Safe sex

by singlemomseeking on May 12, 2009

Today, Love Babz interviewed our very own Dr. Leah on LoveTalk radio about having sex again as a single mom.

“I’m dating,” said Love Babz, a 46-year-old divorced mom. Then she quickly added, however: “But I haven’t had sex yet!”

During the juicy interview, Dr. Leah encouraged all women to carry your own condoms. In other words, straight from the mouth of The Sanity Fairy: “Safe sex is something that smart girls do!”

“But it’s overwhelming to go to CVS and look down that aisle,” Love Babz added, referring to the condom aisle.

LoveBabz doesn’t know this yet, but I’m sending her a whole bunch of condoms in the mail (which come in this flashy tin, below).

Now that I’m moving, I’ve got to unload some of the 100s of condoms I have in my closet. (Who else would like some? Let me know.)

After all, I’m no longer using condoms with my guy (who loves to joke around that he was still a virgin when I met him.)

Editor’s note: Judy just pointed out that I must add this minor detail about birth control: I’ve been on the Pill for years.


So, when does the sex become safe sex?

It was QT Mama who recently posted this question on her blog:

“I’ve read many a blog posting regarding the use of condoms, having safe sex, what kind of condoms are your favorite, safe oral sex, etc. Hell, I even won a package of condoms from Single Mom Seeking in response to a post she did on this very topic! They were even mailed to me in a discreet envelope…”

QT Mama goes on to explain that she was with the same man for 12 years — 10 married, and two dating/engaged. After moving on post-divorce, “dating wasn’t really the issue,” she adds. “It was the whole sex thing.  I am a bit of an old-fashioned girl, I admit.”

“So if I find that in a man, and I like that man for who he is, and it actually gets to the stage of us having sex, and then let’s just say we make the decision that it’s ONLY us having sex, and BAM, I’m in a relationship? My question becomes … When does the safe sex become the safe sex?”


That’s a very good question, QT Mama.

Let’s be real: safe sex means using condoms.

Of course, things can get dicey when you venture into oral sex (how many of you are really use dental dams?)

But what if you’ve been dating someone exclusively for months? What if you’ve had the monogamous talk, and you trust each other? What then?

For me, having safe sex is very straightforward. It begins with both of you getting tested for everything under the sun, starting with HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

Getting tested together is a real bonding experience (I’m serious). But thanks to insurance restrictions with labs, it can be challenging to plan this doctor’s visit together. Of course, you can always go to a public clinic together.

Personally, I’ve skipped syphilis screening, which is recommended for pregnant women and certain high risk groups such as prison inmates. But recently, I got the Human Papilloma Virus/HPV test for my first time.

So, let’s help out QT Mama and LoveBabz here:

If you’re dating, do you always carry condoms on you, so that you’re prepared? (I’d love to hear from men and women on this one.)

If you’re in an monogamous relationship, what did you to take the next step to “become the safe sex?”

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

ruth May 14, 2009 at 6:56 am

woohoo free condoms sign me up LOL. And I also have a tip for buying them, now that I know which ones I want its a little easier to go to that aisle and grab them. Then I use the little miracle of the self-checkout (yes I buy them at a grocery store just for that option) For me its harder to get past the cashier than into the aisle, which usually has feminine supplies etc in it also.


Rebecca May 13, 2009 at 6:37 pm

I’ve been separated 2 years, about to get divorced next week, but the only person I’ve had sex with is my almost-ex. In the beginning, I was slack about using condoms with him (we would go through stages every 5-6 months where we’d have sex a few times, then be done with each other). BUT, at the point when I knew he was sleeping with someone else, we started the condoms, which in itself was weird. About 6 months ago in hopes that eventually I would have sex with someone other than him, I did buy some to have just in case the opportunity arose unexpectedly. They’re in my wallet, so I always have them, but it will be a very new experience to have to consider STD’s. Live and learn . . . hopefully one of these days soon! By the way, it’s been a long time since sex with the ex and I’m pretty I don’t want any more!


MC May 13, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Last time I bought condoms the BF & I went to the store together. Yup, there we were at the grocery store, buying steaks and fixings for dinner for 2 together with a box of condoms! It was kind of funny, but the fact that he was OK with it despite the embarrassment really made me like him more. Of course, now that I’m “old” I’m sure no one was looking at us anyway.


John F May 13, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Hey I want in on the Rubbers By Rachel deal too!

