Podcast Episode 3: Are condoms REALLY necessary? With Sam Jones from Miss Smut Buttons.

We all know we should be using condoms, but are we actually doing it? Sam from smutbuttons.com joins us to unpack safer sex, and the decisions we make in the pursuit of a good time.

Episode Transcript

This is the Art of the Hook Up – your straightforward guide to a successful sex life. I’m Georgie Wolf, a Melbourne escort and total hookup enthusiast. Welcome to Episode Three! This one is all about the ins-and-outs of safer sex: why we do it, why we don’t and whether taking the risk and skipping the raincoat is actually worth it. We’re joined in this podcast by Sam Jones, a sex educator who runs the website smutbuttons.com.

Before we get started, just a reminder that this podcast is adults only. And with that said, let’s get into it.

Hi, this is Georgie here. I’m a writer and independent escort from Melbourne, Australia. My mission is to talk honestly about all the stuff you need to know to have a great hookup…and by that, I mean finding the people that are right for you, negotiating amazing sex, and walking away feeling good about yourself. This episode is all about safer sex, the stuff we do to help protect ourselves and our partners from sexually transmitted infections (otherwise known as STIs). Look, not everyone loves condoms. And I want to get stuck into the pros and cons of doing safer sex, and the stuff you need to know to manage the risks. Over the next 45 minutes, I’ll be chatting with Sam Jones. She’s an awesome sex educator, smart, smutty, and has tons to say about safer sex.

Georgie: Hello!

Sam: Hello. What an impressive introduction.

Georgie: You’ve got extra adjectives, you got more adjectives than I normally use.

Sam: Gotta catch em all! Unlike STIs.

Georgie: Right! So can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Sam: Yes. So I run a kind of sex comedy, sex edutainment website called smutbuttons.com, and when I’m not doing that I work in women’s health. And I generally just sort of smut around town and find sexy opportunities to get paid for things, which sometimes includes porn, masturbating on camera and running adult magazines. All sorts of odds and ends. Good stuff.

Georgie: And how long have you been smutting around town for?

Sam: Oh, probably close to, God, like 15 years now. Wow, I’ve been really…around a bit. I should be proud of myself.

Georgie: You’ve been gettin’ around.

Sam: Yeah. I’ve been getting around. I’ve seen things. Yeah. So yeah, close to 15 years now.

Georgie: I love how you say that. Because when I say I’ve seen things, it’s in a really creepy voice that scares people. ‘Like, I’ve seen things…that would make your hair turn white.’ and they’re like, ‘Oh, fuck me, I’m out! I’m out!’ But we’re not talking about scary stuff. today. We’re actually talking about safer sex. And it might be a good idea now to sort of just drop in a bit of a definition. Basically, safer sex is anything we do to help reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections. How did you get interested In the whole safer sex thing?

Sam: I spent my formative years sleeping with women and later realised that I was actually bisexual. I started sleeping with a man. Yeah, I know, right? Hi five for me. And it was only when I started sleeping with men that I kind of went, ‘Oh, I should, you know, use condoms and be safe.’ And then I was probably 27 or 28 before I went, ‘Oh, I’m meant to have safe sex with girls.’

Georgie: This is weird, because like when you do sex ed in high school, right? Especially well, because I’m a little advanced in age when I did it in high school. It was like, ‘Here’s how we put a condom on a banana.’ No one told me about what to do when you’re going down on a chick. Nobody brought that shit up.

Sam: Yeah, it’s not like, ‘Here’s a peach and a piece of glad wrap. Now lick it!’ It’s never taught and yet, there’s so many…there’s so many things that we’re not aware of. And so many things that can actually be quite dangerous-

Georgie: Or just unpleasant.

Sam: Yeah, it’s also amazing how many things you can actually do to make safe sex really pleasurable. And I think it’s a huge shame that that’s not taught, because we tend to associate, ‘Oh, condoms, safety. Whoo, everyone loves safety.’

Georgie: But it’s not very sexy.

Sam: Exactly.

Georgie: Safe doesn’t sound sexy.

Sam: No, it’s not hot but, you know, the itch from chlamydia is! And yet we talk a lot about that…Not in a sexy way, funnily enough.

Georgie: I’m really interested to pick up this conversation because I come from the kink scene where they’re really full on about safer sex. Yeah, but from like, you know, slutting around town on dating apps and talking to my younger friends, I know that a lot of people don’t like condoms, and not just guys, but I know that some chicks don’t like condoms for hetero stuff. And then when it comes to the other stuff, like the queer stuff, or the hetero stuff, like a lot of us just don’t fucking know at all what we’re supposed to be doing.

Sam: Even um, you know, I go to a lot of group sessions, events and whatnot. Yeah, I know, right? Double high-five for me. And I find it really interesting how few people give protected oral. And I’ve absolutely been guilty of that, because you kind of go, ‘Oh, you know, it’s not as much of a risk,’ but it’s actually quite interesting in clinical studies we’re finding that a lot of men are now suffering from throat cancer because they’ve contracted HPV orally, which is the thing that gives you genital warts.

Georgie: Exactly and you can get a vaccine for that if you’re a chick.

Sam: And so a lot of women aren’t getting it because they’ve had the Gardasil vaccine, whereas a lot of men aren’t getting it because we never thought to vaccinate men.

Georgie: Whoa, I hadn’t even heard that. I was thinking you were about to talk about like, chlamydia, or gonorrhea, which is catching your throat. And a lot of people don’t know this. And I also, I’m sorry, because we’ve just gone straight to the worst-case scenario. Like, I don’t know, I feel like a lot of sex ed is, is just people going, ‘Well, you better do this or you’re gonna get something awful for the rest of your life,’ and maybe that’s part of it. But also, that it’s maybe not as hard as we think.

Sam: Yeah, I mean, having safe sex isn’t as difficult or as daunting or even as hard to bring up as I think we were taught in school. But also, I think the other important thing, and I noticed this very much working in health, is that if you do contract an STI, that’s not the end of the world, and it doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. It doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve to have sex. It doesn’t mean that it’s not treatable, like we do tend to talk in worst case scenarios, because those are the things that we see and that we’re like, ‘Oh, god, there’s treatment resistant gonorrhea now and it’s a superbug.’ We’re like, ‘Oh, God, the world’s ending.’ But realistically, for most people, if you DO contract something, it’s okay. It doesn’t make you a bad person and you can treat it.

Georgie: It’s just about being aware of what you’ve been potentially exposed to, to test and treat it exactly. I kind of feel like this this thing. Like if we don’t make all STIs out to be really awful, that people will go, ‘Oh, it’s fine.’ Or when we do make STIs out to be really awful, that people feel really ashamed having sex at all.

Sam: Exactly.

Georgie: Or for choosing to maybe do safer sex stuff that isn’t as rigorous as some people.

Sam: I find it’s very similar with contraception as well. There are a lot of women, particularly, who say ‘I’m not using any form of contraception because I just don’t like how any of them feel.’ And as someone who you know, works in women’s health, I’m like, ‘But do you know the risks? Like do you know how likely you are to get get pregnant? How easily that happens?’ Yeah, but ultimately, that’s not my decision to make.

Georgie: They have to decide.

