March 1, 2017

How my mom taught me to (almost) always use a condom


My mom said this one thing every time we spoke on the phone that scared me into always using a condom

I was 20 years old, still living at home, and desperate to leave.

I drove up to my parents house and remember seeing my mother outside waiting for me. She was crying and holding a large envelope. I knew exactly what she was holding, I’d been waiting to hear back for weeks.

I wasn’t a good student, but I’d gotten accepted to the University of California at Santa Barbara. The local community college had a transfer agreement with some California universities. Fulfill a certain amount of classes with at least a 2.4 GPA and you’re almost guaranteed a transfer.

They were right. I got a 2.4 GPA and I’d gotten into university. Just barely.

So I moved away to college, and what can I say, it was fun.

But let’s talk about Kyle for a minute

My older brother had a friend in college named Kyle. Kyle had a rough upbringing but his life was looking up; he was planning on practicing law.

Until his girlfriend of two months got pregnant because they hadn’t used a condom and she wasn’t on birth control. They didn’t love each other but she had the child and Kyle supported her and the baby.

Kyle loved his child but his relationship with his girlfriend was toxic.

Somehow they ended up having two more kids together before she left him for another man. I don’t think he ever practiced law and his life fell apart even more than it already was.

It’s a common story, it happens all the time. Substitute Kyle with someone you went to high school with and the story probably still holds up.

I’m not sure why he chose to not wear a condom but I have to assume it’s because sex without a condom just feels so good.

No shit!

We all know that having condom-less sex feel amazing.

That’s what makes using a condom so difficult sometimes, intercourse feels so much juicier and sexier without one. There’s also a closeness that you experience when having intercourse without a condom.

But probably no where near the closeness you’ll experience by having an unplanned child with your girlfriend of two months.


During college my mom and I spoke on the phone every other week or so.

She’d fill me in on what home improvement project she was working and I’d tell her about college life, omitting how many mornings I was hungover and how close I was to failing some really basic classes. I was a terrible student.

Every time we got off the phone, my mom would say the same thing right before hanging up. The conversation always ended like this:

Mom: OK I’ll talk to you later, I love you. 

Me: I love you too mom, see ya. 

Mom: OK bye……..[whisper] Kyle. [/whisper] 


My mom would always whisper “Kyle” into the phone right before hanging up. It made me smile, but it also made me think, and it worked.

I used condoms religiously because I was terrified of getting anyone pregnant. I didn’t want to end up like Kyle.

The pizza of sex

Sex with a condom is sort of like pizza. No matter how bad it is, it’s still pretty good.

I’ll chose intercourse with a condom over no intercourse any day. It’s a no brainer. I’m a little pickier about pizza however.

I’m still shocked and surprised when a woman I want to have sex with, also wants to have sex with me. I’m so over the fucking moon that I’ll wear a full body condom if I have to (thank goodness, I haven’t had to, yet).

But what about when your partner says it’s OK to not wear a condom? What if that sexy as fuck one night stand tells you that she’s on birth control, or that she can’t get pregnant right now because of where she is in her cycle? Or that it’s OK to pullout?

What then?

I’m responsible

Me. Not her, or him, or them. Me.

I’m responsible for protecting myself and my partners.

It’s up to me to make sure that I don’t accidentally get anyone pregnant. Unless I’m having sex with a regular partner and we’ve discussed other methods of birth control, I’m going to (almost) always use a condom.

I’m responsible to talk to my partners about my sexual health and history, and to give them space to talk to me about theirs.

Condoms aren’t 100% effective at protecting against sexually transmitted infections, or pregnancies.

It’s up to me fully disclose my health status with my potential sexual partners, and it’s also up to me to find out as much as I can about my partners before deciding whether to have sex with them.

We need all the information so that we can both make a fully informed decision regarding if and what kind of sex we’re going to be engaging in.

Also, it’s not a bad idea to discuss what to do if there’s an unplanned pregnancy. I should do this more.

I’m responsible for my actions

All of them.

If I choose to have sex without a condom, then I’m responsible for the consequences of that choice. I’m even responsible if the condom fails. Doesn’t happen often but it has, and it does. I can’t assume that my partner is going to want the same thing I do, and that’s OK.

(Almost) always?

