burning sensation.jpg It seems like a good idea at first. Grab the condoms from the store. No, not those–get the ones with the extra protection. Yeeaaah, spermicide. Kill those suckers. At home, he slips on the rubber. It’s so hot, the double-safe sex you’re going to have. Then he slips into you, and pushing gives into thrusting. He picks up the pace. And then…HOLY MOSES what is this burning sensation?!

It’s like someone opened up a can of Lysol inside you. Except it’s really not that different, at least not if you have a sensitive, finicky, touchy, prima donna pussy/asshole. Maybe not everyone experiences the same pain, discomfort, and soreness after sex with spermicide, but enough do to make it an issue. So consider this a public service announcement: spermicide is not worth it. Stop buying spermicidal condoms.

Spermicide in and of itself does not prevent you from contracting sexually transmitted infections. Spermicide does not add extra protection against pregnancy. Spermicide even decreases the shelf life of the condoms it coats.

Don’t believe me? Try the World Health Organization:

Nonoxynol-9 (the most common active ingredient in spermicide) is sometimes added to male condoms as a lubricant. The experts found no evidence that nonoxynol-9-lubricated condoms provided any more protection against pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections than condoms lubricated with silicone, used as a lubricant for the majority of condoms available in developing countries. Since nonoxynol-9 may cause some adverse effects, the experts recommended that such condoms should no longer be promoted, but noted that “it is better to use a nonoxynol-9-lubricated condom than no condom.”

N-9 abrades surfaces, which becomes a problem when spermicidal condoms meet um, your surfaces. Or when you’re trying to protect yourself from HIV. Because of all the sloughing off and irritation spermicide can cause, you actually worsen your chances against HIV when spermicide is in the mix.

So welcome to my pet issue. Sure, spermicide sounds like a good idea, but not when it so utterly fails. Sperm killer? More like the destroyer of happy vaginas and butts worldwide. And the (not-so) metaphorical boner for safer sex. Do yourself (and your partner) a favor by tossing out those hostile condoms, lubes, films, and whatever other forms n-9 comes in. Reinvest in simpler lubricated condoms, or visit your local Good Vibes where friendly staff will gladly answer your questions about what’s in your condoms. Plus, ow, that shit really hurts.

Image by toffiloff.

The Sexual Manifesto is Christine Borden’s weekly column on sex in the city, sex and culture, and, well, sex. Got a tip for Christine (and it’s not in your pants)? Email her at christine@sfappeal.com.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!