Sam: Exactly. And that’s something that I have to assume that they’ve made from an informed place.

Georgie: And it is kind of relevant, like, a lot of female contraceptives mess with your body and can be really unpleasant. And you know, like, even when I was younger, so you know, when I used to take guys home, and then some of them would say, ‘I just can’t get hard with a condom on.’ That would be their way of trying to pressure me into having…when I say trying, succeeding…because often I did give in because I wasn’t very good at boundaries.

Sam: Yeah.

Georgie: But I feel like sometimes…I’m not saying it’s…Ooh, I’m gonna get myself into trouble. I’m not saying it’s valid to have unsafe sex, but people make decisions for a reason. And sometimes things do feel different with a condom on. Maybe if you’ve just come out of a relationship, and you’re used to doing that stuff without condoms. Maybe having one on is going to feel different. And I’m really interested in the ways that we can manage that, as opposed to throwing your hands up and going, ‘Oh, well, I guess you’d better just have unsafe sex, then.’

Sam: Yeah. And I think there is very much this idea, particularly at the moment where, you know, there’s a lot of discussion about enabling women to be more assertive and to set stronger boundaries, which I think is fantastic. But there is this sense of, if a man says to you, ‘I can’t get an erection with a condom on,’ there’s this sense of, ‘He’s trying to trick you. He’s a monster. You know, if he’s not going to use a condom, tell him to get the fuck out.’ But for a lot of guys, it is a legitimate problem. And so I think it’s really important that we not Just say ‘Yeah, it’s important to wear a condom.’ But also, ‘Here’s how you can have fun with it. Here’s how you can incorporate it in a way that’s sexy and hot and feels great for both of you.’

Georgie: Right. If it’s not working for you, here’s some ways that you could try and get it to work.

Sam: Exactly.

Georgie: And what’s your number one tip if a if a bloke in particular says, ‘Yeah, like, if I wear a condom? It’s just not really happening for me.’

Sam: Yeah, so I’ve had partners in the past who have felt that way. And look, when it’s a possibility, I will look into what we can do. In terms of like, you know, can we both get tested? And can we just have sex without a condom in a way that’s safe and manageable? And we’re both aware of the risks. But when it’s, you know, casual one-night stand, I sort of go ‘Look, we can do as much as we can without a condom. And, you know, if you’re really into it, and you’re really hot and you really enjoying things, I can, you know, do some things to try and make the condom more pleasurable, but if you lose your erection, that’s okay, too. We don’t have to-

Georgie: It’s not a disaster.

Sam: Exactly. ‘You can still enjoy each other in a litany of different ways. And you know, if you want to keep seeing me, I’m sure we can work on it together and like, try and get to a point where it does work for you.’

Georgie: This goes right into that category of like, picking up guys who can’t get hard when they’re nervous or don’t come with new partners because they’re nervous, and that you can’t force someone through that. Hey, if someone doesn’t come or doesn’t get hard, it’s not a disaster.

Sam: And I think a lot of that comes down to like this idea of sex that purpose of sex is always for a man to have an orgasm. And it’s sort of like, you know, which is obviously why lesbian sex lasts so long because we’re just waiting for a man to walk in and orgasm so that it can finish!

Georgie: God. I’m so tired! And my tongue’s sore!

Sam: But no man has orgasmed yet!

Georgie: Yes. So we don’t know what to do. There’s a little there’s a little meme circulating on the internet. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but it’s a little graph that shows like, the timeline for hetero sex, which is ‘time’ and ‘pleasure,’ and it goes up and up and up and reaches a peak and then the guy comes and it finishes…and then the timeline for lesbian sex is like a bowl of string. It’s all over the place. And then there’s a little bit where they stop and it’s like, ‘Stopped for take away.’ Then it’s like, ‘Disturbed by cat…’ Then there’s a bit where it goes, ‘Oh, we thought we’d stopped but we hadn’t really.’ And then we kept going…

Sam: So relatable. Yeah.

Georgie: This is what happens when you take away this idea that we have to work to a timeline or order. Suddenly, you can actually do what you want to do. You might spend six hours laying in bed messing around.

Sam: And that’s what I actually kind of enjoy about like being with guys who are like, ‘Oh, I can’t use a condom or whatever,’ is kind of going, ‘Okay, well, do you still want to fool around? Because I’ve got a lot of ideas. Like, I’ve got a list here, I’ve got some toys…’

Georgie: You have a list?

Sam: I have a list of things that I like doing where I’m just like, ‘Okay, so I’m going to get you to touch me here. And you’ll be the pirate with the leg and I’ll be the goat with the limp and it’s going to be amazing.’ It’s like the idea that, you know, an entire sexual menu can be thrown off because a condom comes into the mix is just kind of absurd.

Georgie: Totally.

Sam: Yeah, there’s so many things but when you look at it through that straight people lens of like, ‘penis goes into vagina penis throws up on itself sex is over.’ You’re like, ‘Oh well, I guess, yeah, that would kind of ruin that, if that’s what you’re going for.’

Georgie: But if you’re going for awesome roleplay sex where you’re a pirate and your partner’s a one-legged goat…

Sam: It’s a very talented guard. It can do so much with that one leg.

Georgie: That is just amazing. I’ll put it on my list.

Sam: Yeah, yep. Spread the goat love. Yeah.

Georgie: Wow. Okay, so I’ve just realized that in fact, I haven’t referred to my questions at all. This is what we do when we hang out we just we just talk about stuff. It’s totally fine. So, this might be a personal question. What are your rules around safer sex right now for partners and hookups and long term partners and that sort of stuff?

Sam: Cool. At the moment, I’m in a long-term relationship with my partner who identifies as a man…

Georgie: We should add that you’re polyamorous, yes?

Sam: We’re in an open relationship, as opposed to a poly relationship, so we are free to fuck whoever we like if they consent to it. And that’s totally fine. But you know, the our rules within our relationship are that it has to be safe sex. Because obviously the last thing I want is to wake up with chlamydia and be like, ‘But I didn’t even get laid. What the fuck is-‘

Georgie: Sorry, darling!

Sam: Yeah. ‘Would you like chlamydia with your breakfast in bed?’

Georgie: I feel like when people have open relationships, probably we’re forced to have a much more detailed conversations about our safer sex standards, because regular couples and particularly hetero couples maybe just sort of, like see how it pans out. But when you’re fucking other people, your partner needs to know how you’re fucking them.

Sam: Exactly.

Georgie: It’s a safety risk for them.

Sam: Yeah. And like this is the thing is my partner and I have. It’s very easy to assume, you know, ‘I said safe sex all the way.’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, of course, like, but duh, but what is that?’ And so we ended up in a couple of interesting situations. So you know, I mentioned to him that uncovered oral can lead to throat cancer. And he was like, ‘Oh, well, I don’t really give men head’ and I was like, ‘Yes, but if you’re going down on a woman who hasn’t had the Gardasil vaccine, you can get HPV and HPV throat warts.

Georgie: Which can lead to cancer.

Sam: And you know, we’re in that interesting age group where the majority of women in my age group have had Gardasil, but there is still a substantial number that didn’t get it. And so it is a legitimate risk.

