… I mean, well… we won’t use them. Well, it’s not that we wouldn’t use them. Everything is okay. By ‘everything is okay’ I mean to say that we have sex, everything works. It’s just that we don’t need them. We have a healthy amount of sex? I add the question mark because I don’t know — it seems largely subjective. My “healthy amount” is probably not your “healthy amount.” But you don’t want to know about that. Why am I telling you about that? This is about you. And the box of condoms.

It’s unopened, don’t worry. Were you worried? They are Trojan Ultra Thin. Do you like those? I don’t really know the difference. I’ve never bought condoms before. There are 12 inside. How long would these take you to use? A couple days? A week? A year? The box says “triple tested”. I had a little laugh. I hope no one tested the particular ones in this box. The box also says “Spermicidal Lubricant” and “Spermicide for Extra Contraceptive Protection”. I think spermicide is a funny word and spermicidal is even funnier. Do you agree?

There is a warning that these are not for rectal use. I don’t like “butt stuff.” That’s what I call it: “butt stuff.” It’s pretty immature, I know. Don’t judge me.

The truth is I didn’t get much ‘sex education’ as a youth. We were given Abstinence Classes and encouraged to sign a pledge to stay virgins until marriage. “I _________, promise not to have sex before marriage. I make this promise before man and God.” You were supposed to write your name on the blank line. There were lines for witnesses to sign, too. They would help you stay accountable.

In church, the youth pastor showed us what sex was like, as he tore a petal off a rose until it was bald and naked, the torn petals trampled on the stage floor under the feet of the men who stole the rose’s beauty. A tragic song was playing. It felt epic. It felt important. It felt true. Why buy the cow, you know?

Those movie and TV clips showing kids slipping condoms onto bananas made me laugh but didn’t resonate much with me. I’ve never put a condom on anything — not even a banana. The only bananas at my school were for eating, not practicing safe sex. I was horribly unprepared for premarital sex which happened, of course, because it usually does. Don’t get me wrong, I know real people who waited until marriage. I have respect for that. But they probably aren’t reading this because they aren’t interested in my free box of condoms. Are you still interested?

Honestly, I never asked guys to use condoms. Part of that was because I was uneducated. Part of it was the fact that they never asked me. They never brought it up — why would I? I thought it was ‘normal’ and just didn’t worry. I was on birth control… and STDs… well, those wouldn’t happen to me, right? Bad things don’t happen to you when you are young and reckless — or do they? Maybe that is exactly when those things happen to you. What do you think? You should use these condoms, if I give them to you. I should have used them back then.

These are new condoms, by the way. They aren’t from my reckless days. I’m not trying to give you old condoms. Like I said, I didn’t have any then. Now that I have them, I don’t need them.

I’m happily married now — have been for a while. I left behind those wild, irresponsible days. I have two children. I have an IUD so, you see, that’s why I don’t need these. I didn’t know about IUDs before. I took the pill. I missed a couple days when my grandpa passed away. I got pregnant and that’s when I had my daughter. It was a happy ‘accident’, you could say. But it isn’t always. I didn’t really know missing two days would change my life.

I was ignorant, which is largely my fault, as we live in a world where information is constantly at our fingertips. And I was sexually active. I don’t say “slut”. I sometimes say “sexually liberated.”. Let’s just say that my experiences were so personal that well, I just think sex is up to the individual. I don’t judge anyone. Do you? Do you say “slut” and “whore”?

People say that if you are having unsafe sex, don’t be surprised when you get pregnant. I was still surprised, which is pretty dumb. 2+2, right? I’m glad I didn’t have this box of condoms, though. Because then I wouldn’t know my daughter. Then again, I wouldn’t know that I would never know my daughter. It’s one of those things: complicated. Maybe you can use these condoms to avoid meeting your possible children… no, that sounds wrong… plus it’s very Schrodinger’s cat.

So I have an IUD now and I’m happily settled and satisfied and our sex life is great, in my opinion. My opinion is what counts. I now know about safe sex and contraception and family planning. Those things are really important to me. But this is about you. Are you being safe  Are you brave enough to grab this free box of condoms and assert yourself, even when he or she doesn’t bring up using protection? I wish I had been braver. I wish I had valued my health more.

Today I feel more liberated than I did then. I guess you could say the “truth has set me free.” And the truth is what I plan to tell my children so that they never feel as ignorant as I did then. Maybe I will even whip out a banana for a demonstration. I will watch them moan and squirm uncomfortably as I talk about sex. It will be awkward. And it will be worth it.

How did you learn? At school? Home? From your friends? I remember Google searching “dirty sanchez”, a term I heard at school — they weren’t even using it right. They probably didn’t know what it meant, either. It wasn’t the best introduction to sex talk. None of us knew what we were doing. What we were talking about, thinking about, nervous about. When I finally had sex, I figured everyone else knew better than I did. They didn’t bring up condoms so it couldn’t be that important. But it was. And it is.

So I’ll ask you one more time: do you want this free box of condoms?

This story was originally published on byrslf.co

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