Yea. Let’s be honest, we’re humans here.

I can count on my hands the number of times in my life when I’ve had casual intercourse with a woman and not used a condom.

I took a calculated risk in each of those cases to not use a condom, and luckily I never got an STI and none of my partners got pregnant. But if they had, I would’ve accepted the consequences of my actions. There’s no other option, because I’m responsible now.

Thinking about having sex without a condom because it feels so good? You’re right. It does. It’s so good.

But just remember,

I love you. [whisper] Kyle [whisper]

Shaun Galanos is The Love Drive. He lives and write in Montreal.

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February 28, 2017

How to recover after she tells you she has a boyfriend or a girlfriend


What to say after the person you just asked out tells you they have a boyfriend

I just moved to Montreal in November of last year

Roger and I spent 9 months driving from San Francisco to Montreal, exploring the United States and living in the back of my pickup. A dirtbag version of John Steinbeck’s Travels With Charlie in Search of America if you will. Great book, I learned a lot from reading it before my trip.

Here’s one thing I learned. Offer strangers something to eat or drink, especially if you might’ve parked on their land inadvertently. This will lower your odds of getting shot.Continue reading

February 27, 2017

What I Learned From My Dog Roger About Love

dog love

Two and a half years ago, I started looking for a dog

Single again, my girlfriend at the time and I had just broken up. It happened on my birthday over fancy pizza in Oakland. Some birthdays you remember, some you forget. I won’t forget this one.

I’m not sure what happened.  She wanted to be in love. I loved her, but I wasn’t in love anymore. It was sad. I still love her.

Both my most recent ex girlfriends had dogs.

I’d dog sit occasionally, and loved having them around. There’s nothing quite like a dog greeting you at the door after you get home. It’s nice to always have someone to go on a walk with, and someone to cuddle with at night.

Also, I was lonely, single, and sad.Continue reading

February 24, 2017

Charm School Friday: Let me tell you my favorite thing about you

It’s all about the left field

I love saying something out of left field when I’m talking to a stranger. It’s my favorite. It’s usually to a woman, but not always. Remember, I flirt with everybody all the time, as long as it’s appropriate, and it won’t get me beat up.

I don’t want to get beat up because I’m not a fighter, I don’t know how to fight. In high school I almost got into a fight but right before the kid threw a punch, I pretended to lose a contact and started looking for it on the ground.

The kid just shook his head, it was embarrassing. I think I lost.Continue reading

February 22, 2017

Men don’t know how to talk about sex

talk about sex

We’re not great at talking about sex, or the way sex makes us feel.

A friend sent me this blog post by Emma Lindsay, it’s making the rounds on social media. It’s about why dating men makes her feel like shit. It’s good. She’s a good writer. She’s detailed and elaborate in a way I can only one day hope to be. But then again, I may never get there, men aren’t wired to talk about sex.

Her post isn’t about why men don’t talk about sex, or their sexual feelings. Instead, she argues,

that people who sleep with men tend to feel worse about how they look than people who sleep with women.

Continue reading

February 21, 2017

Saying stupid things to women in male dominated spaces

stupid things

I’m pretty good at not saying stupid things to women in male dominated space. I still fuck it up though.

Let’s go, Mexico!

Two of my friends were turning 40 last week, so we organized a long weekend in the sun. The plan: 15 of us would fly to Mexico, rent a casa on the water, and spend 4 days eating, sunning, and surfing.

40 year olds know how to get down.

I live in Montreal now, so I’ll jump on any opportunity to see my friends, especially if it means escaping the cold for a bit. Also, I was told there would be women wearing bikinis.

The trip was a slam dunk. Couldn’t have asked for any better. Except maybe, you know, I could have said less stupid things. Continue reading

February 20, 2017

I Was Wrong About Women Hating Old Spice


Last week I asked my lady friends if they liked the smell of Old Spice deodorant

Why? Because earlier that week I caught one of my close guy friends using Old Spice.

Bro. Chicks don’t like the smell of Old Spice.

He looked at me as if I’d just slapped him and challenged him to a dual.

Bro?! Are serious? Every woman I have EVER dated LOVES the Smell of Old Spice.

Another friend was present but abstained from what was clearly going to be a very contentious conversation.Continue reading