Georgie: We don’t often think about oral. Usually safer sex, is all about ‘Do you have a condom on?’

Sam: Exactly.

Georgie: But really, the stuff that is stopped by condoms for PIV, penis in vagina, like half that shit you can also get from oral sex. I think a lot of us don’t actually realize how common it is. I have a mate who, who did actually get chlamydia in the face. And it was a real eye opener.

Sam: Yeah. Literally, or figuratively? Like, opened wide by the chlamydia?

Georgie: He went on down on someone and then he got chlamydia and he was quite startled. He just didn’t know that you could get it from going down because we’ve always just been taught it’s about the dick.

Sam: Yeah, exactly. Cover the deck and nothing’s-

Georgie: It’s fine. Yeah. Particularly if you’re a woman who has sex with women, or person with a pussy who has sex with people that have pussies, right. Yeah, like it could just be this big black hole of, ‘I didn’t know.’

Sam: Yeah. And you know, again, like that sex education that we were given and so much what was just the dick and it’s like, whether it was they didn’t want to talk to students about putting other people’s genitals in their mouths or not, or-

Georgie: Or whether people might catch on to the fact that they’re into the ladies…which I would have, if they’d started talking about cunnilingus.

Sam: Yeah.

Georgie: And going down on ladies…halfway through, I’d have gone, ‘Oh, that sounds intriguing. It’s just giving me ideas!’ So maybe there’s a reason they don’t I bring it up.

Sam: Yeah, that’s the real gay agenda…sex education leads to gayness. But, no and it’s it’s interesting. Because the other thing that came up with my partner and I in our conversations was, I now know the correct way to use a condom and how it’s actually quite elaborate. And and that’s why it has such a low…see, with contraception there’s the typical use and perfect use. A lot of contraception with perfect use is really good. But we don’t use things perfectly.

Georgie: I would love to know, what does what does not perfect condom use look like compared to perfect?

Sam: So, not perfect condom use is what the majority of us do, which is okay, so let me paint a picture. All right, so you are a handsome fellow I am and I love your mustache. It gives me feelings.

Georgie: Thank you.

Sam: Would you like to come home with me and have sex?

Georgie: Only if we can do that pirate roleplay you’re so fond of!

Sam: Oh, I have a one legged guard you’re gonna love. So we go home and we’re making out and I’m like. ‘Oh okay, I want to have sex with you,’ you consent and I say, ‘Let me put the condom on you.’ And I show off my amazing technical skills by putting it on with my mouth.

Georgie: Mm hmm.

Sam: And then you immediately put your penis inside me. Incorrect use.

Georgie: Oh, what went wrong?

Sam: Yeah, so we didn’t apply lube.

Georgie: Ah, to the condom.

Sam: Yeah, or to me. So if I’m not aroused enough, or I’m not wet enough when you go in, that condom’s got a very strong likelihood of tearing.

Georgie: Not to mention the rubber burn!

Sam: Exactly. That shit’s gonna burn. And the other thing that we didn’t do, is when I’m putting it on with my mouth, I can’t hold the tip of the condom to pinch out the vacuum seal. So there’s much more likelihood of it bursting.

Georgie: Can I just say – humblebrag, sex worker brag. I can.

Sam: That does take quite a bit of mouth dexterity to pinch the end of the condom.

Georgie: Yeah, while you’re rolling it down.

Sam: And you need to know that that’s what you need to do.

Georgie: And check and make sure, because you’re right. If you don’t have that reservoir there yet when someone comes, the come explodes at the top of the condom like some sort of…it’s not great.

Sam: Some sort of like piping bag of icing. I was gonna say party popper. So yeah, that’s a perfect example of imperfect use. And particularly I use that one because so many people have this, I don’t know, it’s like a religious aversion to lube. You bring up lube and they’re like, ‘Oh, I’m not old,’ or ‘I don’t need that,’ or ‘h no, I’m really good with the ladies.’

Georgie: It’s interesting because I have never lubricated, and that’s just my body. So I carry lube around with me everywhere, because I slut about town too. I need very good lube and lots of it, because if I don’t – rubber burn, and I’ve been there, I’ve had some marathon sex adventures while I was traveling, or I didn’t have my lube. Yeah, I couldn’t walk straight for a couple of days.

Sam: Exactly. But for so many people – people who are sex nerds, we’re all over the lube. We’re like, there’s lube for butt stuff, there’s lube for tit stuff, there’s lube for wanking, we’ve got that shit covered. But for people who aren’t as nerdy as us and who aren’t like, ‘Oh boy, lube, let’s talk about it for 20 minutes.’

Georgie: Not to mention that you have to pull it out and then put it on. And yeah, sometimes it’s awkward enough stopping someone to say, ‘Hey, when’s the condom going on?’

Sam: Exactly.

Georgie: But then also to go, ‘Hey, let me just fumble around in my bedside drawer for a second.’

Sam: And I think it is for women. It is the equivalent of erectile dysfunction where it’s sort of like, I don’t want to admit that I’m not wet enough for you. Because you’ll think that I’m a shit woman that I’m a shit lay, that I’m not into you, all sorts of things. So as women, I think there’s an aversion to using it because we see it as a biological shortfall. And for men, they see it as, because I didn’t get a wet enough, therefore, ‘She’s not that into me,’ or ‘I’m not that hot,’ or whatever. And they don’t want to consider that possibility.

Georgie: Actually, everyone’s different. I don’t produce a lot of lubrication naturally, some people do.

Sam: Yeah. And it is so personal. And it also depends on diet and what you’ve been eating, what you’ve been drinking, all sorts of things can affect lubrication, including where you’re at in your cycle. So it has nothing to do with, you know, it has something to do with sexual function in the sense that personal lubrication is a sexual function, but it doesn’t mean that you’re sexually dysfunctional if you don’t produce it naturally And in fact, even if you do, if you’re planning on having some sort of marathon sexy session, maybe it’s worth adding a bit of extra lube anyway, right? Like, I mean, they change tires on race cars you know, it’s okay to add a bit of a top-up there to make you last the distance.

Georgie: Would this be a good time to mention that certain types of lube will make your condom explode suddenly in the middle of sex?

Sam: Oh, such a good point. This is the other problem, there are so many lubes that aren’t safe with condoms, and they’re actually the ones that get used the most. So any oil basically, not condom safe. Well, not latex condom safe.

Georgie: Yeah. Okay, so if you’re using your regular standard latex condom, you can’t just pour some coconut oil on that shit.

Sam: Hell no. It’ll make your pussy smell like coconuts, which is great, but you could also get pregnant or an STI. Even certain lubricants are actually oil based, so a lot of the ones that you buy off the shelf in the supermarket are oil based.

Georgie: Really?

Sam: Yeah. Surprising as hell. You’re kind of like, ‘Hey guys, why would you do that? why would you sell those next to each other? Not helpful.

Georgie: So, cool, something off the shelf at the chemist or at the supermarket, you want to look and you want to look for water-based lube?

Sam: Yeah, well, this is the thing. So, water-based or silicon-based.

Georgie: Silicon is awesome, by the way, I just have to say. Always my go-to.

Sam: Right, yes, goes forever Yeah, it’s like fucking a satin sheet.

