This post is in partnership with K-Y.
If I had to give a status to my relationship with safe sex, I'd say it's complicated.
Safe sex, or safer sex, prioritizes health above all else. It's about protecting yourself and protecting your partners. Some of the effective barrier methods are condoms, the ever-popular reproductive barrier, or the use of dental dams or female condoms.
Now, I always make him wrap it up; especially when I'm engaging in a sexual relationship that isn't mutually exclusive. However, that doesn't mean I am typically in love with the sensation that comes along with it. See? Complicated.
Although I know how necessary condoms are for sexual health, I've never had the best perceptions of condoms. I always heard society echoing the buyer beware sentiment of it being too tight, too small, it won't fit, or the tried and true phrase of, "It's like wearing a raincoat in the rain." Aka ladies, your gents can't feel sh*t, namely your famed Aquafina drip. Early on, it seemed like, despite how empowering of a tool a condom was in a man and woman's sexuality and sexual freedom, it was something that went against the very nature of the pleasure we're ultimately after.
The very first time I used a condom was when I lost my virginity. I remember how cold and thick it felt inside of me initially, a feeling I'd liken to a gynecologist's lubed finger when it's time to examine your cervix during your annual pap smear. The slow build quickly caught fire though, and I experienced sheer ecstasy.
Several months and an STI screening later, we experimented with sex without a condom and I truly discovered my niche. While sometimes condoms would dry out and subsequently run me dry, skin-to-skin contact was intense, breathtaking, wild, and truly free. I could feel everything. I was addicted.
Of course, following the demise of that relationship, the importance of safe sex re-entered, but I found myself revisiting the same cycle in my next long-term relationship. Now that I'm single and low key mingling, I've been experimenting with different condoms. It wasn't until recently though, that I experimented with something else, by a brand I never thought to try, despite their impressive stamp in the lubricant market: K-Y Extra Lubricated Latex Condoms.
I was enticed by their packaging. There was something intrinsically feminine about it that made me think my pleasure was a priority. Although morning sex isn't my favorite meal on the menu, he hit it in the morning, in our favorite lazy lovemaking position, the modified spoon. At night, the inner freak came out of us both and we indulged, tasting different aspects of each other, and switching from position to position.
The verdict was more than in: I loved it.
I was reminded of how it felt to have sex without one and my body responded accordingly. I was a fountain and it made both experiences (and the ones after) an incredible ride for me. While it's extremely important to talk about safe sex from a physical standpoint, it's also important to talk about sex from a pleasurable and emotional perspective. Feeling good is a huge part of it, but I think there's room to do both.
In learning to fall in love with wrapping it up unconditionally, and with my condom of choice, is an act of loving myself. Deeply, physically, and wholly. I am reminded of my power in a tangible way.
And that in and of itself makes me feel liberated AF.
I guess these days, my relationship with safe sex has become a little less complicated.
To find out more about K-Y Extra Lubricated Condoms as well as their K-Y® Yours+Mine® Couples Lubricants®, visit K-Y.com.
Featured image by Mecca Gamble