To use or not to use? To lube up or not? Here’s everything you need to know about condom. Or, as we call it, the condom code of conduct.
1. Thou shalt protect thyself
Remember: The pill offers no protection against sexually transmitted infections. “STIs, like chlamydia, are common and can affect even serially monogamous people,” says GP and author of Pandora’s Box, Dr Cindy Pan. “There is no such thing as completely safe sex, but condoms do make it safer.”
2. Thou shalt consider “doubling up”
“Condoms always provide at least some protection against unwanted pregnancy and STIs, but it’s important to be aware that nothing is ever 100 percent,” says Dr. Pan. “If you definitely don’t want to get pregnant, using more than one form of protection might be preferable.”
3. Thou shalt have options
Remember that there’s more than one type out there in the market. Try ultra-thin condoms if your guy doesn’t like the feel of latex, or thicker condoms if he finishes too early. A decrease in sensation may help him last longer, so everyone wins!
4. Thou shalt be prepared
Skipping protection just because you don’t feel like making a late-night dash to the convenience store is a definite no-no. If there’s a chance you might take it to the bedroom later, keep some condoms in your bag or by your bed so they’re ready when you need them.
5. Thou shalt be educated
Take time to actually read the instructions that come with a box of condoms. Some hints: Always check the expiry date. Squeeze the tip to expel any trapped air, which can make it susceptible to breakage. After he’s done, get him to slowly withdraw his penis while holding onto the rim of the condom to avoid leakage. Finally, wrap it in tissues and bin it – do not flush it.
6. Thou shalt use lube
Not only does water-based lubricant help increase sensation (for both of you!), it also lessens the chances of the condom being damaged by friction.
7. Thou shalt not be stingy
You might need more than one condom during sex. “It’s important to use a new one every time,” says Dr Pan. Also be sure to grab a fresh condom every time you swap from vaginal to oral sex.
8. Thou shalt not wait too late
Get him to wear a condom before any sexual contact. “Putting it on too late is a really big issue because of pre-ejaculatory fluid,” says Dr Pan. The fluid can contain sperm or pass on STIs.
9. Thou shalt not panic
If the condom breaks, go to your GP asap. They’ll discuss STI tests and your emergency contraception options.
10. Thou shalt be assertive
Don’t let anyone pressure you into going without a condom. “Your first priority is the responsibility to yourself,” says Dr Pan. How would you forgive yourself if you contracted an uncurable disease? Stand up for yourself and know that certain things are not negotiable.”
Images: TPG/Click Photos
Text: Nicole Elphick
Additional Reporting: Kit Chua