What is a condom?
A condom is a thin rubber sleeve that the man puts around his erect penis prior to sex. Wearing a condom during sex reduces the risk of unwanted pregnancy and decreases the chances of transmitting a sexually transmitted disease (STD). If you want to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases, the condom is still the only option today - apart from not having sex. In this article, we cover everything you need to know about using a condom.
How do you put on a condom?
- Before opening a condom, always check the expiry date. Can condoms go out of date? Yes, most condoms made of latex have an expiry date of 5 years. After this, a condom is unsafe to use.
- Feel for an air bubble in the packaging. Condom manufacturers deliberately put an air bubble in the condom's packaging. This allows the condom user to easily check if the packaging and possibly the condom itself has suffered any damage. Is there no air bubble left in the packaging? Then the condom or packaging has been damaged and it is not safe to use the condom.
- Open the packaging of the condom carefully. The packaging of a condom is easy to open but be careful not to damage the condom itself. It is best to tear open the package at the corner or side.
- Squeeze the condom closed with your fingertips and place the opening on the tip of your (erect) penis. By squeezing the tip of the condom, you ensure that a small space is released that serves to collect sperm.
- Once you have the condom in the right place, you can roll it down in its entirety. Make sure the condom covers the entire shaft of the penis. Can't roll it all the way down or is the condom too tight? Then you have too small a condom and it is better (and safer) to use a size larger.
- Check for air. If the tip of the condom feels like it has a lot of air in it, you can easily push it out.
- After sex and ejaculation, it is important that you gently withdraw the condom. Hold the condom by the base and make sure the condom stays neatly in place while you pull it back.
- Throw the condom in the bin. It is a good idea to wrap the used condom in a piece of toilet paper before throwing it away. This way, you avoid a mess and protect your privacy at the same time. Watch out when flushing condoms down the toilet. This can cause a build-up of latex in the drain.
Is a condom also safe for oral use?
A condom also provides protection against sexually transmitted disease when used orally. In principle, you can use any condom for this purpose. Just be careful not to damage the condom with your teeth.
How safe is a condom?
Many people are curious about how safe a condom actually is. If you put on a condom and use it using the steps above, it will provide 98% protection. If you open the package of a condom in a clumsy way and put it on in a hurry, the condom will offer 85% protection. This means that 15 out of 100 people will still be at risk of pregnancy or spreading an STD after using a condom. Never use a condom more than once. This makes using a condom a lot more unsafe
The better you are at putting on and using a condom, the less likely it is that something will go wrong. Unfortunately, with perfect use, there is still a small chance of something going wrong. This could be due to the way you kept the condom, in your wallet for example.
If you want to be even better protected against unwanted pregnancy, you can always use the condom in combination with the "get out of church before singing" technique. This involves removing the penis from the vagina before you ejaculate or cum. Do you suffer from premature ejaculation? Then we have some handy ways to solve it!
Of course, using a condom in combination with taking the pill (contraceptive pill) will further reduce the chances of unwanted pregnancy.
Condoms have no side effects
Most people will never experience any side effects of a condom. However, many people do find that sex feels less pleasurable as the penis is less stimulated. In very rare cases, condoms can cause irritation in people with latex allergies.
Are you allergic to latex? Then condoms without latex are also available. Condoms without latex can be bought at places where normal condoms are also sold.
How old do you have to be to buy condoms?
Condoms can be bought from any age. Many boys wonder this but there is no legal minimum age on condoms as there is for cigarettes or alcohol.
Lubricant and condoms together
Water- or silicone-based lubricant is always safe to use with any type of latex condom. Using oil-based lubricants such as Vaseline or lotion is not recommended with latex condoms. Oil can damage latex condoms and make them unsafe to use. Not sure if you can combine lubricant and a condom? Then read the packaging.