Georgie: So just don’t spill it on the floor. You’ll be slipping on that spot for the next fucking six months.

Sam: But damn, it feels nice. Oh my god. And so the only thing is, don’t use silicon lube with sex toys. Because it actually can ruin a lot of them. My rule is, water for wanking, silicon for sex. So you use water-based for wanking with toys. And then silicon for sex of any kind. And that’s the thing is like, you know. A: there’s lubes that don’t work with condoms, but the other thing that people use that is also not helpful is spit. It’s not a lubricant. It actually dries out. It’s full of bacteria. And if you’ve been drinking and you go down on someone who has a vagina, you give them thrush.

Georgie: I did not think about that.

Sam: Right. And it’s the sugar in the alcohol.

Georgie: That shouldn’t go near anyone’s pussy.

Sam: Yeah. So I mean, I guess it also works if you’ve just had chocolate cake, but like, not as much because alcohol kind of stays in your bloodstream. But yeah, if you’ve been drinking, and I’ve done this a couple of times, and I always felt a bit daggy and awkward about it, but I would sort of say, ‘Hey, I’m gonna go do something really unsexy. We’ve had a few drinks, I’m just gonna go rinse my mouth out so I don’t give you thrush because I really want to eat you out right now.’

Georgie: Which is pretty hot.

Sam: Yeah, I know. I’m kind of like, it’s a great way of establishing consent because I’m like, ‘I’m gonna eat you out – any objections? No? Cool. All right.’ And I’ve had a lot of my partners go, ‘Holy shit. Thanks so much for actually thinking of that,’ because no one wants thrush.

Georgie: It had never occurred to me actually, but of course no one wants thrush. I would have definitely appreciated that coming from a partner. But just because normally, you know, it’s a bit of a drinking culture, like we’re just gonna have a few drinks and shag…

Sam: And so many people aren’t using dental dams anyway, so it’s actually a really common thing. And it’s why a lot of people think that they get thrush from sex, because they’re like, ‘Oh, every time I have sex, I get thrush,’ but you’re like, ‘What’s going on? What’s going on? Had you been drinking? Had they been drinking? Was there, like, eating out of any kind?’ Because that’ll do it, too.

Georgie: It’s interesting what you say about dental dams because I reckon…just to keep everyone informed. The dental dam is this really thin sheet of plastic that you can put over a pussy or over an ass, actually, if you’rinto ass eating. And basically it’s a bit like a condom. It’s a barrier between you and the junk so that you don’t pick up any stuff. Having said that, almost nobody I know in real life outside of sex work…I use dental dams as a sex worker in my work life. Almost nobody I’ve met uses it in their personal lives, to the point where sometimes, when I bring up dental dams, like, ‘Hey, do you want me to use a dam for that?’ And then she’ll say, ‘What? What are you talking about?’

Sam: ‘What is that?’ Yeah. And it’s it’s fascinating, because dental dams are actually…if you compare sensation and pleasure like between condoms versus dental dams, it’s way easier to simulate pleasure through a dental dam than it is through a condom.

Georgie: It’s very thin, actually.

Sam: Yeah.

Georgie: Looser, too, so you can sort of…I found there’s a bit of a trick to holding them down and not inhaling them and then still being able to find all the bits and find the clit under under it. It’s not that hard. It just takes a bit of extra practice.

Sam: And I find my favorite trick is – this is one that I learned working in brothels as well – is that you apply a generous amount of lube on the underside. So on their genitals before placing the dental over, right, so when you’re putting pressure on it, they can feel you moving the lube around, which is very close to your tongue.

Georgie: And it helps it stick there, too.

Sam: Exactly.

Georgie: Can I share something that’s a little bit personal? I don’t know what you’re gonna think about this. It’s really weird. I’ve got this weird hangup. No goats involved. Sorry. So I have no problem now because I’ve, I’ve been, you know, slutting around for a long time. And I’ve been a sex worker for like seven or eight years, and I have no problem when I meet a new guy partner saying, ‘Hey, I’m just going to chuck a condom on you before I go down.’ Now, I have different standards for that. So with regular partners, I’ll use condoms for PIV, and then I’ll go down on them without a condom. Usually we have a bit of a talk about the last time they got tested. So that’s that’s a risk I’m willing to take.

With new people – when I’ve just met someone – usually the condom goes on for oral, or if it’s an environment like a sex club or sex party, where I have literally just met them and I don’t know them very well. The condom goes on for oral and I have no problem with that – I have no problem saying, ‘Right? Yep, you’ve got – you have to raincoat up. But for some reason I feel really bad asking a chick if I can use a dental dam. And I think it’s something about, like, we’re always told that our pussies are gross. And that the way our the way pussies taste and smell is gross and it’s not! It’s not gross, but then whenever I go to put a piece of plastic over the top, I feel like I’m like saying to that person, you know, ‘I don’t ever want to come in contact with your pussy because it’s it’s gross,’ and that’s not what I mean. I’m just trying to do good safer sex.

Sam: Exactly.

Georgie: Um, but I feel I feel bad asking. I feel like they’re gonna think I’m judging them.

Sam: Yeah, there is that really, I think internalized shame that a lot of vulva owners have, where it’s sort of like, ‘I feel like I am dirty. I feel like I’m unclean. I feel like I smell.’ And so when we take that into a situation with another person, we’re kind of like, ‘Oh god, I bet you feel all those same things as well and we’re compounding them. I think for some people it can feel that way. I don’t really take it personally but equally, I have hang ups about people not wanting to touch my sex toys. That’s my thing where I’m like, ‘Oh, is it because it’s unclean? And you think I’m unclean?’ And all of that baggage that comes with it.

Georgie: Because, you know, we know how to wash our sex toys.

Sam: Exactly. Um, but yeah, it’s interesting. It’s that kind of thing we’re like, ‘I don’t want to make my partner feel bad about me.’ But equally, I would feel worse if I gave them an STI or thrush, or they gave me one.

Georgie: Yeah, totally. It’s almost like, I want to do the right thing. But I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. And when those are two different things – when you’re wanting not to hurt people’s feelings or make them uncomfortable, or practicing safe sex – when those things are not the same thing, what do you do?

Sam: Yeah, exactly. And, look, confession time. I have issues asking penis owners if I can give them head with a condom on, like, I don’t know how to bring it up. I don’t-

Georgie: A lot of guys aren’t used to that.

Sam: Yeah. And I’m terrified of them going, ‘Oh, why?’ Like, I’m terrified that they will push back or they won’t understand and I’ll have to do the labor of educating them.

Georgie: Right in the middle of the thing.

Sam: Exactly. You know, nothing gives a bigger boner than learning about STDs and safe sex in the middle of it.

Georgie: But this is the thing I think about safer sex. Yeah, you might think it’s a bit awkward putting a condom on or stopping to to get some lube out, but fuck, it’s heaps more awkward when you have to stop someone when someone goes, ‘Oh, no, I don’t want to do that.’ And then you have to stop the whole thing and explain to them why safe safer sex is important.

Sam: Yeah, that’s so true.

