Could Sex Without a Condom Be the New Engagement Ring? Condom-free sex is the new engagement ring. As shocking and lurid as that sounds, the story behind the headline is actually kind of logical. As told in an NPR piece in conjunction with the Youth Radio organization, for young kids in physical relationships now, they've never known a time before the threat of HIV/AIDS. What they have known however, is the impermanence of marriage. A ring, as they say in the piece, is temporary — STDs are not.