A malfunction can risk STDs and pregnancy. What no one taught you in sex ed.
If you thought watching your ninth grade teacher draw the female reproductive system on the blackboard was traumatic, think about this. You carry protection on you at all times to avoid a slip-up and you still end up with a nasty (not to mention embarrassing) STD.
The reason? You may be making silly mistakes in handling the condom. Simple things that you never knew about how a condom works could help you avoid your lucky streak turning into a bitter regret. Here’s a safety guide to common mistakes from the condom control room.
You keep it in your pocket
If you are in the habit of storing your condom in your jeans pocket or keep a spare on in your wallet, find a new place for it. Unnecessary friction and warm temperature in these circumstances can kill the effectiveness of a condom. Instead, carry it in your bag.
You don’t pinch the tip
Without leaving space for ejaculate in the condom, you risk leakage, which defeats the whole purpose.
Instead, squeeze the tip when you roll the condom on his penis to prevent air bubbles from getting trapped. As thumb rule, pinch about 1/2 inch from the top to leave enough space.
Also, read the ingredients on the bottle of lubricant. Oil-based or petroleum-based lubricants such as mineral oil or massage lotion can destroy condoms, making them more likely to break.
Overestimate the size
Most condoms fit men just fine, but there are occasional outliers of men whose penises are much smaller or much larger than what can comfortably or safely fit in some condoms.
Not to mention the occasional overachiever who pulls out a Magnum XL even if he doesn’t need it.
The last minute rush
You might think it’s safe to get started sans condom as long as you put one on before the big finish, but according to research this mistake sabotages your pregnancy and STD prevention efforts.
A recent study of people who used two methods of birth control, found that only 59 per cent of them used the condom correctly, with the rest putting it on too late or taking it off too early. If you want full protection, wear a condom from start to finish.
It may not seem like the perfect time, but it is a good idea to check for holes. Manufacturing defects can arise. Also, it’s a good idea not to bee too rough while opening the packaging. Trying to tear the packet with your teeth may sound hot, but you are likely to snag the condom.
It’s past the expiration
Yes, condoms can go bad like fruit. If a condom is sticky or brittle, toss it. Don’t assume a general expiration date, each brand and style has its own lifespan. If you are using lube inside the condom, apply just a drop. Anymore, and the condom is likely to slip off.
About 30 per cent of people put it on inside out and don’t realise that an inside-out condom is more likely to slip off. Think rollability – if it rolls on without too much trouble, you are fine.