John F´s last blog post…Opinions Needed


Lisa May 13, 2009 at 9:52 am

Janet – I completely understand where you are coming from. My ex husband cheated on me and left me feeling very vulnerable and I wonder if I will ever feel comfortable to have sex again.

Though I would like to be prepared and Rachel if you are serious about your offer, I would love to have a tin. My goal would be to use them before they expire :).


singlemomseeking May 13, 2009 at 10:49 am

I AM serious, Lisa!

I’ll email everyone today about sending out condoms… Here’s to intention!


Emily May 13, 2009 at 8:33 am

When guys tell me they know by looking, I say “Oh? I have herpes – how can you tell?”

(I am not interested in sleeping with someone who can tell “by looking”. Ever.)

I keep a condom in my purse at all times, bring printouts with me like PT-LawMom, and usually disclose my status the minute my date starts hinting towards get-happy nekkidtime.

Yes, it is a dealbreaker for some and that’s OK – I’d rather not feel like I’m holding a gun to someone’s head yelling “PUT OUT OR ELSE!!!!”.


Bill May 13, 2009 at 8:23 am

“Seriously, a vasectomy is a turn on for many single moms. I’m just sayin’….”



Erica May 13, 2009 at 7:26 am

Where do I sign up for free condoms?!

I’m a single mom and totally at ease with random (safe) sex. But I still can’t explain why I feel like I’m 15 years old when I buy condoms. It especially sucks when an old woman is in line behind me eyeing my ringless left hand. Why do I care???


PT-LawMom May 13, 2009 at 6:16 am

It isn’t a dealbreaker for the right person. That said, you have to give people time to consider it. Right in the midde of a makeout session isn’t the best time. My cheating ex-husband gave me Herpes Type II (genital). I now have to tell all my partners. And since I enjoy sex, I have had to have the conversation a good handful of times over the past year. I bring CDC and WebMD printouts, a sheet with basic info on me – Type II, only 3 outbreaks i 8 years, regular 6-month testing since 2006. I tell them ad leave them to ponder the info. It is a dealbreaker for some and I respect that. There is aminiscule chance of transmission by skin to skin cntact at the start of an outbreak but typically transmission rates are less than five percent per year. There are also online dating sites and Yahoo groups for people with Herpes who just don’t want to risk passing it.

PT-LawMom´s last blog post…Timing


John F May 13, 2009 at 5:01 am

I may be off base here (need to go to my medical books I suppose) but can’t herpes transmitted by proximity as well.


Allison May 13, 2009 at 4:10 am

The condoms in my dresser drawer expired last month. I haven’t had sex in over a year, but I’d like to think it’s still possible! I would love some free condoms. They might be a lucky charm (no matter what T says)!


molly May 12, 2009 at 9:03 pm

What about if someone tells you they have herpes? Is this deal breaker for you all?
The last guy I dated told me he had herpes before we had sex for the first time. He said that he was not contagious between breakouts and that he was on medication to prevent breakouts. He said he and his last girlfriend had unprotected sex for months and she never got it from him. I told him that I would be using a condom with him regardless. Be careful out there because people can carry it without knowing, and it seems like it is rampant out there.
BTW, I always keep a condom stash in strategic areas of the house and purse!


singlemomseeking May 12, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Such a good question Molly! If someone you started dating told you that he/she had herpes, would this be a deal breaker?

Good for him for being honest with you. I often wonder how many people are carrying it, without knowing…

I’d love to hear what others have to say about this one.


Janet May 12, 2009 at 6:46 pm

If you send me some free condoms, do you think the stars will align and I’ll find someone to use them with?

Honestly, like someone said above…the whole issue of “safe sex” freaks me out a bit. My ex-husband cheated on me w/o using protection. I feel like, if I couldn’t trust my husband, who CAN I trust? Hopefully I’ll eventually get to that point again with the right guy.

Janet´s last blog post…My Mom


QTMama May 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Oh thank you for the blog love! 🙂

Any sex I have since my last relationship has been protected with the use of condoms, (Oh and Rachel? The ones you sent me are all gone so feel free to send some more my way!) and if he doesn’t want to wear one? He ain’t getting some. Period. End of story.

I ususally try to keep some condoms on me in case of an extremely urgent situation, but the one in my purse is dusty.


QTMama´s last blog post…Menstruation, Boys and An Ex-Thong Friend


Mike May 12, 2009 at 5:31 pm

To follow up on other comments:

I agree with Matt. No bad stories buying condoms. I’m usually happy buying them since I’m being safe and that I’m getting some.

