Wrapping It Up

A beginner’s guide to condoms

A condom is a type of barrier contraceptive device that is used during sexual intercourse to prevent unwanted pregnancies and reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is typically made of thin, elastic material, such as latex or polyurethane, and is designed to be worn over a person's erect penis or inserted into the vagina or anus before engaging in sexual activity.

The primary purpose of a condoms to create a physical barrier between the genitals of sexual partners. This barrier prevents sperm from coming into contact with an egg, reducing the likelihood of pregnancy. Additionally, it can help protect against the transmission of STIs by preventing the exchange of bodily fluids between partners.

Condoms come in various sizes, types, and materials to accommodate different preferences and needs. Some are lubricated to make them easier to put on and more comfortable to use. They can be purchased at most drugstores, supermarkets, and convenience stores and are available without a prescription. Using condoms correctly and consistently is an effective way to promote safer sex and protect against unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

How to put a condom on... 

  1. Carefully open the condom packet along one side, ensuring you do not rip or damage the condom.
  2. Determine which way around the condom goes.
  3. Place the condom on the top of your penis/ sex toy.
  4. While pinching the tip of the condom, carefully unroll the condom down the erect penis/ sex toy until it covers the whole length.
  5. Leave space at the top to catch semen.

Why do people use condoms?

  1. Pregnancy Prevention: Condoms are an effective method of contraception, helping to prevent unintended pregnancies by acting as a barrier to sperm and eggs.
  2. STI Protection: They provide a significant level of protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by preventing the exchange of bodily fluids.
  3. Readily Available: Condoms are widely available at drugstores, supermarkets, and convenience stores, making them easily accessible, with no prescription required.
  4. Affordable: They are an affordable form of contraception and STI protection compared to many other methods.
  5. No Side Effects: Unlike hormonal birth control methods, condoms don't have side effects like weight gain or mood swings.
  6. Male and Female Options: Condoms are available for both males and females, providing choices for different preferences.
  7. Lubricated Varieties: Some condoms come pre-lubricated for added comfort and pleasure.
  8. Reduced Risk of Allergic Reactions: Non-latex condoms are available for those with latex allergies.
  9. No Impact on Fertility: Condoms do not affect a person's future fertility; fertility returns quickly after use is discontinued.
  10. Privacy: Using condoms can be a private choice, with no need for medical consultations or prescriptions.

Better Safe than Sorry

Condoms are a safe, effective methods of contraception and protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). When used correctly, they are about 98% effective in preventing pregnancy, though with typical use (accounting for human error), their effectiveness is around 85%. Condoms also offer significant protection against many STIs, including HIV, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, and syphilis, by creating a barrier that prevents the exchange of bodily fluids. Studies have shown that consistent and correct condom use reduces the risk of HIV transmission by approximately 80%. They are readily available and affordable. However, their effectiveness relies on proper use, including using a new condom for each sexual encounter and following instructions for putting it on and taking it off. Proper education and awareness about condom use are vital for maximising their safety and effectiveness.

Follow these points to help stay safe.

Check the Expiration Date: Always check the expiration date on the condom package. Do not use condoms that have passed their expiration date, as they may be less effective or more prone to breakage.

Inspect the Packaging: Examine the condom packaging for any signs of damage, such as tears, holes, or punctures. Do not use a condom if the package is compromised.

Store in a Cool, Dry Place: Condoms should be stored in a cool, dry place. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight, heat, or extreme cold, as these conditions can weaken the latex or cause the packaging to deteriorate.

Don't Keep in Wallet or Glove Compartment: Avoid storing condoms in your wallet or glove compartment for extended periods. The constant pressure, heat, and friction can potentially damage them. Instead, keep a few in a convenient and cool place.

Use Lubricant if Necessary: If additional lubrication is needed, use a water-based lubricant. Avoid oil-based lubricants, as they can weaken latex condoms and lead to breakage.

Open Carefully: When opening the condom package, use your fingers and not sharp objects like scissors or teeth to avoid accidentally damaging the condom.

