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'Swedish men just don't want to use condoms'

The Local · 19 Jun 2012, 16:20

Published: 19 Jun 2012 16:20 GMT+02:00

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"No glove, no love" - the age-old English saying about condoms may ring true in most cosmopolitan cities, but when it comes to Stockholm, I say good luck finding a Swedish man who will actually want, or even knows, how to wear one.

This, of course, is just my personal experience. But as a single American woman in her late twenties who has now lived in Stockholm for over a year, I am constantly amazed that the majority of Swedish men I’ve encountered do not use – or, dare I say – never use, condoms.

Let’s first talk numbers. Out of the six Swedish men that I’ve casually dated so far here in Stockholm, every single one of them seems to have some sort of issue or hang-up with using this little piece of plastic.

First there was Jim*, who joked that the reason he didn’t use condoms was because disease hadn’t yet spread to Sweden.

Then there was Kevin, who confessed that while he hadn’t used a condom in years, he was at least willing to try (although when he finally did put one on, let’s just say it was a “lost” cause).

And when I met the mysterious yet sexy Chris, he claimed that because he was an “expert at pulling out," that meant we didn’t need to use a condom. I didn't buy his ridiculous excuse.

Then there was John, the handsome 37-year-old I met out one night in Östermalm.

When I told him after two dates that I would prefer it if he used a condom the first time we had sex, he suddenly turned into a petulant child and vowed he would never again use a condom because they are both “uncomfortable and unnecessary.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, we stopped seeing each other after that.

As a born-and-bred American who has sat through many a sex ed class in her adolescent years, it’s essentially been drilled into my brain that condoms are a must when you first start having sex with someone.

Of course the number one reason is to prevent pregnancy, especially if you aren’t on birth control, but in this day and age, the prevalence of STIs is staggering and for me, that’s reason enough to make the new guy I’m dating wear one.

In case you’re wondering, I have been with men from other countries – not just American men who are often staunch condom supporters – and I can honestly say that since moving to Sweden, this is the first time that I have encountered such a strong dislike for something that really is only meant to protect you.

Maybe it’s just me but I think I dislike the idea of chlamydia far more than a thin piece of plastic.

But I should be fair and say that the Swedish men are not the only ones to blame.

According to a close Swedish female friend of mine, she recalls only ever having used a condom once in her life. Yes, you read that correctly: only once.

The reason? It seems as though every single Swedish woman is on some form of birth control, hence her reason for not ever having to use a backup method of contraception.

And as for the Swedish men? Well, they’ve apparently become so accustomed to women already being on the pill that they’ve never felt the need to “wrap it up” – pardon the pun.

Story continues below…

“You make it sound like all Swedes do is sleep around,” Patrick said when I first asked if he was OK with wearing one for me.

We had been out on several dates and clearly enjoyed each other’s company so sleeping together, to me, seemed like the appropriate next step. Apparently, this seemingly innocuous request of mine was considered a deal breaker. I never saw Patrick again.

So, here’s a little note to all those single, Swedish men out there: It’s not an insult to your masculinity if a woman asks you to wear a condom – it’s because she likes you and likes having safe sex. Okej?

*Typical American names are used to protect Swedish identities

Elisabeth Carlsson

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:21 June 19, 2012 by Shibumi
Wha...? How can this even be an issue in 2012? You shouldn't even have to ask. With all of the casual sex I hear is going on here, I naturally assumed that the per capita condom consumption in Sweden would be off the charts. I am shocked and very happy to not be single in Sweden!
17:31 June 19, 2012 by Puddi
Haha, very true, but it goes for both genders I'd say. I'm in my mid twenties and have lived in Sweden for two years now; all of the Swedish women I've dated were not a big fan of using condoms at all. Usually they don't even bring it up (I've been brought up with the saying that it's the responsibility of both people), and I even have to insist on using one in most cases.

