How to Use a Condom

Written by Paige Leacey, 15th August, 2022

Medically reviewed by Dr Armin Ariana

Last updated 13th Oct 2022

Dom dom dom! Don’t be put off. We’ve got all the info you need on how to use a condom so that you can get frangin’ to get bangin’.

It’s important for people both with and without penises to know how to use a condom correctly, but we’re under no impression that those awkward high-school lessons where your science teacher got personal with a banana were enough to solidify anyone’s confidence. Below we break down the do’s and do not’s, and answer any red-hot questions you’ve had but never asked about using a rubber johnny.

Why are Condoms such a big deal?

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Aside from complete abstinence (that is, to curb any sexual activity whatsoever), condoms are the best* protection against sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and undesired pregnancy. Maybe you’re thinking, pfffft I’ve had plenty of unprotected sex and I’ve never encountered either of those. Or maybe you’re completely new to condoms. Either way, health professionals say there are over 30 different bacteria, viruses and parasites transmissible via sexual contact, and some reports claim up to half of pregnancies are unplanned.

Of course, only in rare cases are these outcomes deadly, and when unexpected conditions arise there are options for treatment. However, doing what you can to prevent health disruptions for yourself also protects the health of others. One way to do that is - you guessed it - condoms!

Another angle to consider is that, outside of all the serious stuff, condoms also provide an energetic barrier. Even if you’re up to date with your STI screenings and there are other variables in your life that mean becoming pregnant isn’t a concern, in the early stages of having sex with a new partner it can be nice to ease into a physical connection by using condoms to begin with. Even just for the sake of your emotional wellbeing. Love that for you.

*Note: Yep, we said “best”, but it’s important to know condoms cannot 100% guarantee protection against STIs or pregnancy. In any case, below are a few tips for making sure you’re doing everything you can to support your sexual health when using them.

How to check your Condom is good to go

This is a biggie. It’s both rule number one and step number one of how to use a condom correctly... Each individual condom comes sealed in its own packet. On the back of the packet (usually the side without the branding) there is an expiration date. It’s super important to check this date because, once it’s passed, the ‘dommie inside will be much less effective. Essentially, it’s materials degrade and deteriorate over time, making the condom weaker, less elastic and prone to breaking.

If you’re in the clear, the next thing to check is that the packaging hasn’t been tampered with. No rips, no tears, no holes and nothing foreign around that may have made its way inside and compromised the product.

How to fit your Condom

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Putting on a condom correctly is the next most important part of ensuring its effectiveness. To keep it simple, we’ve broken it down into steps. Some of these might seem obvious, but we’re covering all bases so that you can hit a home run safely.

  1. Choose the right condom (consider both your size measurement to ensure a good fit as well as the features: colour, texture and sensitivity to get the feeling you’re after)
  2. Before applying, the penis must be erect
  3. Take the condom out of the package by tearing it with your fingers (never use your teeth as this could puncture what’s inside and then… uh oh)
  4. Hold the tip of the condom between your finger and thumb (the tip is the bit in the centre that looks like a nipple) and make sure there is no air trapped inside*
  5. With this grip, place the condom over the head of the penis and continue gently squeezing the tip while unravelling the rest of the condom down over the length of the penis (it’s best to use a spare hand here and smooth it downwards a few times to double check no air has been trapped)
  6. Make sure the fit feels right, the whole penis is covered, and the seal at the base of the shaft is snug
  7. Now… sexy time

Being attentive and not rushing is all part of how to use a condom correctly. Be sure to take your time and, when in doubt, grab a new one and start again.

*Note: Using this condom application method for a toy such as a vibrator or dildo (if shared, for example) is also recommended.

What to do once you’re finished

Once the main event is over, hold the condom at the base and withdraw while the penis is still erect to keep it from slipping off. Then, gently pull from the top, and make sure to keep any contents inside the condom by tying it in a knot. An unsung benefit of using condoms is that they make the whole post-bang clean-up thing so much easier.

How to use a condom correctly also includes how to get rid of a condom correctly, so this next part is super important. Dispose of the condom in the rubbish bin and NOT down the toilet. Please. Oh, and never reuse a condom.

A few other things to consider

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If you’re sharing or swapping sex toys, it’s also a good idea to use condoms to eliminate fluid exchange. Likewise, if you’re moving from vaginal to anal sex, we suggest using a condom and changing to a fresh one before entering the new hole: vagina to anus and vice versa. A little-known fact about anal sex is that, in the case that the receiver has a vulva, pregnancy can still happen. If upon withdrawal any semen drips down from the anus into the vulva there is a chance it can lead to impregnation - depending on how quickly it happens and the strength of those little swimmers. Using a condom safeguards against this. Hallelujah.

If you’d also prefer to give oral sex using a condom but you don’t really dig that rubbery taste, then we recommend getting creative with flavoured condoms and delicious lube.

All in all... we get it

Being caught up in the moment is a less-than-optimal time to listen to your internal safety officer, but being responsible during sex is important for all parties involved. The plus side is, the better you get at using condoms, the sexier you can make putting them on and then getting to the fun part.

We’ll leave you with our final wish: May you always be prepared with a raincoat when the weather is looking wet.

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