Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise, and the best way to protect yourself from STIs (aside from not having sex) is to use a condom. Condoms are 98% effective when used correctly but only around 88% effective with typical use. Make sure they're as effective as possible by following our condom dos and don'ts.
This post is about external condoms (for penises)
DO store your condoms somewhere cool(ish) and dry
If you store your condoms somewhere too hot, it can make them more likely to break when you get round to using them. Store them somewhere coolish and dry - bedside drawers are usually a good place to keep them.
DO make sure your condom is in date
Condoms have an expiration date which you can find written on the back of the packet. Make sure your condom is in date, as out of date condoms aren't as effective.
DON'T use your teeth to open the packet
If you open a condom packet with your teeth you're more likely to damage the condom (you might not even notice you've damaged it) - you should use your hands. Slide the condom to one side in the packet and tear down the serrated edge of the packet on the opposite side, carefully sliding the condom out to prevent damage.
DO put the condom on before putting it in someone's mouth, vagina or bum
Don't wait until you're already mid-way through sex to put a condom on. STIs can be passed on through pre-cum, and you can get pregnant from pre-cum if you have a vagina. Put the condom on before the action starts!
DO squeeze the tip and roll down to the base of the penis If you don't squeeze the tip, there isn't enough room in the tip of the condom for ejaculate (cum), as the space is taken up by air. This means the you might have a bit of leakage, which can increase your risk of getting an STI.
DON'T use an external and internal condom together
External condoms are the ones that go on a penis and internal condoms are the ones that can go in a vagina or in a bum. Stick to one type of condom and don't use two at the same time as this makes them more likely to break.
DO use lube (generously!)
Make sure you're using lube when having vaginal or anal sex. Using lube means there is less friction and the condom is less likely to break.
DON'T use any lube with oil in
Oil erodes latex, which is what condoms are made from. If you use an oil-based lube, the latex in the condom can wear down and the condom is a lot more likely to break. We recommend using water-based lube or silicone-based lube.
DO use a new condom for each sex act
Going from vaginal or anal sex to a blow job can lead to an infection (and the same goes for anal to vaginal). Keep a couple of condoms at hand and put a new one on for each sex act.
DO put a new condom on if you're having sex for 30+ minutes
If you're having a long session it's a good idea to change your condom every 30 minutes. Condoms are more likely to break if they've been used for over half an hour.
So there you have it. Go forth and have fun knowing your condom is effective as possible! Get free condoms in Stoke-on-Trent with a C-Card.