Last fortnight, I wrote about an unsettling episode of unsafe sex I saw at the sauna. So this week, I thought I’d do a bit of a rah-rah routine for rubbers.

Condoms don’t get celebrated all that much. At best, they’re accepted as a fact of life, or a necessary evil. But I think there’s some value in the humble frenchie that goes beyond their role in stopping HIV. With this in mind, I’d like to present four alternative reasons why I think condoms are a good thing.

Condoms keep it simple. Whether you’re making beautiful love with your husband in the conjugal bed, or being ploughed by some rough-looking dude in a sleazy backroom scene, condoms keep everything wonderfully easy. They are the simple and pretty much foolproof solution, maximising the action and minimising the need for discussion about said action.

Condoms can do the talking for you. Sometimes, a bit of talking during sex can be quite nice, and even a bit hot. But at other times, talking can ruin everything. The only difficulty with this, however, is that gay sex is a menu and, sooner or later, someone has to do the ordering. Reaching for a condom is the perfect, non-verbal way for you to suggest that while the kissing, caressing and fondling is all very nice, you’d really like to start fucking arse right about now.

Condoms can tell you about a guy. When a guy knows how to put a condom on, quickly, smoothly, and without fuss, it’s a sexy thing. It suggests confidence and experience, and that’s gotta bode well for whatever happens next. But if the guy you’re with is unable to put a condom on without having a wrestling match with the wrapper, or he always starts off by putting it on back to front, or the whole process makes him lose his erection -¦ well, that all smacks of amateurism, doesn’t it? This can be charming in its own way, of course, but it suggests that if he’s in the driver’s seat, so to speak, you’ll have to be a pretty attentive navigator.

Condoms are clean. Shit happens. It’s true for life in general and, ultimately, it’s true for gay sex. Don’t laugh; it happens to us all eventually and, when it does, you’ll be grateful for that little rubber raincoat protecting you from the elements.

So there you go: condoms. They’re okay. Let’s keeping using them.

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