Condoms are essential for safe sex, but do you know the ten condom commandments?
1. Always Have One With You
Always have condoms handy, wherever you go. Guys, don’t carry them in your pocket or wallet though. It’s easier for a girl, because condoms can easily go in the purse without worry, but the heat from a pocket or wallet can degrade the latex material. Don’t keep them in the car either, or you’ll expose them to even more extreme temperatures of heat or cold, depending on what season it is.
Guys, stash them in your nightstand, your bathroom, your locker at the gym, your desk at work and anywhere else you can think of where you can grab one and go if you need to.
2. Learn How To Put It On The Right Way
You may think you know how to put on a condom correctly, but you may not. There’s a certain way to grip it at the base, and you of course have to leave enough space at the top for semen. Take the time to read the instructions (they’re in every box) and follow them to a T. Incorrect condom use is mainly what is responsible for condom failure. Studies show that when put on, worn and used correctly, that the success rate is much, much higher.
3. Always Check For Holes, Expiration Dates, Etc.
So your buddy gave you a condom “just in case.” You’d better check it out. Inspect the wrapper for tears, holes or other issues and always make sure the condom isn’t expired. Do this for your own stash too – that box of condoms you have tucked away in your bathroom medicine cabinet may be older than you think. If one is questionable, toss it and get a new one. You can afford it. You can’t afford the alternative or you wouldn’t care enough to use one at all.
4. Get Your Correct Size
A LOT of guys assume that they need the large or “magnum” size condoms, when in reality, a regular condom will do just fine. The different sizes out there are based on length AND width, so check out what size condom you need and use the correct one. Using a condom that is too tight can cause it to break, or using one that is too loose can cause it to slide off.
5. Use Plenty Of Lube
Lube makes sex feel better anyways, but it also makes condoms work better. Put a dab of lube on the inside of the condom before you put it on for heightened sensations, and make sure to coat the outside and get it good and wet before intercourse. Plenty of lube will help keep it from stretching too much, tearing or breaking.
6. Experiment With Different Kinds
Don’t just pick up the most random box of condoms you can find and use those. Take some time to find out which ones fit best and feel best. Get a variety pack and pay attention to the different sensations and which ones are better for you and your partner. Go online and purchase some of the higher quality condoms used by professionals in the porn industry. If condoms are going to be your new favorite accessory (and they SHOULD be if you’re not in a monogamous relationship), then spend the time and money to find a brand and style that you really enjoy.
7. Don’t Forget Them For Oral Sex
Oral sex is “technically” safer than vaginal or anal sex when it comes to the transmission of STD’s, but that doesn’t mean that you should forgo the rubber if you’re having oral sex. Use flavored condoms for oral sex, because they taste (and smell) much better than regular condoms. ABOVE ALL, do not use condoms treated with spermicide for oral sex! If going down on a girl, cut the condom lengthwise and put over the vulva like a dental dam, with a squirt of lube in between her and the rubber.
8. Discuss Condoms BEFORE Having Sex!
Do not discuss them five seconds before penetration, or even afterwards. The last thing you want to do is afterwards have to ask, “Hey, did you wear one?” If you’re hooking up, discuss it before the clothes even come off. If you’re too drunk to put one on correctly or too drunk to care, then you’re too drunk to get it on. Have the conversation about safety as soon as you decide that yes, you’re going to be taking your pants off for this person.
9. Keep Tools On Hand In Case Of Breakage
Condoms can break. Even when you put them on correctly, even when you do everything you’re supposed to. It can happen. So make sure you have a backup plan. If you’re not super sensitive to spermicide, consider using it in addition to the condom just in case. Spermicides are handy – they come in a variety of different forms that sometimes, you or your partner can’t even feel! The “thin film” kind can be folded and inserted into the vagina, where it melts and can’t be felt AT ALL. Suppositories are similar, while gels and foams are a little more messy. If you haven’t used spermicide before sex and the rubber breaks, have a bottle of gel or foam spermicide on hand that you can insert immediately – however, the suppositories and films won’t work well after the fact.
Also consider birth control – if you’re on birth control regularly and also use condoms, your layers of safety are well put in place. If you choose not to use birth control regularly, consider having the morning after pill (called Plan B and available at pharmacies and Planned Parenthood across the country) available. If you choose to use Plan B, have it on hand. Do NOT wait until you have a breakage to go get it. There’s a small window in which the medicine can really be effective, and this window is AS SOON as you can, but before 72 hours has passed. The more hours that pass between the breakage and the Plan B, the less effective the medication will be.
10. NO GLOVE, NO LOVE!
If you’re with someone who you are not monogamous with, who hasn’t been STD tested, or you aren’t sure of their sexual history (or all of the above), use a condom. Do not compromise, do not allow yourself to be talked out of it. Do not let someone say they’ll pull out, or that you don’t need one because they “love you.” If you don’t want an STD or an unplanned pregnancy, protect yourself. Insist on if there’s no glove, there will be no love. PERIOD. Do not compromise. Do not budge. If they want it bad enough, they’ll put it on. If not, they weren’t worth your time anyways.