Honey – if the insurance company is using that information they will use it on everyone. If he’s that scared go to the clinics. I’ve done that when it was easier to go there since they were a block from my office than going to my own doctor.

Mike´s last blog post…Free Falling


Mike May 12, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Interesting question. I thought about this a while ago. About carrying condoms with me on all dates and what that implied to my date when I whipped them out.

Nowadays I don’t carry them anymore until I’ve had the “talk”. If my date wants to have sex before then I’ll tell her the truth about I didn’t plan on it since we hadn’t talked yet.

On a different note I’ve never met a women that had condoms already.

Mike´s last blog post…Free Falling


singlemomseeking May 12, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Mike, re: “On a different note, I’ve never met a women that had condoms already.”

No way.

The challenge for women (and for men?) is the fact that kids might find them in your bag/purse/wallet. It can be a good lesson in, “Mommy’s purse if off limits to little hands.”


John F May 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm

My 9th grade story was in the pre-AIDS day and we used “rubbers” for birth control.

My roommate and I went to the drugstore to buy some and I drew short straw. Eric was reading a magazine while I waited for the line of medicare ladies to clear out. There was no condom aisle! We had to ask for them!

So, I go to the pharmacist in the quiets of tones, “can I have some prophylactics?”

He did not hear me. “Some condoms, you know prophylactics.”

He gives me a knowing nod. Pulls out a brown paper bag from under the counter and snaps it open and heads back to the bowels of the pharmacy.

Meanwhile, in front of the counter, I am preening–gonna get some and I got the rubbers to prove it–as a line of medicare ladies queue up behind me. When all of a sudden in the loudest booming voice I have ever heard:

I about died, said I didn’t care, tossed a $20 bill on the counter and ran out with my bag — and Eric right behind me laughing his ass off!

John F´s last blog post…Opinions Needed


John F May 12, 2009 at 4:02 pm

As much as vasectomies may be a turn on for a single mommy–they are a huge turn off for most males!

Honey, I think he is feeding you a line–sorry!

John F´s last blog post…Opinions Needed


lovebabz May 12, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Matt T.

Hilarious! Strut up there and slam em’ down! I imagine myself walking into CVS and the music cues…I can tell by the way she uses her walk she’s a man’s woman, no time to talk…(paraphrasing BeeGees)HA Ha ha ha Stayin alive!


lovebabz´s last blog post…TRUE LOVE TUESDAY: I LOVE MYSELF BEST


Matt T. May 12, 2009 at 3:26 pm

Well, it’s not like I’ve had much need to think about this recently, but I suppose philosophy is ever-present.

What does safe sex mean to me as a man? Safe sex means respecting your partner (hereon, a woman for pronoun’s sake, but…). If she doesn’t feel comfortable with sex, you don’t have any and you don’t pressure her. If you do have sex, you discuss previous partners, you both get tested, and then you use condoms.

Oh, and for me, buying condoms isn’t really traumatic…in most respects. Part of me wants to strut up there and slam ’em down saying to the automated checkout machine “I’m getting some.” Of course, the part of me that isn’t buying the Magnums but the…ahem…snugger fit is embarrassed as hell. But, safety trumps embarrassment, dammit! (I figure I’ve already embarrassed myself on this site with that factoid about me–and won some condoms–so it’s not like I can’t admit it again.)


singlemomseeking May 12, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Honey: I was so hoping you’d chime in. Thanks!

Getting screened annually is a great idea, I say!

Re: “The BF says that it works differently for men and can be a black mark against you if you get screenings too often, which doesn’t make any sense to me. Does anyone know if that is true?”

Ah, c’mon now! Please!

Sure, there are certain disclosure laws, depending on your state. But you can always get tested anonymously at a clinic.

If you went and got tested every three months for years on end, would your doctor go and report you to your job?

Your doctor might suggested that you get counseling… Anyone else want to chime in about this one?


Honey May 12, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Well, the BF and I slept together on the first date – no condom. I had been with 2 partners since my last test 6 months earlier, and used condoms with both those fellows, so I was feeling confident about my own history.

He had just gotten out of a 4-year relationship, which I knew and made me feel like he was a “safe risk,” BUT, (though he DID NOT tell me this at the time, and it was quite upsetting news a couple of months later) cheat on his ex-gf, sans condom, with 2 other girls.

