Sexual Health Tuesday March 1, 2016

Are You Using Condoms All Wrong?

Condoms are 98% effective when used correctly. Do you use them correctly? Are you sure?

Check if you're doing it right below...

Breaking Bad

Are you such a super-stud that you actually rip through the condom during wild sexcapades? Sorry to disappoint you, Casanova, but latex is strong and the breakage rate is around 0.4% - so 4 out of every 1000. It's more likely that you're using it wrongly.

The right size

Just like different clothing brands are totally different sizes despite all claiming the same, condoms vary too. Find a brand that works for you. One that's easy to roll on, fits snugly but doesn't cut off circulation or feeling, and stays in place during sex. Don't buy the largest ones you can find and wing it. That's a recipe for disaster.

Putting it on

Always put a condom on an erect penis. Roll it on gently and all the way to the base. Leave a gap in the tip for friction and 'storage.' Just hold the tip squeezed shut whilst putting it on.

Roll it on the right way up

It might well be dark round the back of the bins but you need some light to find out which way the condom is facing. Unfurling an upside-down condom is nigh-on impossible and it certainly won't protect you. Use your mobile and get some light on the subject.

Ever double-bagged?

Well don't. It doesn't provide extra protection; in fact it weakens the condoms. When they rub together it makes breakage more likely. Stick to one, use it properly and you'll be much safer.


Recycling is essential for the good of our planet, but don't recycle condoms. They are one-use-only items because they stretch and may get tiny tears as you remove them. Wrap and bin 'em. You can get more free condoms from your clinic or doctor.

Do you lube?

Lube is great so use it, BUT not an oil-based lube as they rot condom material. Use water-based ones instead, which are safer. It's best to put on a condom before you get your hands covered in lube.

Storing condoms

Most people keep a condom in their wallet or purse, but unless you get lucky every time you go out, it will need replacing. The expiry date is important because after that the latex weakens and simply isn't up to the job. Keep condoms at a consistent temperature too, out of the sun and not left in a freezing car all night. You'll need to avoid putting sharp stuff like keys, bathroom cabinet scissors, tweezers, razors and hair clasps near it as well.


Resist the urge to immediately fall asleep after orgasm - there's one more job to do. Withdraw correctly. So you're tired? You soon will be. Babies get up 3-4 times a night. Hold the condom on and withdraw slowly. Make sure the condom doesn't get left behind or using it was a waste of time.

Had a disaster? OK. Don't panic. You can get emergency contraception in the form of the morning after pill, but it's a good idea to get a check up at the clinic too, just in case you've picked up an STI. Whilst you're there, stock up on condoms.

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