I've been with plenty of international students at my university here, who all share similar experiences. Very odd indeed...
18:15 June 19, 2012 by CJ from Sunshine Desserts
If you have reason to believe your prospective partner has:-

been injecting drugs, or

has had sex with someone who injects drugs, or

has had unprotected sex with a prostitute, or

has had sex with a gay man, or any combination of the above..

then yes, by all means wear a condom or insist your partner wears one...otherwise why be suspicious....this of course means nothing to those poor people infected by the doctor from the Karolinska who did not inform their partners that they were infected. Lets face it nothing beats a good old BJ...but with a condom ..forget it. The tragedy of Sweden is all the abortions..saw a middle aged guy a few years ago in Stockholm ..looked kind of gay..."Det är skönare utan skydd" was the text....kind of sums things up. From a hygeinic point of view too,,,if you believe all this fashionable anal sex thats being promoted by internet porn...
18:36 June 19, 2012 by strixy
@ CJ from Sunshine Desserts

What a load of bull.

Having worked as a HIV educator all I can tell you is that if you sleep with one person you sleep with all their ex partners and their ex partners too! How are you going to determine if one of them has been exposed to HIV, eh?

I have got to know severa young women from upper middle class families infected with HIV by their boyfriends, also from upper middle class families. These people look like from agazine covers and some of them only found out about their status when pregnant.

80% of new HIV cases today are young heterosexual women infected by their partners.

Gay men and drug addicts have learnt how to minimise the risk while heterosexuals still remain oblivious and convinced it's not their problem.

Not wearing a condom seems like a really stupid thing to do.
19:35 June 19, 2012 by rramirez
Maybe its the condoms, or like the movie said, maybe he's not not that into you. If I'm really into a girl and there's an emotional angle condoms are fine or even no sex is fine. But if its just for fun the bottom line is that condoms suck. They physically dull the sensation in your johnson, its not some ego or machismo thing. Yes they're infinitely safer, but for most guys they take a lot of the run out of something that's all about fun. So why bother? Sex with a condom is a lot like a veggie burger. Yeah, beef is full of bad stuff and I know it but if a restaurant has only veggie burgers on its menu I'm just going to go to another restaurant. I've been with 80 to 100 broads, used condons about 25% of the time, got crabs once in college and outside of that its been smooth sailing baby. Real smooth.
20:45 June 19, 2012 by johan rebel
Choose your partners carefully whilst sober, and forget about the condoms.
01:04 June 20, 2012 by Noturningback
"They physically dull the sensation in your johnson...."

Ladies, if a guy pulls that line on you, tell them to go f&ck themselves then. They won't need a condom for that action. Sorry, I'm not risking my life for your few minutes of pleasure.

Thank you #4 for being the voice of reason.
01:36 June 20, 2012 by strixy
I forgot to include a recent example:

A friend has recently contacted me after her father has been tested HIV+ (he used to be a blood donor). His only sexual intercourse during the past 12 months was while in a relationship with a professional and highly respectable upper middle class female.

My bet is she does not know she has been infected, most likely by one of her ex partners or even her ex husband, also from an upper middle class social circle.


Do you think people have their serological status visible on their foreheads?

I bet the doctor from Karolinska seemed clean, attractive and intelligent even when sober!

No, you don't have to use condom, you can get tested instead and then start having sex when you both know you are clean.
10:45 June 20, 2012 by spongepaddy
I can't help wondering what clubs you're attending to meet idiot men like that. These guys are f**kwits. And should be soundly slapped.
12:48 June 20, 2012 by sometimesinsweden
This article stinks of invention.

6 consecutive Swedish males who'd rather not have sex at all with the author than wear a condom.......

Yeah right!
13:36 June 20, 2012 by batista
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
14:01 June 20, 2012 by Gardian
I have dated more than 300 of Swedish and they are all were against cundum, the reason is they believe it not comfortable, so the issue here is with swedish 'girls' not the men.

I think I know the author !and we have had very good experience, if am not mistaken u may remember with drink all the night and u asked for more always.

for our date we used condom and u did nt mentioned it I guess the reason is...
16:02 June 20, 2012 by planet.sweden
@Gardian "I have dated more than 300 of Swedish and they are all were against cundum"

Oh dear, uneducated, idiotic, irresponsible and over here.

You sound like a very good reason why Swedish men might like to reconsider their aversion to condoms. It's either put one on, or catch something rather unpleasant going around town courtesy of the likes of @Gardian.

Oh the joys of globalization, thank you Mr Reinfeldt.
16:38 June 20, 2012 by Javana
I really wonder where do you pick your men ?

