If you use a condom you’ll be considered a better sex partner
If you want to appear confident, experienced and responsible, then the condom is the contraceptive you should suggest. In a survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of RFSU, where over 1,000 Swedes answered questions about their sexual habits, the results show that Swedes are getting better at protecting themselves and that more and more people are choosing condoms.
Pelle Ullholm, sex educator at RFSU, believes that the increase can be a result of sex and consent being more widely discussed in public.
“Today we have a more open conversation about sex and boundaries but also about desires. We see that more people who want to use condoms also do so, and the gap between ambition and action is narrowing. It indicates that young people are safer. The condom is a way to signal care and respect, not just a way to protect yourself,” says Pelle Ullholm.
We see that more people who want to use condoms also do so, the gap between ambition and action is narrowing. It indicates that young people are safer. Pelle Ullholm, Sexualupplysare på RFSU.
One in three Swedes chooses a condom as a contraceptive method
One in three Swedes chooses a condom as a method of contraception
The greatest increase can be seen among young people between the ages of 21 and 35, where condom use has increased by 11 percent over the past three years. This age group has previously shown declining numbers for several years but that trend seems to have reversed. Today, a total of 54 percent take out a condom when they sleep with someone new – and for one in three, the condom is the protection they use most often.
A tipping point has been reached
“It has been our goal to make more and more young people aware and actually use condoms. We are approaching the point where young people having sex with a new partner will look at condoms as the norm. If those of us who work on these issues continue to have an inclusive, varied and sex-positive way of talking about sex and prevention, we will reach that goal – which was, among other things, one of the aims of our Dear Condom initiative,” says Pelle Ullholm.
Sanny Dahlbeck, who last year took part in RFSU’s initiative Dear Condom, which lifted various taboos around condoms, is also positive about the increase:
“Using a condom should be natural, but in the past I also recognized myself in the fact that it is difficult to talk about it when it comes to it in reality. That’s why it’s so great that more people are actually using condoms, especially young people!
I definitely think that the naked honesty in Dear Condom has been a door opener for many. I am so proud and happy to be a part of that journey.”
Image: Young people answer the question – did you use a condom the last time you had sex with a new partner or the first time you had sex with your current partner?
Condoms increase the chances of “hooking up”
Forgetting the condom in the heat of the moment is not unusual – something that every sixth Swede confirms they have experienced. But the fact is, that whoever takes the initiative to use a condom can have more to gain than just to protect themselves. The survey shows that those who suggest condoms are often perceived as more confident, experienced and caring sex partners, especially among young people between 21 and 35 years of age. A majority.
“Sex is an intimate situation, which means that you can feel vulnerable to what the other person thinks about you taking out a condom. But the truth is that most people perceive you as a better sex partner – and our qualitative studies among young people also show that those who carry a condom have a greater chance of hooking up with someone than those who don’t,” says Pelle Ullholm.
Facts – Condom use is increasing in Sweden
• Every second Swede (48%) today uses a condom when sleeping with a new partner. That’s an increase of a huge 10% since 2016*.
• One in four Swedes chooses a condom (24%), which is the most common contraceptive.
• Among young people between the ages of 21 and 35, more than half (54%) use a condom with a new partner.
• The person who suggests using condoms is often perceived as self-confident and experienced (48%) and responsible (70%) by young people between 21 and 35 years of age.
• Along with the increasing use of condoms, the number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases also decreases. In Sweden, the number of chlamydia cases decreased by almost 6% from 2017 to 2018 and is now the lowest in 10 years.**
*Source: RFSU’s recurring Kådiskollen survey, which was published on 24 May, 2016
**Source: The Norwegian Public Health Agency’s statistics on chlamydia infection