Condoms. I don’t think they’re on anybody’s “stuff I love” list but I’d put money on them being preferred to unplanned pregnancies and STIs so we use them and if we’re going to do that, shouldn’t we make sure we’re using them right? The problem is, a lot of folks are still kind of fumbling the condom thing (not you of course, but other people… maybe your friend) And so much of the information out there is vague “if it’s not rolling the right way, it’s on the wrong way” What?, mis-leading “ONLY USE WATER-BASED LUBRICANTS!!!!” okay… that’s not actually what they mean but we’ll come back to that, or assumes everyone is an idiot “remove the condom carefully, not spilling the contents. wrap it up and dispose of it” I guess I get it but seriously was there a big problem with folks ripping condoms off and whipping them around their heads lasso style while ejaculate flew through the air? This just seems so obvious… It’s kind of a mess. So today I, with a bunch of help from some awesome folks, will give you some quick and fun pointers to help you rock rubbers right.
Picking your prophylactic – As with anything you wear, you want your condom to fit right and be comfortable. Unlike anything else you wear your condom also needs to protect you from diseases and feel good to the inside (whether it be vagina, mouth or anus) of another person. There’s a lot to think about. Luckily the folks over at Good Vibrations (who I will find any excuse to mention) put together this handy “How to Choose a Condom” guide to help you out. Tons of helpful information including which condoms lend themselves better to which activities. You may have to try a couple different condoms out to find what works for you but seriously? Best. Research process. Ever. Final note on this: Buy condoms that fit! If a condom is too tight to comfortably roll it down it can cause problems ranging from discomfort and loss of erection to broken condoms. If you don’t actually need XL condoms, please don’t buy them. You aren’t impressing anyone…especially when you leave a too-big condom inside their body. Food for thought. That said, don’t assume larger condoms are just there for men of crazy porn-style proportions. If regular condoms bind or are particularly difficult to get on look into a bigger fit. Also, when wondering if you need bigger, length isn’t everything. Even if your penis is of an average length, it may require more room in terms of girth. Sometimes standard condoms are maybe a bit big. In this case these are slimmer fitting condoms out there. Check out your options.
Rolling with the homies– So, this “is it facing the right way?” thing is perhaps the most vexing part of condom application and I think it is the thing that everyone is the worst at explaining. Everyone that is except for Megan Andelloux! I took a class with her last week and man does that woman know how to dress a cock! She left me with a tip that I’ve found immensely helpful: Take your condom out and put it on the tip of your finger- What kind of hat does it look like? If the answer is “The kind of beanie you’d wear because it’s cold out” (the roll is pointing down) then it’s facing the wrong way. If the answer is “A sombrero” (the roll is pointing up) then it’s time to party! Olé! indeed!
Personal space– So, as we mentioned last week ejaculate leaves the penis at about 35 mph (that’s faster than a moped can go, just fyi) this little fact makes it very important that you somewhere in your condom for that high-speed sperm to go without bursting your bubble, so to speak. Often this leads to lots of fumbling with holding on to tips of things while rolling things and whatnot. Okay, here’s the deal: you need space in the tip of your condom and you need that space to not have air in it. It can be helpful to unroll the condom a little before you go to put it on so you have some slack.Once you have it on, grip penis and condom firmly at the base, give a gentle tug to that tip and squeeze out any air and voila! All dressed up and ready to go.
Slippery stuff – As you may have noticed, I love lube. I find the lube instructions that come with condoms a little disheartening though- there’s a lot of talking about only using water-based products. This is not strictly necessary. What you don’t want to do is use oil-based products (lotions, vaseline, even mineral oil) as they will break down the condom. Generally, silicone based lubricants are okay for condoms. Look at your lube packaging, most will specify that they are condom compatible, if it doesn’t say it, don’t chance it. Lubricant is great for increasing pleasure with condoms especially as latex can stick to skin. Further, a few drops of lube inside a condom can do wonders for the wearer’s pleasure. Finally, this amazing quote on lube from sex, feminism and lesbian werewolf enthusiast (yeah, she’s extremely cool) Allison Moon
Keep your friends close and your lube closer.
— Allison Moon (@TheAllisonMoon) September 14, 2012
Taking it all off- So, you’ve just ejaculated. Good for you. It’s pretty much basic campsite rules here – leave no trace. Carry out your mess and dispose of it properly- contrary to what some of my former neighbors believed this does not mean “throw it out in the street” If you can master the use of a condom you can also master the use of a trash can – I believe in you!
– If you are in possession of a foreskin and it is mobile (remember, sometimes they don’t retract) pull the foreskin back first, then put the condom on. Once it is in place and you have pinched the tip to get any trapped air out, push the foreskin back toward the tip of the penis, while holding onto the base of the condom to keep it in place. This allows for free movement of the foreskin during sex. Add a drop or two of lube inside the condom and (dare I say?) boo-yah!
– This is another tip from the fabulous Megan Andelloux: Colored condoms are safer than plain ones. Why? It’s easier to see if they have broken. So get colorful! Megan suggests coordinating with upcoming holidays.
– I got this one via twitter after this piece posted: “Sometimes suggest young men go ‘solo’ with lube and condom to get used to feeling.” Awesome! Even cooler? The second message I got from the same friend:
That’s what I’ve got folks! Do you have any questions? Any thoughts? Anything at all? Tell me about it in the comments!