I have never had similar experience, but then i don't go for irresponsible drunken men, so that may be why.
18:46 June 20, 2012 by FireBoy
hahaha, one year in stockholm and soo many experiences, I like that girl. The world needs more of such girls ;)))

Anyway, the opposite is also true. I was once with a girl who insisted that she didn't like it with condoms, which of course I did not accept and thus we decided to stop, as it is my red line (of course my personal choice).
19:02 June 20, 2012 by paul stevenson
I have a friend, female mid 30s, she is very open sexually and has had many partners. Easily more than fifty both male and female. She never really had one night stands but before she would begin a new relationship she insisted both she and the new partner went to be tested at the clinic. Several cases of Clamydia, 1 herpes and 1 HIV. She has been careful and has so far never gotten anything her partners were always unaware of their infections. She admits that her life style puts her at a fairly high risk, but she is mature and manages that risk as best she can. I think everyone has a responsibility to look after themselves and be aware of the risks they run.
20:17 June 20, 2012 by CJ from Sunshine Desserts
Are we men supposed to feel guilty because we want sex ? No-why should we...lets face it we were doing OK until those vaccine trails in the Congo 50 years ago.....remember Sweden is also a country with "trygghets narcomani" look at the world wide factbook ..OK its American CIA propaganda..but you can see how HIV prevalance is in Sweden compared to USA, France etc...Sweden is relatively low....but is that due to the safe sex message working 30 years ago or low promiscuity amongst Swedes ? Perhaps there are WHO stats available online? Still now there are HIV vaccin trails ongoing ....here`s hoping..but of course for us catholics its a sin to put one on :-) Anybody know how many are officially HIV + in Sweden at the moment ?
20:36 June 20, 2012 by HenryPollard
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
21:33 June 20, 2012 by dizzymoe33
Wow I didn't realize how ignorant Swedish men and women are when it comes to using condoms!! We are taught from the 5th grade to use protection and it is both the men and women's responsibilities to take some form of birth control and the use of condoms. What recklessness!! Also yes when starting a relationship you both need to be screened for all STD's and HIV and then at least every 6 months you both should be tested again. It is called being a responsible adult!!
08:55 June 21, 2012 by ljonesdontplay
Come on, 6 out of 6 guys were a rubber away from a hot juicy lay and 6 out of 6 walked. AINT NO WAY!! This girl a fake.
11:10 June 21, 2012 by The Groke
you can't wear a condom when you don't have a penis.
12:29 June 21, 2012 by EP
Any wonder Sweden has the largest cases of chlamydia per capita in the world? They even have a national chlamydia awareness day ... doesn't seem to help. I remember living in Stockholm and one proud Stockholmer blamed the prevalance and spread of the clap on the students out areas like Lund and on the non-educated people in Skåne for the statistics. Arrogance and naivety seem intertwined here ... perhaps the Swedes should pay more attention in class ...
15:03 June 21, 2012 by tigger007
i was with a women and i used a condom everytime and she said to me,why do you use a condom? she felt since she was clean and i was clean there was no need to use a condom.she had told a friend that she was thinking that i had HIV/AIDS because i used a condom. i told her i use them so i won't get HIV/AIDS.
17:08 June 21, 2012 by Good Mr Che
Can't believe in some comments. Are there still so many ignorant people?

It's a total bull that condom influences the sensation. Buy thin ones. Wanna last longer - buy ones with a specific lubricant. Wanna have more sensation - buy ribbed or dotted.

In my experience it's both women and men in Sweden who have this bizare misconseption about condoms.
18:41 June 21, 2012 by Tarc the Mexan
#21: http://www.femalehealth.com/theproduct.html#compare
21:09 June 21, 2012 by 15U
Feel disgusting..

All those civilized Europeans teach us Russians, call russian women prostitutes, most of my female russian friends have only one sexual partner in the whole life - their husband, but all those open Swedes/Americans have 100, 300. Cultural Europe. Haha.. Brrrrr

More I see Europe more I love Russia.
21:16 June 21, 2012 by Yortis
Swedish women are the same. They will not use condoms either.They think AIDS does not exist in beautiful, clean,wonderful, Sweden...........They don"t even think about other STD"s.

