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Wellness Center

How to use a Condom

Most condom failures result from incorrect use of the condom and not because of a faulty condom. Correct and consistent use (meaning using a condom or other barrier during every sexual contact, whether oral, anal or vaginal) is critical for preventing unintended pregnancy and the transmission of STIs.

We have created an easy to navigate chart on the “correct” way to put on and remove a condom.

These charts are also available in pdf format:
Putting on a Condom Flow Chart
Sex With A Condom Chart

Condom Storage

Make certain that you store your condoms in their original package until you are ready to use them.

Condoms should be stored in a cool and dry place. They should not be subjected to direct sunlight or to temperature changes.

Do not store condoms in the glove compartment of your automobile or in any other place in which the heat can rise.

Condoms can degrade and become damaged very easily if they are not stored in this manner. Heat significantly increases the chance that condoms will be damaged or will break when being used. It takes very little time for condoms to degrade when kept in these conditions.

Do not store condoms in wallets or billfolds. This type of storage weakens condoms and should only be used for temporary storage.

Flowchart explaining Putting a Condom

Steps for putting on a condom:

  1. Get Excited! You need an erection to wear a condom. But you should put it on before foreplay.
  2. Check the condom
  3. Has the expiration date passed?. If yes, Do not use the condom that has expired! Get a new one. Latex begins to breakdown after a period of time. After the date printed on the package, the condom becomes ineffective as a barrier to semen and STD's including HIV. If no, proceed to step 3.
  4. Sqeeze the condom. Does the packaging have air in it? If no, Do not use a condom that has broken package seal! Get a new one. If yes, proceed to step 4
  5. Open the wrapper. And take out condom. Don't open the condom one handed or with your teeth. You are not that cool. Opening a condom should be done gently and with care.
  6. Position the tip. It should look like a baby bottle nipple.
  7. Sqeeze and hold the tip and place the condom at the head of the penis. Still holding the reserved area at the tip of the condom, roll the condom down to the base of the penis.
  8. Did it roll down all easily? If no, If you made a mistake and placed the condom on the penis wrong way around--DO Not just flip it over. You need a new condom. You will expose your partner to fluids. If yes, proceed to next step.
  9. Begin foreplay, sexual contact, oral sex or pentrative sex. Remember: Do not use oil based lubricants, like petroleum jelly and lotion. These will break down the condom, exposing you to semen and STDs Use water based lubricants like KY and ID Gllde. Add lube to the inside for you and the outside for your partner.

Flowchart explaining Having Sex using a condom

Steps for having sex with a condom

  1. Did you follow the instructions to put on a condom> if no, go back to "How the Put on a Condom". If yes, proceed to next step.
  2. You can penetrate your partner:
    • Hold the base of the condom as your penetrate.
    • Make sure there is plenty of room at the tip.
  3. When your are about to cum: 2 safe ways
    • Cum while you are still penetrating your partner. If you have left room, the semen will collect in the tip. Hold the base and pull out of your partner, before you go soft.
    • Pull out and cum in the condom. This is good if you are worried about the condom breaking.
  4. Move away from your partner and slowly remove the condom.
  5. Wrap the condom in tissue or a paper towel and throw it in the trash. Do NOT flush the condom down the toilet! Wash your hands.
  6. Both you and your partner should wash your genitals before having any more contact.

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Condom Faux Pas

There are some common condom practices that are actually big no-nos. It is usually not the brand of condoms that is defective because each batch of condoms is rigorously checked for quality. Most condom “failures” are actually user errors. It is time to get your facts straight.

  1. Double bag it for double protection.
    • Double bagging it refers to wearing 2 condoms at once. Some people believe that this doubles your protection when it can actually put you in more danger of breakage. 2 condoms together can cause a great deal of friction and can wear down the latex (even if you can’t see it) and make the condoms break or tear.
  2. Whipped cream and chocolate syrup will make it sexier.
    • Many foods are oil based. Oil based products can cause latex to break down in as little as 60 seconds. Similarly you should not use baby oil or Crisco (or other cooking oils) as lubricant.
    • You can save the chocolate syrup, honey, and whipped cream for foreplay. Just clean up before sex and keep the food away from the genital area.
    • If you’d like to introduce food into a sexual relationship. Ice or warm water is a good way to experiment. It doesn’t interact with condoms and it does not promote infections.
  3. You should keep your condoms in your wallet… just in case.
    • Condoms should be kept in a cool dry place. Your body generates heat and day after day the little condom is exposed to it. If you must keep a condoms with you the best thing to do is to keep it in a jacket pocket which does not get quite as warm. If you are going for a wallet, just put it there for the night and put them back in the nightstand for long term storage.
    • Similarly don’t expose them to sunlight or keep them in your glove box.
  4. The condom should fit tightly so it won’t leak.
    • This is the most common mistake that causes condoms to break. Most condoms have a reservoir tip. You should squeeze the tip when putting on the condom and keep it squeezed as you roll it down. This is the appropriate amount of room needed the whole time. If the condom gets tight, then pull up on it and make more room.
    • Try to be aware if the condom breaks. You or your partner can usually feel it. Pull out right away and get a new one.
    • The condom is unlikely to leak. The ring at the base of the condom is the only thing that should be tight and the rest of the condom should be relatively loose.
  5. Using Lube makes you less of a man.
    • No it doesn’t. There a several reasons you want to use lube.
      • Lube cuts down on friction. Another reason condoms break is that they are not properly lubricated.
      • It makes the penis go in easier. If you are being selfish and not having enough foreplay, then you should use lube because she probably won’t be wet enough.
      • Using it might make you more of a man. If you are one of those rare people that can actually have sex for hours (not just someone that says he can) the body will stop producing enough natural lubrication. You will want to have some handy to increase the pleasure. Otherwise it might start hurting your partner.

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