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Better Safe Than Sorry

, , , , , , | Friendly | August 8, 2021

I am around fourteen or fifteen years old. I am visiting a friend at his house. I use the restroom and I happen to notice a bowl with what I honestly think looks like a bunch of those individually wrapped sanitizing wipes. I am pretty sure it wasn’t there the last time I visited, and it makes me curious.

Me: “Hey, what’s in that red bowl above the toilet?

My friend gives the slightest hint of hesitation or embarrassment before responding.

Friend: “Oh, umm, those are condoms.”

Me: “What? Really?”

Friend: “Yeah, it says, ‘condom,’ on every one, you know.”

Me: “Your parents just leave their condoms sitting out in the bathroom?”

Friend: “No. They’re… not my parents’.”

Me: “Who else would they be for?”

Friend: “Umm, they’re for me or [Sister] if we need them, or anyone else, really.”

His sister is only eleven months older than he is.

Me: “What? Your parents are letting you have sex?!”

Friend: “Not really. I mean, they gave us this whole lecture on how they want us to wait, how it can lead to hurt feelings, STDs, and pregnancy if you aren’t careful, and how teens are usually happier when they wait, all that junk.”

Me: “Then why are they giving you condoms?”

Friend: “Well, they want us to wait, but they said teens often don’t, so it’s better if we have condoms just in case we do have sex.”

Me: “Oh, that’s… cool, I guess. But won’t they know if you have sex when condoms disappear? That would be super awkward.”

Friend: “Nah, they thought of that already.”

Me: “Huh?”

Friend: “They said they would rather we did tell them, and that we won’t get in trouble or anything if we tell them, even if they think we’re too young. The only thing we would get in trouble for is if we had sex without a condom or we pressured someone into having sex who wasn’t ready to do it yet; Dad was really big on that last one. But if we don’t want them to know, that’s okay, too. They said we could give condoms to any friends who needed some, and if the condoms start to go away, they’ll just refill them, no questions asked. Since they won’t know if it’s me or [Sister] or our friends using them, they won’t know who’s having sex.”

Me: “Oh. Wow. Your parents are… really cool about it, I guess.”

Friend: “I suppose. It’s still a little odd talking with your mom about sex, though, even if they are cool with it, you know?”

Me: “Oh, yeah, totally.”

Friend: “So, can we go back to [Video Game] now?”

Me: “Umm, sure. But your parents said you could let friends have some, too?”

Friend: “Yeah.”

Me: “Umm, can I take some, then? You know, just in case?”

Friend: “Sure, I guess. But, umm, I’m supposed to offer to teach you how to use them if I let you have some.”

I am a young teen who knows almost nothing about sex beyond what little adult material I can get ahold of. (It wasn’t as easy to get back then.) I also don’t want to admit how little I know, so I fall back on bravado.

Me: “What’s to know? Stick it on and start humping.”

Friend: “But don’t stick it all the way on; you need to leave some space on the tip to catch the sperm or it might break.”

I then got a quick but informative lecture on proper condom use and storage from my friend. In fact, apparently, his parents were even willing to help anyone with getting the morning-after pill if they did have an “accident,” no questions asked.

As it turns out I was, shall we say, overly ambitious asking for condoms at that age; all the ones I took that day went to waste, other than the one I opened just out of curiosity. However, as we got older, I, and a few of our mutual friends, took advantage of the free condom source. We all got, or were at least offered, a lecture on proper condom use when we took some, and a second one on consent and making sure everyone is ready for sex from my friend if we said we really were looking to “do the deed,” both lectures his parents believed every child should get.

We went to a big high school, and there were a few unplanned pregnancies circulating through the rumor mill, and even more pregnancy scares. However, I can safely say that I and all our mutual friends had no such concerns, as we all were properly getting and using condoms thanks to this friend and his parents.