As for unwanted pregnancies, I know so many Swedish girls under 25 who have had abortions.........
01:09 June 22, 2012 by Tarc the Mexan
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
13:15 June 22, 2012 by Eric1
I wonder if anything in the article is true.
14:35 June 22, 2012 by visitor87
Swedes seem to be careless. The guy I dated admited he doesn't usually use condoms and assured me he's 100% healty. I wonder what on earth makes them so sure...However when I asked him to use one, he was OK with that.

My friends have similar experiences.

It's so sad and silly that people don't care, not even about their own health...
18:43 June 22, 2012 by Tarc the Mexan
#29: probably not, the author is just another fat American inventing a bullcrap story to further the myth of Scandinavia being some sort of socialist, sexually deviant Hades.

She's been in Stockholm for "little over a year", I've been in Sweden for over 29 years and I've never encountered the kind of behaviour she describes. On the contrary, I've found that Swedish women are conscious about their health and very particular about the use of contraceptive devices.
06:27 June 23, 2012 by embil
"This, of course, is just my personal experience. But as a single American woman in her late twenties who has now lived in Stockholm for over a year"

Exactly, and #31's comment is probably correct, and most likely this single women was probably going to the wrong place to find men. If what she says is true, I would like to see some statistics and facts to back up her claim.
09:42 June 23, 2012 by Youdee
What #31 said. I've been in Sweden just as long, and I'm certain that the young adults I know protect themselves.
14:15 June 23, 2012 by sherkovic
I will happily use comdoms! Come back sweety!! Msg me!
01:46 June 24, 2012 by camastro
Please look for God, God forbids fornication. There is no necessity to use condoms if the personas refrain from sex before marriage. So the human body are not designed to use condoms, that is the reason there is nuisance using the condom.
11:19 June 24, 2012 by salalah
The author meets her partners at "Sluts R' Us" , and the she asks herself why they don't want to use condoms... or wait... maybe she joined the "We R Virgins" matching website???
16:46 June 24, 2012 by Kahmoudi
If this is so untrue, why did the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (SMI) launch an app called Provligget, or Test Nooky. The ap has messages like "Did you know that people who suggest using a condom are seen as confident and considerate?" and "Did you know Swedes are among the worst in the world at using a condom?"


Having Condomsense is better than catching a disease or having an unwanted pregnancy. It's not about whether or not people are sexually promiscuous; it only takes one poor choice ( or rape) to catch an STD.There are people who were born HIV positive or caught it through blood transfusions or open wounds. There are also people in/ or who have been in long term relationships with partners who cheated and infected them but are unaware. Testing is best, followed by consistent condom use.

The bottomline is that getting laid without a condom is not worth your health, fertility or your life.
11:01 June 25, 2012 by Baldric
I'm a swedish male and I detest condoms.

They essentially remove sensitivity to the degree that sex becomes pointless. I cannot reach climax with a condom and it reduces me to a spectator rather than a participant.

I am not so starved for female contact that I am willing to accept the third-rate experience of rubberized sex. I rather have none at all.

This is not necessarily a bad thing though. It reduced my sexual contacts to a small number of recurring partners who had the same opinion about condoms, and these days I am married.

Actually, I would think that condoms give a false sense of security. You can contract all kinds of nasty things from bodily fluids through other paths than the urethra.
16:55 June 25, 2012 by Achilles7
Why are so many people here talking about HIV? Your chances of contracting HIV from having unprotected heterosexual vaginal intercourse (outside of sub-saharan Africa) are about 1 in 5 million. It's not a real threat. You should be far more concerned about contracting another STD or getting a girl pregnant.

And to the author: you seem to get around a bit - 6 guys already in just one year? Can you not hold a relationship down?
17:26 June 25, 2012 by DiegoP
This is just my take on the issue. I have no facts to provide since I am not Swedish and I have a long term relationship with a non-Swedish girl, so I have never been with a Swedish woman.

One of the best qualities of Swedes is that they are quite honest and socially responsible. You might argue this but again this is my take. Therefore, they assume their partner is being honest and socially responsible as well, and if there is something they should know before having unprotected sex they trust their partner will be honest about it.

Maybe that is the reason why they prefer Swedish lovers over foreigners. And maybe that is the reason why they take it as an insult and are so much against it, as if they are asked to wear one they might think their partner either doesn't trust them or is hiding something (as #23 says).

