Safe sex. That’s all that’s ever been drilled in my head over the years—and rightfully so. Growing up in the era of HIV/AIDS (and a host of other STDs/STIs), staying protected was always at the forefront of my thoughts. Wrap it up. Stay strapped. No glove, no love. Don’t forget your Jimmy hat… Regardless of how corny the slogan, the underlying message remained: Don’t be stupid and wind up catching something or getting some girl pregnant. The only problem is that message worked just a little bit too well.
Aside from a few pre-stroke and pokes in my youth—a pregnancy scare ended those foolish indiscretions early on though—my premarital sex life was all about condoms. I wasn’t one of those guys who claimed it didn’t “feel right” with a rubber. My health and life meant too much to me to play Russian roulette for a few moments of pleasure. What’s wrong with that, right? Well, my stringent safe sex stance led me to the conclusion that I’d always wear a condom even when I’m married.
Whenever I made that announcement, people always gave me side-eye like, “That’s one of the perks of getting married—raw sex. You must be planning to cheat.” No, not at all. It’s just that along with protecting you from STDs/STIs, condoms are also helpful in pregnancy prevention. I’ve always said that I wanted to be married for a while before kids came into the picture so that my wife and I could have a stronger foundation for our future family. Even now that I’m a newlywed; my stance hasn’t changed.
Dating for several years before getting married, my wife knew about my view on post-marriage condom use, but it was no big deal at the time because marriage and kids weren’t on the immediate horizon. However, once we got engaged and later started our 60-day bout of celibacy leading up to The Big Day, conversations about consummating our marriage on wedding night started to come up. When I restated my aversion to having unprotected sex, she turned to me and gave me side-eye like, “That’s one of the perks of getting married—raw sex.”
Suddenly, something that for years was only hypothetical was now being put to the test. While I was intrigued by the prospect of skin-to-skin contact with my bride to be on our wedding night and beyond, I knew she wasn’t on birth control and the prospect of her getting pregnant at this stage in our lives scared me. I want to enjoy the transition from boyfriend and girlfriend to husband and wife for a bit before making that shift to daddy and mommy. Having sex without some sort of birth control throws that plan out the window and leaves the how and when of how our family grows completely up to chance.
After a brief discussion my wife promptly made an appointment to see her GYN to get back on birth control. Even with her Nuva Ring prescription refilled, I still wasn’t confident in putting all my trust solely in some magic ring. Knowing that my condom conundrum might ruin the romance of our wedding night, I found myself searching for a happy medium.
In the past I’d always made sure to use spermicide-laced condoms in the event one broke, so I figured there had to be a way to find lubricant with Nonoxynol-9 but I perused the shelves of several drugstores to no avail. Eventually I took to the Internet and had better luck. DrugStore.com carried a miracle elixir known as PrePair, a personal lubricant laced with sperm killer. I placed my order and a few days later the inconspicuous package arrived in my mailbox.
Needless to say, everything I thought about my wedding night involving a condom went right out the window and my wife and I are happier for it. While the label clearly states that “PrePair is NOT a contraceptive and should not be used alone to prevent pregnancy,” combined with my wife’s NuvaRing, it allowed me to feel more comfortable in enjoying “one of the perks of getting married—raw sex.”
Would you be offended if your spouse wanted to use a condom on your wedding night? Sound off!
Mr. and Mrs. Rocque are the couple formerly known as Anslem Samuel and Starrene Rhett, New York-based journalists who found love in between bylines. Follow the newlyweds’ musings of a marriage in progress here, on Twitter and via their joint blog.