Be prepared!

Knowing how to use condoms properly will make sex more enjoyable


Condom Tricks

Getting used to condoms can take a little practice, but don't worry; it doesn't take long before they start to feel like an essential part of your sex life.

Here are some of the main things you need to know. 

  • The best time to mention using a condom is before things get to the stage when you urgently need one! If you both agree you'll use one, it will feel less of a surprise or an interruption when the time comes.

  • Always choose condoms that carry the European CE mark, a recognised safety standard. Don’t use novelty condoms unless they carry the European CE mark. It's even better if they also carry the British Standard mark too.

  • Never use two condoms together. Whether that's two male condoms or a female and a male condom. They will rub against each other, and this friction can weaken them and make them more likely to break or fail. 

  • Check the expiry date on the packaging. Condoms don't last forever.  

  • If the condom packet looks squashed, worn and faded, especially if it has been in your wallet or purse for some time, don't use it. The condom inside could be damaged. Throw it away and get a free, fresh, new one.

  • Stock up on condoms before going on holiday to avoid problems with language and trying to find somewhere to buy them. 

  • If needed, use water-based lubricant (lube) like the type available through the C-Csrd scheme or buy KY jelly, Durex Play, etc (available from most supermarkets, pharmacies, etc.). Lubricant can help stop the condom from drying up and splitting during sex and make sex feel more comfortable.

  • If you and your partner choose to have anal sex use plenty of extra lubricant. There's no natural lubricant in the anus, so adding lube will help make sex more comfortable and will help stop the condom from splitting.

  • If a condom slips off and is left behind inside a partner, it needs to be removed to avoid a risk of infection. If you and your partner are unable to do this, visit iCasH, Walk-in Centre or your GP.

  • DO NOT USE body lotions, moisturiser, massage oil, body oil, lipstick or any other oil-based product with latex condoms. This is because the oil reacts with the latex rubber weakening the condom, making it split. 

  • Using a condom during oral sex can help to protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including those that affect the mouth or throat such as herpes, gonorrhoea and chlamydia. Try using flavoured condoms for variety.

  • Use a condom every time you have sex to protect against STIs.

  • To doubly protect against unintended pregnancy, use another form of contraceptive as well, such as the Pill or Implant. More in the contraception section.

  • Make sure you use a condom that fits and is comfortable for the person wearing it. Try the range of sizes available. This will help make sex more enjoyable.

  • Never use the same condom twice.

  • Make sure you put a condom on the correct way round. If it's inside out it's likely that it will roll off during sex.

  • Practice makes perfect. Become skilled at putting a condom on quickly and safely... maybe in the dark too! That way you'll find it easy to use a condom when the time comes.

  • Enjoy the moment of putting on a condom with a partner. Make it a sexy part of foreplay.

  • Keep condoms in lots of places where sex might happen or on your person at all times. That way you'll be prepared for whatever happens.

  • Don't leave it up to the other person. Avoiding an unplanned pregnancy and/or reducing STI risks is your responsibility. Be prepared!