Georgie: Geez, that’s such a turn off. It’s much better if they just go, ‘Yeah, yeah, I’ll I’ll do whatever safer sex stuff makes you feel safe.’ And then you just get on with it. I don’t wanna have to convince someone to wear a condom. If they don’t do it, it really kills the mood. It’s really unsexy. This is something that my friend Ali from Bad dates of Melbourne talks about. She calls it the ‘poke around’ and this is something that her followers have told her about – that with hetero folk, you’ll be rolling around getting a bit sexy with someone new and then the cock starts poking around someone’s junk a bit. And you’re both thinking, ‘Oh, you know, we’re about to have unprotected sex,’ like, ‘Is it gonna happen?’ But no one says anything. And then everyone’s waiting to see what if someone else will say, ‘Hey, should we get a condom.’ And then if no one does, then then the unsafe sex happens.

Sam: Yeah. And even with the best of intentions, like people going ‘We won’t have sex, I’ll just like put my penis you know, near your vulva or near your butt hole, whatever.’

Georgie: ‘Just the tip!’

Sam: Just the tip is enough to transmit an STI. It’s enough to cause a pregnancy. I always used to refer to it as, you know, ‘just fooling around in the front yard.’ But turns out a lot can go wrong in the front yard.

Georgie: You’re practically through the front door.

Sam: Yeah, pretty much! Imperfect use means not using the condom from the start – like, if at any point hands touch a penis, mouth touches the penis, penis touches vulva or anus or any thing like that, that is enough to be imperfect use or ‘typical use.’ And ‘typical use’ has a much lower percentage of protection. So perfect use means putting a condom on the penis before anything happens. It means applying lube both inside the condom and outside of it. And applying it inside, obviously, increases pleasure as well. So that’s kind of in everyone’s best interest when you apply it inside you.

Georgie: You do just the tip, don’t you? I know we were saying it jokingly, but you do but just lube the tip. If you lube the whole cock it can slip off.

Sam: Yeah, yeah. So just the tip.

Georgie: There is a time when ‘just the tip’ is appropriate.

Sam: And making sure that there’s enough lubricant on whoever’s receiving the rain-coated penis in question, which will help to prevent tearing. And obviously ensuring that little vacuum bubble at the top is pinched so that there’s not going to be a massive explosion of-

Georgie: Semen explosion!

Sam: Semen everywhere!

Georgie: Sounds sexy! But it’s not. I kind of feel like I want to talk about hands as well, because you mentioned that a minute ago. And I think this is stuff we don’t think about too, that when you touch someone’s junk and and touch your own junk, you can transfer a lot of stuff. And this is something that becomes really problematic. Sure, for two person sex it’s problematic. If you’re having a threesome it becomes really tricky. And I’ve discovered this because I’m a fucking threesome enthusiast, a threesome addict. But what happens is, if there’s three of you, you’re messing around with one person with your hands. And then you go to mess with the next person. And then you’re like, ‘Oh, hang on.’ My hands are covered in their, you know, stuff, whatever it happens to be. And yeah, it’s an issue because there’s so much stuff that you can transfer from one person to the other. And like, maybe when there’s two of you, you’re not both just playing with your junk. But you certainly are when there’s three of you. Using your hands a lot. And when I see couples at work – I see a lot of couples as an escort and part of my job is often explaining to them that they need to be really careful which hand they use to touch which person. So I call it the ‘two-hand trick’ like, your right hand’s for your wife, your left hand’s for your sex worker.

Sam: I like that. And while we’re on the topic of threesomes, this brings up one of my favorite threesome tricks. It’s really difficult if you’re having a two-vulva-one-penis threesome, where the person with the penis obviously has to take off the condom and put on another one every time they go from one partner to another. And so what can be really awesome is the internal condom or as it’s colloquially known, a Femidom. These are amazing and incredible and they make threesomes so much more fun.

Georgie: Tell me what they look like, paint me a picture. I know that for a lot of people a condom is thing you roll down over a dick. It’s really hard to picture what an insertive condoms looks like.

Sam: An internal condom is or an insertive condom is kind of amazing. If the external condom grips to the outside of a penis, the internal condom grips to the inside of a vagina, like sort of wraps and coats the inside of the vagina, and then they sort of have these little tufts that stick out and cover the labia. In terms of sensation, it is amazing.

Georgie: It’s actually pretty good. And also really good for guys that might have smaller dicks, because sometimes condoms won’t stay on. Or if you’re like, if you’re not getting super hard. And because you don’t have to worry, you can still have sex without being super hard. Whereas a condom sometimes won’t stay on a dick if it’s not super hard.

One thing I particularly love, I was reading someone’s story on Facebook. Just the way people talk about this stuff. Like, ‘Yeah, you know, I took this guy home and we’d just met,’ And then, you know, unsafe sex sort of happens. And I’m like, ‘What do you mean it just happened? Describe the process.’ Yeah, I’m not getting it. I shocked the other day. Because I’m like, just brutally honest. And I was out on a date with this person, first date. And we’d had cocktails somewhere fancy. We negotiated that I was going to take him home. We’re walking down the street, arm in an arm. It’s all right. And I said, ‘Hey, I just got to tell you something. About six years ago, I picked up the virus that causes cold sores, and it’s still in my system. And you know, it’s probably not a big deal, because I haven’t really had an outbreak in years, but I just wanted to let you know.’ And he went, ‘What? Holy shit. Uh, okay.’ So he thought about that for a minute.

And then we’re walking along, slightly more awkwardly. And he said, ‘I really appreciate you being honest with me.’ And like, yeah, that’s okay. And like, ‘I just want to tell you that some years ago, I got HPV.’ (which is, as we’ve established, is genital warts) ‘And I don’t have any, either, but it’s still in my system. And like, yeah, maybe you want to know about that.’ I said, ‘Yeah, like, I’m totally cool with that. But thanks so much for telling me, I really appreciate your honesty.’ And then I took him home and fucked his brains out.

Sam: Nice! High five! That’s amazing.

Georgie: So I’m kind of curious. We’re talking about being confident in our delivery. And I sort of feel like maybe that approach works well for the actual, safer sex conversation too, like when the ‘poke around’ is happening. You’re like, ‘Oh, is he gonna put a condom on?’ And I feel like this is the point where some people feel the need to overexplain and go, ‘Sorry. I just, you know, you’re gonna have to wear a condom. I hope that’s okay.’ Whereas my sex worker self is like, ‘Condoms are in the drawer. Come to me when you’re ready I’ll be waiting for you.’ Which is a lot sexier than ‘I’m really sorry.’ Like, ‘You have to put a condom on because…’ You know, trying to apologise or feeling really awkward, because that awkwardness comes across

Sam: It does, and it’s also…I find it really interesting because it’s that sort of, um…have you ever heard of ‘female email’?

Georgie: No.

Sam: Okay. So ‘female email’ is when women write emails. We have this very strong method of communicating that comes across in email. And I found this quite interesting when I adopted a gender-neutral name – I didn’t want anyone to know my gender, because I was like, ‘No, no, that’s for when you unwrap my pants’ and it’s a surprise! It’s like Christmas but in my pants! Part of that, you know, conveying that ambiguity, I had to be very aware of how I email because I didn’t want to email while female.

Georgie: Oh, so you didn’t want to email like a chick, you wanted to email like a gender neutral person.

