September 10, 2013
Choosing and using condoms may seem straightforward at first, but as they say, the devil is in the details. Numerous studies show that men and women often skip important steps that ensure safe and effective condom performance. When used correctly, condoms reduce the risk of STD/STI transmission, and unplanned pregnancy.
While correct condom use isn’t exactly rocket science, it does require a degree of finesse. By choosing the right size condom, and applying it correctly, practicing safer sex can be sensual and satisfying for both partners. Here are the mistakes people most often make when putting on condoms and suggestions for making safer sex your best sex.
Slip one on before getting it on
Multiple studies show a significant number of men delay putting on a condom until after intercourse has started. Not only does waiting delay gratification, it defeats the purpose of using condoms for contraception and STI prevention. Putting on a condom doesn’t have to be a chore, there are plenty of ways to incorporate condoms into foreplay – use your imagination, get creative!
Roll with it
Don’t unroll the condom first, it isn’t a sock. Condoms are packaged neatly rolled up for a reason – they are easier to apply safely and intact. Allowing for a bit of extra room at the tip, slowly unroll, working from the head down…
We can’t overemphasize the importance of wearing the right size condom. If a condom is too large, it will feel uncomfortable for both partners and possibly slip off during intercourse. When a condom is too small, it may rip or tear. Both scenarios will not only ruin the moment, they will leave you unprotected.
Don’t fall for vanity sizing or marketing pressure. Only a small percentage of men really need an XL condom, and As they say “it’s not the size of the boat, it’s the motion of the ocean.”
Explore your options and try various sizes to find your perfect fit. GLYDE condoms are available in ULTRA (medium), MAXI (Large/XL) and SLIMFIT (Snug-fitting).
As you apply the condom, leave a bit of extra room at the head. Not too tight, not too slack. There should be enough space at the tip to provide comfort and accommodate semen.
The balloon effect
Again, close to half of respondents surveyed were in such a hurry to get down they forgot to squeeze air from the tip of the condom to ensure a secure fit. When rolling on a condom, gently squeeze out excess air to prevent a bubble at the tip, and then slowly unroll the condom down to the base of the penis, smoothing it out as you go.
Don’t be hasty
Almost half of respondents report removing condoms before finishing intercourse. Taking a condom off too soon poses the same problems as putting on a condom too late – it defeats the purpose for contraception and safe sex. Never remove a condom until you’re completely finished. To properly suit up for round two, once you’ve removed the used condom, wash or wipe ejaculate from the penis apply a fresh condom.
Avoid tears and rips
When opening the condom foil, take care not to damage the condom itself. Avoid using sharp objects (including teeth!) or snagging the condom on jewelry or long fingernails.
Just say yes to lubrication
Applying extra lubrication has multiple benefits, including increasing sensitivity and pleasure for both partners and preventing the condom from tearing from friction. While some condoms are lubricated, the amount of lube applied is minimal and may not last through an entire session of play. To increase sensation for the man, add a drop or two of latex-friendly personal lubricant to the inside of the condom before putting it on. Then apply a bit of lube to the outside of the condom for extra glide.
*With latex condoms, only use a water-based or silicone lube. Our favorites are PLEASE and Good Clean Love.
Waiting to withdraw
There is no point to waiting once the deed is done. Always withdraw the penis before it is totally soft. As you are pulling out, hold the condom at the base of the penis to avoid it slipping off and spilling semen. Once the condom is off (and a good distance from your partner’s genitals) tie off the open end of the condom, wrap it in tissue, and deposit it in the trash.
*Don’t flush condoms down the toilet as they can block the pipes!
Do not reuse or recycle
Environmental consciousness is appropriate many other areas of life, but not when it comes to recycling condoms. Never reuse a condom, ever.
Condoms should be stored in a dry, cool environment and out of direct sunlight or other sources of heat which can degrade the latex composition. Do not keep condoms in a wallet unless you plan to use them immediately (ie. that day/night). The best places to store condoms include a nightstand or dresser drawer, medicine cabinet, or a secure container in your purse or messenger bag. A recycled Altoids tin is a great option.
To qualify as a vegan product condoms must satisfy two requirements: they do not contain animal by-products, and the formula/material is not tested on animals. The Vegan Society, the very organization who coined the term ‘vegan’, is the most credible body for certifying vegan products. As for “vegetarian” condoms — we really don’t know what that means. If a condom brand doesn’t have a proper stamp of approval, there is a good chance they’re not really vegan.
GLYDE condoms are certified ethical & vegan by the Vegan Society, and a Vegan Society trademark holder for over a decade. With GLYDE you can be sure you are getting a truly vegan condom.