From what I understand it’s a pretty big thing for some people, when reading erotica, to read about the characters having safe sex in order for it to be realistic. Which I get. I do. It is rather squicky to read about a couple banging when they just met and know nothing about each other or where their parts have been. I understand.
It’s really not a big deal to me, one way or another, for reading it. I really don’t care. If condoms aren’t even mentioned my brain just automatically goes to the all clear and I don’t even hitch up when reading. Let’s be real here: erotica is not meant for teenagers or other impressionable minds. No one’s health is actually at risk from reading the book or from writing it. Because the characters aren’t real. They’re not actors, like in actual porn where the threat of some venereal outbreak is very real and thus condoms are, in some places, law to be used. The characters are a figment of an author’s imagination written into a page. No humans were harmed in the making of this erotica. So I’m not really affronted if condoms aren’t used by the characters. It’s not going to ruin my buzz if they don’t pull out the rubber.
However, if the author does decide to go down that route then they need to own that. Condoms aren’t just used for preventing pregnancy so if you’re going to go through the effort of writing a condom into a sex scene then more than pregnancy needs to be addressed if the couple is missing a rubber. You HAVE TO, for the sake of realism and all. You can’t really put a condom on a half-limp dick, now can you? No. So why would you go about this topic half-cocked?
I read one book where the condom was merely a mention. It was pulled out, rolled on and done. That’s it. But in another book, actually in another couple of books by the same author (not the same one as the former condom book) there was an effort to mention condom use but when neither party could produce one, the woman would mention her birth control, the guy would go, ‘oh, okay,’ and they’d continue. No. Because now you have me thinking about these two relative strangers fucking, two strangers whom I KNOW haven’t discussed their previous exploits, who don’t know each other and are now smashing on my reading pages. Why would you mention the birth control aspect of condoms but then just completely disregard the whole STD thing that comes with the sex?
Look, I know you want your characters to have sex and no condom and throwing caution to the wind is, in theory, sexy and all, but if you’ve gone that far into realism you really need to go the rest of the way, otherwise you’re broaching on irresponsible. Not for any seemingly impressionable minds that could be reading the work or because of any apparent obligation to do anything. It’s just for the very basic misconception that people STILL have about female birth control and it preventing the spread of STDs and there’s no need to worry about anything else as long as the lady takes her pill. No. Incorrect.
Do or don’t broach the topic in a sex scene, I really don’t care. But if it is broached, do it right, huh? Having to stop a sex scene because a character doesn’t have a condom kills a buzz. I know. So either write the condom into a drawer or something or erase its mention entirely. Don’t go half way and then cop out at the last second because the effort to look responsible ends up being half-assed.