So after we had been together 3 months we each got tested (though not together, we were long distance at the time) and then I also got tested at my regular gyno appointment 4 months or so after that. I continue to get yearly screenings for everything because it’s included in my insurance…the BF says that it works differently for men and can be a black mark against you if you get screenings too often, which doesn’t make any sense to me. Does anyone know if that is true?


John F May 12, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Condom buying IS traumatic. I am still not healed from that one trip to the drug store in 9th grade!

I don’t carry them “just in case”. If “case” happens, I will just take a raincheck (I guess till I get the raincoat). If I am dating, either of us will have some at home and that is usually the place for nookie.

When to ditch them? I say after “the” talk, after being tested and then tested again.

I have a friend of mine that was divorced (remarried now) and hated condoms (we all do) and would only date women he “knew” did not have a disease. Kind of like Russian Roulette if you ask me!

John F´s last blog post…Opinions Needed


singlemomseeking May 12, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Indeed, John F., no woman has ever met a man who liked condoms….

I can’t tell you how many men I’ve met who say that only dated “women they ‘knew’ did not have a disease.”

These guys claimed they could just “tell” by talking to a woman on a first date…. Women, does this sound familiar?


Kat Wilder May 12, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Safe sex can happen as soon as the (recent) paperwork is shown proving he and she are each HIV-free. Like, on date No. 1!

It has nothing to do with how committed you are in a relationship or even if you’re in a relationship.

But, honestly, among my 40-something newly divorced friends who should know better, “safe” sex happened before any sort of “relationship” happened.

A lot of us are willing to take risks, I guess.

And for those of us who had cheating partners, we know that there is no thing as truly safe sex.


singlemomseeking May 12, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Kat: Of course, this is all about personal choice, right?

For many women, however, I do think that trust is a factor. It’s just hard for me to imagine having a “safe” sex talk without also having the “Are you seeing other people?” conversation.

Know what I mean?

A lot of us are willing to take risks, I guess.

And for those of us who had cheating partners, we know that there is no thing as truly safe sex.


MindyMom May 12, 2009 at 2:59 pm

For me, safe sex is only safe with a man who has had a vasectomy! 😉

MindyMom´s last blog post…One for the Guys


singlemomseeking May 12, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Hilarious, Mindy Mom! “Safe sex is only safe with a man who has had a vasectomy.”

Seriously, a vasectomy is a turn on for many single moms. I’m just sayin’….


singlemomseeking May 12, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Bad Mummy: Thank you, I should have clarified this important fact, I also double up on birth control: the pill plus condoms. Always.

Like you, “I’m terribly fertile.”

And thank you for this: “Am I the only one that knows that it can take up to three months for HIV to show up in a blood test?”

Of course, it’s crucial to talk about your sexual past before you sleep with someone. You need to be honest about your recent sexual experiences and any “risky behavior” — as challenging as it might be.


lovebabz May 12, 2009 at 2:39 pm


OH DEAR! You know I was laughing all through that segment because I am so nervous about the condom buying thing…SO THANK YOU! I will happily await them! Will carry them around like a life preserver!

Now can you send me someone yummy to go with them 🙂


lovebabz´s last blog post…TRUE LOVE TUESDAY: I LOVE MYSELF BEST


Bad Mummy May 12, 2009 at 2:22 pm

I don’t know if it is because I am of a different generation (born in ’79, so grew up with the threat of HIV/AIDS) or because I used to work in international development and HIV/AIDS education…

but – seriously – am I the only one that knows that it can take up to three months for HIV to show up in a blood test?

I’m not in a relationship, but I usually double up on birth control: the pill + condom. Besides the risk of STDs, I’m terribly fertile.

Bad Mummy´s last blog post…Cheap-Ass Crafts


T May 12, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Well I have too many condoms too (thanks Rachel) but haven’t used a one. I haven’t had sex with a man since I’ve had them so…. hmmm…

But I don’t feel bad about having them available for me.

Great topic. I’m curious what the guys think too.

T´s last blog post…To inspire you


judy May 12, 2009 at 2:02 pm

HOLD THE PHONE: Did I miss something? What does this mean?

After all, I’m no longer using condoms with my guy (who loves to joke around that he was still a virgin when I met him.)

I now carry a tin of SMS condoms in my car since I too received them from Rachel.

I do not like using condoms and if the guy doesn’t initiate then I admit I am lame and don;t either. Me bad.


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