Sam: Exactly. And that means you take out words like ‘just.’ It means you take out ‘sorry,’ you take out exclamation marks and little emoji smiling faces…

Georgie: Taking out all that stuff that makes you look a bit sort of ambiguous and gentler and softer and being like, this is how it is.

Sam: Yeah. And the first few times I did it, I felt like an asshole. I was like, hey, Tom, can you send me that report? And I was like, ‘I can’t say that! Tom will think I’m a bitch.’ And then I was like, ‘But if Steve said that, he wouldn’t think Steve was, and it would be fine.’ And it would be fine.

Georgie: So the safer sex equivalent of this – if you were sending the email to your sexual partner, like, ‘Hey, Tom (winky face). I hope you don’t mind. But you know, it’s really important to me that we wear condoms and sorry to ask (smiley face). I just really hope you’re okay with that. Cheers! Thanks.’

Sam: ‘Hugs and kisses.’

Georgie: Yup.

Sam: As opposed to the male equivalent, or even the gender neutral equivalent is, ‘Hey, Tom, can you chuck on a rubber? Thanks, bud.’

Georgie: ‘And let’s get on with it.’ Yeah, because honestly, short is good when it comes to those conversations.

Sam: But the other thing I really love is that you can actually turn it into – and, you know, this is something that I like to do with casual hookups – I like to turn it into a kind of pleasant surprise where I’m like, ‘Oh my god, do you want to fuck?’ As though it’s just occurred to me. And then part of that is I’ll grab a condom. So like, if they go ‘Oh, yeah’, I’m like, ‘Amazing. I’ll grab a condom and some lube.’

Georgie: And then they’ve said yes to everything.

Sam: Exactly.

Georgie: It’s like, ‘I so want to fuck you right now. I’m gonna get a condom right now. So we can do that, if you’re down for that.’

Sam: Yeah. And so it gives them the opportunity to be like, ‘Oh, actually no, I just wanted to fool around.’ I’d be like, ‘Oh my God, that’s awesome – but also, wash your hands, because I don’t know where they’ve been.’ It gives me the opportunity to be like, ‘Cool. Well, if we’re gonna fuck I’m grabbing a condom because the two are kind of intrinsically linked.’

Georgie: It’s a package deal. You’re either saying yes to the sex and the condom or you’re saying no sex and the condom. I got sort of stuck on what when I was younger, I ran into a lot of younger guys who didn’t want to use condoms. And I just I wasn’t very good at going ‘This is the package deal.’ I was a bit like, ‘Oh well, you said you don’t like condoms. So if I say no, if I if I’m not okay with that, it means I’m not going to get laid.’ And want to get laid but I do want you to wear a condom. Whereas, once you see them as things that joined – sex, condom go together. Yeah, it is the only way. It’s much more clearer and the decision’s clearer.

Sam: Absolutely. And I think it’s interesting because a lot of my – because I don’t know if I mentioned earlier, but you know, my early experiences were almost exclusively with women. And it wasn’t until I was about eighteen that I had my first experience with a man. And then after that, because we’re still together, every subsequent experience with the men has been, ‘Well, I’m in an open relationship.’ And so when the conversation about condoms has come up, I’ve been able to fall back on the line of, ‘Actually, it’s one of my partners and my rules.’ And it’s that same equivalent of like, when you’re at work, and you’re kind of like, ‘Oh, I’m really sorry, but management insists.’

Georgie: Well, it’s a bit like that whole, ‘No, sir. I can’t date you. I have a boyfriend.’ Which isn’t true in your case. But it’s nice to have a fallback.

Sam: Exactly.

Georgie: On the other hand, I kind of wish we could just say, ‘Yeah, I just want you to wear a condom because that’s my personal preference.’ And that that should be okay. But it’s hard, right? It’s hard to go, ‘I want you to do this because because that’s what makes me feel comfortable.’ How does this go with the ladies, or I should say, with the vaginas? People that have vaginas. How do you go with the dental dam conversation around that? Because I know a lot of a lot of vagina people that are into other vagina people either don’t like dental dams or have never heard of them. Yeah, so when you roll that one out, how does that go?

Sam: So, it’s interesting. I have not been the best lesbian. I have on occasion gone dam-less at times when I should not have. I think this is one of those times where we sort of go, this is us choosing our own level of risk.

Georgie: Yeah, cuz even if you do do everything like you’re ‘supposed’ to do, and I’m using air quotes here, yeah? It’s only safer sex, is isn’t safe sex. There’s always a chance when you come anywhere near anyone else in a sexual way, they’re gonna get something. You’re just minimizing the risk, you’re choosing how much to minimize. If you choose to go down on someone’s pussy without a barrier, you know, maybe you’re choosing that risk. And maybe you have the right to choose that level of risk.

Sam: And to be honest, for for me, a lot of the time, it was a choice where I have a tendency to attract baby gays, so women or vulva owners who have not been with other women or vulva owners before. It’s not an issue for me, but I try to make our first few encounters as non-threatening as possible. I don’t want to be like, ‘Look, here’s my vag, now I’m gonna wrap it in glad wrap and I’m gonna make you lick it.’ I want just the lower level entry and so you know, it’ll start with just gentle touching make-outs, like slow…all the fun stuff. And then gradually I’ll sort of say, ‘Hey, do you want to try a sex toy? Do you want to try something, you know, a bit more intimate?’ And most of the time, I would not get around to introducing a dental dam because they found their feet enough to go out and date other women, which is great. But on the few occasions where I did, I would try and introduce it as – and again, this is something that works for baby gays. where I’d be like, ‘Look, have you heard of a dental dam? No? Okay, well, here’s why they’re cool, right?’ Because I can do all this cool stuff and not put either of us at risk, which is great. And, you know, as a baby gay, you should be aware that-

Georgie: These are important.

Sam: Yep, exactly. And then what I would introduce is some fun twists on it. So I’d be like, ‘Look, you can make one out of a condom if you like, just kind of rip it up.’

Georgie: I’ve heard you can do that. But I’ve never done it. Never used the actual-

Sam: Yep. That was one that I learned working in the brothel when we ran out.

Georgie: Actually, it’s quite hard for regular people to find dental dams, where the fuck do you go to get them?

Sam: The dentist. You want your dentist, your dentist will sell you dental dams, they will give them to you, because that’s what they’re originally designed for. Yeah, like so I was getting a root canal once and my dentist was like, ‘Oh, hang on, I’m just gonna put a dental dam in,’ and I got the giggles and he was like, ‘What, what, what’s going on?’ And I was like, ‘Did you say dental dam?’ He was like, ‘Yeah,’ I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ He was like, ‘What? What’s going on?’ I was like, ‘You know what, they’re actually for? Okay, actually for?’

Georgie: They’re not for dentistry, they’re for cunnilingus.

Sam: Yeah, they’re for vag. I mean, why you think they’re called dental dams? Oh…

Georgie: That didn’t occur to me. It didn’t occur to me, right, that they might have another use.

Sam: So technically, the, what they do is they ruin the dental dam by cutting a hole in the middle. And then they put it over your tooth like a kind of like little shower cap.