As #38 points out, they rather choose carefully someone with the same preference than go through it at all, an understandable point of view. But of course, I agree they should be more careful while choosing partners, at least during the first encounters when you don't really know the person.

And that's what it's all about, looking for someone who shares your views regarding love and sex. So the author also has all her right to keep looking for someone who thinks like her. It's a matter of affinity. You go girl and keep looking.

And for the guys who say she is a slut for dating six guys in one year, wake up and smell the coffee, women have just as much right to sleep around as us. I bet if it was a guy you would be high-fiving him.
08:44 June 26, 2012 by skogsbo
Elizabeth Carlsson, there is this guy on the forum, not having much luck with the ladies in GBG, if he promise to skin up, do you mind helping out? Think of it as charity work or care in the community. Don't be to concerned I think it will be over pretty quickly ;)

12:53 June 26, 2012 by Flappytango
well the comments here explain the current STD #'s
21:19 June 26, 2012 by Grandson of Swedish Emigrants
First, the article seems like fluff and filler not a really schollarly researched report.

Having said that, I wonder about the Julian Assange case. So if sex without a condom is so common and Swedish men are so reluctant, then will the Swedish justice department hunt down men for questioning around Europe and extradite them back to Sweden for rape?

....Or is that just when the USA wants to extradite someone who released dirty little secrets?

Is there a double legal standard in Sweden; one for Julian Assange and another standard for everyone else? Yes there is a double standard in Sweden for reporting unprotected sex which some have labled as rape and others have not.
23:42 June 26, 2012 by mkvgtired
I am a guy and can undeniably confirm condoms "physically dull the sensation in your johnson". That being said there are plenty of reasons to wear one. For one HIV/AIDS is not curable. There are STDs that require a cotton swab to be pushed through your penis to the base for testing (OUCH!), not to mention getting a woman pregnant can be a complication. An abortion is not always a black and white decision. It can also be very tough psychologically for the woman to make the decision to abort a child. And if she decides to keep it I'm not ready to be a dad.

All good reasons in my opinion.
10:42 June 27, 2012 by Nilspet

Interesting point. If casual sex without condom(s) is so common why is Assange being hunted for casual sex without condom(s) ?
18:24 June 28, 2012 by cupidcub
Sounds more like a diary of a sex worker..
23:03 June 28, 2012 by philster61

You have hit the nail on the head. The case of Assange is less about rape and more to get him to Sweden where he will no doubt be renditioned to the US where he will be facing the death penalty for espionage.
12:28 June 29, 2012 by city_walker
The point about Assange is not the he had sex without a condom.

After the woman asked them to use a condom all the guys in the article said no and walked away. Assange on the other hand forced himself on a woman without it while she thought that he was wearing a condom.

1) Sleeping around like he is he couldn't be sure he was healthy.

2) You may like it or not like it but in Sweden doing so is a crime. And he is reasonably a suspect. What, she didn't protest much after he did it? OK, go to police and say so. And the court will decide how to understand the existing law in this situation.

So I can't wait until he comes here to Sweden and sorts his mess out.

Crime or not is for the court to decide, but he did wrong (unlike guys in the article who are just dicks) and should answer for it.

And it's really very irritating how everyone thinks that Sweden is USA's bitch. This is even more offensive then everyone screaming how he is a nice guy and this is all a conspiracy against him. These crime allegations are too messy, real life-like and vague to be a conspiracy.
21:16 September 11, 2012 by Just_Kidding
It is interesting to hear that Swedish guys don't wear condoms, but Swedish females would call the poor Assange a rapist for a broken condom.
13:30 September 21, 2012 by maometto
so u casually had or tried to have sex with 6 Swedish men and u came up with this conclusion?!?! Your article might be more reliable if you try sleeping with another 6000 men.
17:03 September 22, 2012 by alecLoTh
Not just Sweden, look in all developed countries - we now have a porn educated populace who don't see the need either.
21:44 March 23, 2013 by broweyes
hahah guys ! check this out...

the next article this girl wrote on The Local is about how much rejection she is getting out of swedish men when looking for a commited relationship !


Totally congruent... uh? "You reap what you sow"?

Is it dating and f++++++ 6 guys per year a divergent path for a girl looking for monogamous and committed relationship, even in Sweden?
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