Our preferred method of birth control has always been condoms: first because it worked well for a new relationship; then because I didn’t like the way the pill made me prone to yeast infections; and later because sex was so infrequent that there was no point in using any other method. We found it difficult to get through a box of 12 before they expired — 2 to 3 years later.

One time I got a checkup by a female doctor who mostly saw university-aged patients. She asked if I was sexually active and I said yes. She asked what I used for birth control and I told her condoms. She then gave me a mini-lecture about why that was not a great idea, and I told her that I was satisfied with the protection condoms provided because I had sex infrequently. When she asked why, I told her that I didn’t particularly enjoy it. Well, that was suddenly TMI, as far as she was concerned. I suppose she was expecting a medical reason, like physical discomfort, though that wasn’t the question she asked. I gave her an honest answer, her reaction was weird, and I now wonder what nerve of hers I touched.

Not long after my epiphany, my partner and I revisited the issue of birth control and decided that he would get a vasectomy. That hasn’t happened yet, for logistical reasons, so we’ll continue to use condoms for the next while.

The condoms don’t expire now. I buy boxes of 24 at the grocery store when I’m picking up fruit and milk. I stock up when they’re on sale. It’s simultaneously domestic and debauched.