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Jeremy has a master’s degree in law from Oxford University. A banker of 37 years who worked in 3 continents, he has been training with Dr Holmes for the last 10 years as co-lecturer and, occasionally, as co-therapist, especially with clients whose financial concerns intrude into their daily lives
Together, they have written two books: Love Triangles: Understanding the Macho-Mistress Mentality and Imported Love: Filipino-Foreign Liaisons.
Dear Dr Holmes and Mr Baer,
My boyfriend and I are upset at each other. I want him to use a condom during sex because I don’t want to become pregnant yet but he refuses to wear one. He says that it doesn’t feel as good and not as intimate. He also said that he’s never worn one in his previous relationships and there has never been a problem.
I don’t want to be irresponsible and be purposefully stupid.
I can get an implant, but I still want him to wear a condom since isn’t it a fact that two methods of birth control is much more effective than just one?
It’s putting so much strain between us but I refuse to give in when I know better. What else can I do?
Thank you for your email.
Your desire not to become pregnant at this stage of your life is totally understandable. The impact of a child on your present and your future would be immense, affecting every aspect of your life. This of course is not necessarily the case for your boyfriend (let’s call him Jose) who at worst could (if he so chose) walk away from any pregnancy without accepting any responsibility whatsoever.
While the risk of pregnancy is understandably your main concern at present, I think that it is worth examining Jose’s behavior in a little more detail. Here is a man who is happy to have sex with you, has no compunction about running the risk of a pregnancy and thinks his prior history of avoiding impregnating despite eschewing condoms is somehow a guarantee that you won’t become pregnant.
All this is predicated upon his insistence that his enjoyment of sex would be reduced if he were to use protection.
This attitude suggests that his pleasure is primary in his mind and all other considerations are secondary.
Now this kind of attitude might be fine when, for example, ordering food for himself or choosing a book to read. However, in the case of having sex within a relationship, such total disregard of one’s partner’s feelings and desires bodes ill for any future you might be contemplating together.
If you concede to him on this issue, this kind of obduracy has a habit of spreading throughout the relationship. In fact, I would recommend that you seriously consider getting rid of him and finding yourself a boyfriend who is more considerate and more caring.
All the best,
Thank you for your letter. What else can you do? You can leave this entitled, self absorbed, son of a bitch, that’s what you can do.
Look, you know me, I am not usually mataray like this, but two things stand out:
“said that he’s never worn one in his previous relationships and there has never been a problem.”
I have never heard anything so moronic. If things worked so well with these girlfriends that he never had a problem with, well maybe he would still be with them. Who knows? But using a previous relationship to further his point is useless.
You can bolster your argument with similar anecdotes (true or not) if you were so minded; Why do I say this? Because his reason for not wearing a condom is that: “it doesn’t feel as good and not as intimate.”
Are his feelings the only ones to be considered here? Surely you cannot be intimate if you are frightened this might be the time his sperm will meet with your egg. And surely you cannot feel as good if you are constantly worrying about what to do should you get pregnant? And frankly, as Mr Baer says, the impact of birth control not working for you is far FAR greater than it not working for him. And his inability to see this is yet another example of his self absorption.
In my opinion, given the 2 methods you mentioned both of which are pretty safe, one method would be enough. However, as we all know, how many birth control methods we use is not merely a function of reason and research, but of anger, resentment and other emotions; Besides, a condom can be slid on and slid out, an implant is not so easily and certainly not so cavalierly worn and not worn.
If your boyfriend cannot be with you regarding this (and this is not just contraception but the ability to see you are not talking about equal issues here) then I say leave him.
His sort of selfishness is not the kind that withers on the vine. Sorry for such bad news 🙁
All the best,
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