Georgie: Like when you’re doing surgery. You’ve just got to do the surgery through, so when you’re at the dentist, it’s just your tooth poking through. Yeah, but don’t do that when you’re going down, no, you don’t want to cut a tiny little hole for the clitoris.

Sam: Yep, just the tip! But yeah, so normally when I’m introducing it, I’m like, ‘You can do some really cool stuff because, essentially, whatever you put on top of the dental dam is not going to touch the vulva or vagina.’ So you can then throw that sugar rule right out the window.

Georgie: So that piece of chocolate cake you always wanted to eat of someone’s pussy, you can just plant it right there.

Sam: Or justify licking six scoops of Nutella. Here’s your chance!

Georgie: Over the top. Definitely not on-

Sam: No, no, do not put Nutella on anyone’s bits, for the love of God. But yeah, and there’s like some really great flavored lube and stuff, which I really enjoy.

Georgie: You can get flavoured dental dams too. Mine are flavoured like vanilla. I’ve also found that I a lot of people think that the smell or the taste of latex is unsexy. But because I come from a kink background…if you go to clubs, you’ll see all these beautiful people walking around in head-to-toe latex costumes. And the smell of it, like the rubber smell, is really intoxicating. And now when I smell latex it’s almost like a turn on for me.

Sam: Pavlovian response.

Georgie: Right. So I really do quite like the smell of latex.

Sam: That’s amazing. At one point I am, I gave myself a wank injury in my arm and my physio was like, ‘You’ve got to be careful, because if you’re not careful, you get to the point where you’ll only be able to orgasm when you feel the pain.’ I was like, ‘That’s ridiculous. What are you talking about?’

Georgie: Kinksters now are going, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah.’

Sam: And it literally got to the point where, whenever I felt that twinge in my elbow I would orgasm and I very briefly-

Georgie: So you had tennis elbow from masturbating.

Sam: Yeah, when I was masturbating, I had to wait until I got the twinge of pain in my elbow before I could actually come. It’s almost like a sign.

Georgie: Yeah, you’ve done enough.

Sam: Yeah, exactly.

Georgie: No, that’s not great.

Sam: Right, I literally got to the point where I was gonna rename my pussy Pavlov because I was like, ‘He only salivates when he hears the pain in my elbow!’

Georgie: Actually, you’re not far wrong with the retraining. So I actually know some guys go you know, ‘I can’t get hard when I’ve got a condom on.’ Yeah, I have some male friends who might have struggled with that, that when the condoms on it feels weird. It’s not what they’re used to, coming out of a relationship. And what they’ve done is, they’ll put a condom on and masturbate. To get used to the feel of latex. And it’s just it’s psychological. So once you’re used to the latex being there, and you’re used to it being sexy and your feeling of coming, then it’s easier to move to a vag. As opposed to trying to desperately keep your erection on, and the condom on, when it feels weird.

Sam: And also like, I actually hadn’t considered this, but if I think about it, yes, it’s still associating a condom with sex. Where like, you know, you’re having a one-night stand. You’re putting a condom on, theoretically, that should be like, ‘Oh, I’m associating this with sexy times.’

Georgie: But you still have to put in those hard yards.

Sam: Yeah, and also, if you’re having a one night stand, that’s a very different feeling to having sex with a long term partner. There’s a lot of anxiety there’s a lot of stress. There’s a lot of pressure. So you would very much associate that latex then with, ‘Oh, shit, oh shit.’ Like, what if she doesn’t like me? What if I’m not big enough? What if I can’t get hard? What if?

Georgie: Pavlovian response-wise, associating condoms with feeling extreme stress and pressure. That’s horrible!

Sam: That is kryptonite for a dick!

Georgie: So maybe you do need to let yourself off the hook. Go watch some porn. Something. And get yourself off wearing the condom, so that you can really retrain your brain.

Sam: Yeah, exactly. And I think it’s also, for vulva owners who have that same thing where it’s like, you know, ‘I don’t like the feel of it.’ I think that learning to masturbate with a condom on toys is actually really good safer sex practice. A lot of toys actually retain bacteria even if you wash them really properly. So learning to use condoms on new sex toys is a pretty good health practice anyway.

Georgie: My number one trick for safer sex is the whole sex worker knowing how to put a condom on with your mouth, because again, pinching down so you’ve got that reservoir in the tip takes a bit of learning. But I guarantee, when I’m about to hook up with someone, and I get the condom, I stick it in my mouth and I look at them like, ‘You know what I’m about to do? Yeah, like I’m about to go down on you and simultaneously put the condom on your cock and it’s gonna be the coolest thing.’ No one says no to that. Yeah. And this is a reason that sex workers use it so much because it means we’re much less likely to get a ‘no’ or an, ‘I don’t want to wear a condom.’ because we’re literally going to go down on someone. It’s basically you saying no to a blowjob, and no one does that. That’s a great way to sort of get that happening without having to have an argument with someone.

Sam: Yeah, really nice.

Georgie: Not that we should. We should never have to have an argument but, you know, it makes it sexy. Like you said about the, ‘Oh, would you like to get laid now and I’ll get a condom out?’ It makes it exciting.

Sam: Exactly. Like you kind of making it a non-negotiable, where it’s sort of like yeah, if you say no, you’re saying no to everything.

Georgie: And what about the other end? What would you like from your dick-wielding partners in order to, like, smooth the way and make his stuff more comfortable?

Sam: I think, um, you know, honestly, I’ve never had a dick-wielding partner actually say, ‘Hey, I hope it’s okay, I’m going to wear a condom.’ And not in the sense that like, they need my permission to wear one. I mean, I’ll just signaling it was bound to happen now. I’m actually just thinking, man, is that a consent thing? Like we always hear about a guy removing a condom like a stealth thing? But is it sexual assault if it happens the other way?

Georgie: Not asking in the first place is problematic and not just for guys, but everyone. So I will now, and this is overkill maybe. I don’t think so. So I’ll be with someone, if I’m hooking up with someone or if it’s someone that I’ve decided I want to go down on them without the condom on, I won’t just got for it. I’ll start to go down there. And then I’ll look up and go, ‘Do you want a condom on your dick before I give you head?’ Nine times out of ten, they say no. But sometimes if it’s a new person, or if they have a partner, if they’re an open relationship, they’ll say, ‘Yeah, actually, that would be great. Thanks for asking.’ And I kind of feel like it’s sort of the same with sex. Like, maybe you should be asking and not going for it. Because if someone’s really shy about saying, ‘Actually, I’d prefer to be wearing a condom,’ and then the whole time you’re fucking them, they would just be lying there freaking out. You know?

Sam: Yeah, I know.

Georgie: It’s not sexy.

Sam: I was thinking the other way around, where it’s like, if a guy was asking for permission to wear a condom.

Georgie: Oh, yeah. That that’s important.

Sam: Yeah. I’m indifferent, for example, and he says, ‘Oh, do you mind if I put a condom on?’

Georgie: Oh, so that is like, when people have different standards?

Sam: Yeah.

Georgie: Whose standard is the one that you follow? And how do we work this out? I mean, I would always say that the it’s the person who is prioritising safety has to have like the right of way I guess, for lack of a better term. So if you’ve got two people, and they both say yeah, we want condoms for PIV and one of them says, ‘I want condoms for oral,’ and one says, ‘I don’t want condoms for oral,’ it’s the one that wants the condoms. It’s the highest standard.