Check for Air Bubbles: Before unrolling the condom onto the erect penis, pinch the tip to eliminate any air bubbles. This leaves room for semen and helps prevent the condom from bursting during use. 

Unroll Completely: Unroll the condom all the way down to the base of the penis. It should fit snugly but not be too tight. Leave some space at the tip for semen.

Secure During Withdrawal: After ejaculation, hold the base of the condom to prevent it from slipping off and withdraw the penis carefully. Dispose of the used condom properly.

Finally, make sure to only use once, wear it for the whole duration and never use a condom more than once.

Oral Sex

Condoms are also great for oral sex, protecting against infections. While pregnancy isn't a concern in oral sex, you can catch STIs like gonorrhoea, herpes, and syphilis this way. Other infections can spread too, so using a condom is a smart move to stay safe.

Although the feeling might be slightly nerfed, you should relax and enjoy the moment. If your partner doesn’t enjoy the taste of standard condoms, you can always spice things up and use flavoured condoms. This can make things much more exciting and enjoyable. If this doesn’t help, you can use a non-lubricated condom as it should likely be tasteless.

Anal Sex 

Having unprotected anal sex can be risky business, even with a trusted partner. Using a condom with once again help protect you from transmitting infections. Even though condoms often come pre lubricated, we recommend that you use extra lubrication to help with the experience. 


Types of condoms

Latex Condoms: These are the most widely used and widely available condoms. They are highly effective in preventing both pregnancy and STIs. However, some individuals may have latex allergies.

Non-Latex Condoms: Made from materials like polyurethane or polyisoprene, non-latex condoms are a suitable alternative for those with latex allergies. They provide protection against both pregnancy and STIs.

Flavoured Condoms: These are typically designed for oral sex and come in various flavours to enhance the experience. They are latex or non-latex condoms with flavoured lubrication.

Textured Condoms: Textured condoms have raised patterns or bumps on the surface to increase stimulation for both partners during sex.

Extra-Thin Condoms: These condoms are thinner than regular condoms, which may increase sensitivity during sex while still providing protection.

Ribbed Condoms: Ribbed condoms have raised ridges along the length of the condom, designed to enhance pleasure and stimulation.

Spermicide Condoms: Some condoms are coated with spermicide, a chemical that can further reduce the risk of pregnancy. However, the effectiveness of spermicide is a subject of debate, and it may cause irritation for some individuals.

Large or Small Condoms: Condoms come in various sizes to ensure a comfortable fit. Using the right size can improve comfort and effectiveness. 

Delay Condoms: These condoms are coated with a special lubricant containing a mild anaesthetic, such as benzocaine, which can help delay ejaculation and prolong sexual activity.

Novelty Condoms: These are condoms with unique designs, colours, or textures, often intended for fun or novelty purposes but may not be suitable for serious protection.

Lambskin Condoms: These are made from natural lamb intestines and are an alternative for individuals with latex allergies. They provide pregnancy protection but not reliable STI protection due to 2their porous nature.

Female condoms

A female condom, also known as an internal condom or "femidom," is a contraceptive device designed to be worn internally by people with vaginas. It consists of a soft, flexible pouch made of polyurethane or nitrile. This pouch has two rings, one at each end. The closed end is inserted into the vagina, covering the cervix, while the open end remains outside, covering the vulva.

To use a female condom, check the expiration date and ensure it's undamaged. Insert it into the vagina before intercourse, making sure the outer ring covers the vulva. During sex, the penis or sex toy should enter the condom. Afterward, gently remove and dispose of it in a trash bin (not in the toilet). Female condoms can be used for both vaginal and anal sex.

They offer control and protection to individuals with vaginas, and they can be inserted up to eight hours before sex, providing flexibility. While they may be slightly more complex to use compared to male condoms, they are an effective option for those who want to take charge of their sexual health and safeguard against both pregnancy and STIs. Proper usage, as per the provided instructions, is essential for their effectiveness.