Sam: But I just find it interesting, because you don’t really hear about – you know, women inevitably are like, ‘I took this guy home who was super hot, we’re about to hook up and he’s like, oh baby, I’m gonna put a condom on and I was like what, why?’ Like you don’t hear women go, ‘Yeah and he insisted on safe sex and just insisted on making sure that he put it on properly and, you know, really made it-‘ You never hear that.

Georgie: Why? I’m curious. Why does that happen? Is it because women are culturally trained that it’s our responsibility if some shit goes wrong? Is that what it’s about?

Sam: Well, I think it’s interesting because it does sort of follow the same logic as pregnancy where it’s like, you know, two people have sex, but the one who gets the abortion is the one that’s going to cop the blame. If a woman – you see all these laws coming into place in America now where they are proposing the death penalty for people who procure an abortion-

Georgie: Oh that’s just fucking horrific.

Sam: Right? But you’re like, ‘Oh so what about the father?’ Does he get the death penalty? Does he get locked up? What the fuck happens to him, right? And I think it’s that idea that it’s whoever has to deal with the consequences are the ones that are at fault.

Georgie: Of course when it comes to STIs, it’s not just the chick that might get an STI, it could be the guy as well.

Sam: Absolutely.

Georgie: Maybe we sort of still feel there’s a cultural thing that it’s the chick’s job to go, ‘No wait let’s be responsible,’ Like, it’s it’s the guy’s job to rampage in and go ‘I’m a testosterone fueled runaway freight train!’

Sam: ‘I can’t be held accountable for my actions!’

Georgie: Right, and that’s the chicks job, to go, ‘Oh no,’ and hold him back and that’s a shitty stereotype because, firstly, some women are raging hornbags. Like, there’s nothing wrong with being an unstoppable sex beast, right, but also that all genders are capable of being responsible. And should do. You know, guys are just as capable of going, ‘Oh, hang on a second. Let’s just check out the safer sex situation.’ And they all they should be. I feel like maybe because women are told that if something goes wrong, it’s our fault.

Sam: Yeah. And I think it’s that, to answer your question, that’s what I want from my penis-wielding partners. I want more active engagement with safe sex. I want them to be like, ‘Hey, I’m gonna wear a condom,’ just as a heads up. It’s such a turn-on. I get excited when I hook up with someone and I take them back to my place and they have condoms in their pocket, because most guys don’t. It’s not my experience, they just expect you to produce it. And if you don’t, then it means you’re having unsafe sex.

Georgie: But I have been home with a couple of people where we were getting sexy and they literally said, ‘Oh, I’ve just got some condoms in my pants. Let me just pick them up off the floor.’ and at that point I’m like, okay, so whatever we were just doing, I don’t care because I just want you to ravage me.

Sam: Yeah, yeah. This is amazing. Fuck me six ways from Sunday.

Georgie: It’s the boy scout thing like, a man that’s prepared. So fucking sexy.

Sam: Oh my god, a man who takes the pressure off me to do all the shit is hot as fuck.

Georgie: Yep, it’s great. It’s really nice to have someone else saying, ‘I’m taking responsibility for the situation as much as you are. And I’m gonna put as much effort in.’ That’s sexy, whether it’s about mutual oral or whether it’s about who puts the condom on. It’s really cool.

Sam: It was interesting, I had a great hook up recently, but with someone who was a bit younger than me, and I was kind of like, ‘Oh, do you want to like, you know, go and grab an Airbnb and just fuck ourselves stupid?’ And he was like,’ Yeah, that sounds great.’ And he was like, ‘Oh, do you mind if we don’t use condoms?’ And I was like, ‘Oh, look, I’m in a relationship. It’s one of our rules. So condoms are important.’ And he’s like, ‘Oh, you need to grab some then, because I don’t carry them.’ And I kind of went, ‘Not sexy. No.’ And I get that that’s, that was his situation, but it was sort of like, ‘Right…so, okay.’ If it were me and I was a good boy scout, I’d be like, ‘Okay, I’m not really into condoms.’ And if I find partners that aren’t into it, then that’s great. But I’m just going to carry some in my backpack, just in case.

Georgie: It’s like, you know, if you’re a good boy scout, maybe you’re gonna need this stuff. Maybe not, and either way, you want to be prepared. You want to be the MacGyver of sex. You don’t want to be like the person that turns up to a party without a bottle of wine and he’s embarrassed. And again, not to shame people for their choices. But personally, I prefer my partners to be really up-front about a stuff they have to tell me – like, be upfront about how often they get checked, and to know that they’re being reasonably safe with other partners. And you know, I’m a bit like, ‘Are you a good choice for me?’

Is there any takeaway that you’d like to leave people with, just around safer sex? I think we’ve talked about some really awesome stuff. Is there a parting message that you would have for anyone that might encounter you out at your seven-woman sex party? Who might run into you out, and you might start flirting? What do you need them to know?

Sam: Um, I think I think it’s everyone’s responsibility to as much as possible educate themselves. So if you are a person who owns genitals and plans on using them in any way, it’s kind of like, it’s like buying any appliance. You kind of need to read the warranty. You need to read the user manual. It just takes a bit more digging to find the info.

Georgie: Any good places that you recommend?

Sam: Um, well, I’ve got a break down on how to have more pleasurable safer sex on smutbuttons.com and also a guide to different STIs and different contraception methods and testing. There’s also Oh Joy Sex Toy, which is a great website that does reviews of different condoms, different lubes, different internal condoms. But also just a general Google around on, you know, ‘What am I at risk of?’ Understanding if I am, you know, if I have a penis and I have sex with other penis owners, what am I most likely to be at risk of? What can I do to assure my safety, if I go down on vagina people? Yeah.

Georgie: I don’t even know if that’s technical term. Whatever things I need to worry about. Some doctors are really good at talking about this stuff, and some are not. So if you have a great doctor, ask them. If you don’t, don’t be afraid to keep looking.

Sam: Yeah, don’t be afraid of Google. Don’t be afraid of doing your own research and look at it as, it’s your body. And it’s always your choice, but it’s also your responsibility. And you need to ensure that what you’re doing with it is safe for yourself and also anyone that you come into contact with.

Georgie: Yeah, those are really good words of wisdom. Thank you. This has been a really great chat. I really appreciate you coming in.

Sam: It’s been my pleasure. 100%.

Georgie: And we did sort of just talk about this, but where can people find you?

Sam: Oh, so I can be found on smutbuttons.com where I run the website. And you can also find, if you’re so interested, some of my movie reviews on popculture.com.

Georgie: Fantastic. I will look those up. I’ve seen the blog, but I haven’t seen the movie reviews. Alright, that’s it for today. Thank you so much.

Sam: Thank you.

Thanks for listening! I hope it’s been as good for you as it’s been for us. As with all my encounters, I love hearing feedback. You can find me online at artofthehookup.com, and that’s also the place to go to learn more about my book project. Please share this podcast with anyone that you think would benefit from hearing this stuff. Spread the word as well as the love, and let’s make the world of hookups a better place.

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