How to Use a Condom

1
Check the Expiration Date!

(c) 2009 Elizabeth R. Boskey licensed to About.com, Inc.

It's easy to use a condom to make your sex safer. However, there is still a right way and a wrong way to do it. Although an instruction sheet is a good place to start, a picture is worth a thousand words...

The first step to using a condom correctly is making certain it's still usable. That's why it's important check the expiration date on the condom package before opening it. Do not use condoms that have expired. 

2
Feel for the Air Bubble

(c) 2009 Elizabeth R. Boskey licensed to About.com, Inc.

Another way to check the freshness of a condom package is to feel for the air bubble.

If the air bubble is there, it means that the package hasn't been punctured. Therefore the condom should also be intact. The air bubble is actually there for just this reason. It's way to protect condoms against accidental or intentional degradation and damage. 

3
Open the Condom Carefully

(c) 2009 Elizabeth R. Boskey licensed to About.com, Inc.

To open a condom package, tear carefully along the edge.

Don't use fingernails or scissors. You want to avoid ripping or tearing the condom along with the package.

4
Check That The Condom is Right Side Out

(c) 2009 Elizabeth R. Boskey licensed to About.com, Inc.

Before putting a condom on, you want to be certain of which way is up!

Condoms should go on like a hat, not like a shower cap. You know the condom is right side up if you can roll it down easily. You shouldn't have to stick your fingers inside the condom to unroll it.

If you accidentally put the condom on upside down, throw it out and start again. If the condom has come into contact with the head of the penis, it may be contaminated. This is also why you should wash your hands before putting on a condom if you've been touching your partner intimately.

5
Make A Little Room

(c) 2009 Elizabeth R. Boskey licensed to About.com, Inc.

The "reservoir tip" of a condom isn't actually large enough to hold the amount of semen contained in an ejaculation.

You will therefore want to unroll the condom slightly before placing it on the man's penis.You do not need to do this step if you are using the condom on a sex toy. 

6
Place The Condom On

(c) 2009 Elizabeth R. Boskey licensed to About.com, Inc.

When you put a condom on a penis, it's important to leave room at the tip.

If you don't there will not be enough space to contain the ejaculate. This could cause the condom to break. It is also essential to make sure there is no air trapped in the tip of the condom that could make it more likely to break.

Sometimes putting a little bit of lube in the tip of the condom before putting it on can help to avoid this.If you don't, just check that the air is out of the condom before putting it on. 

7
Unroll The Condom All The Way

(c) 2009 Elizabeth R. Boskey licensed to About.com, Inc.

Unroll the condom to cover the full shaft of the penis.

Doing this will help reduce the risk of transmission of any STDs that are transferred from skin to skin - such as syphilis.It also makes the condom less likely to slip than only rolling it down partway. 

8
Hold Onto The Condom When Withdrawing

(c) 2009 Elizabeth R. Boskey licensed to About.com, Inc.

After ejaculation, it is important to hold onto the condom at the base while the penis is withdrawn. This should be done before the penis becomes less erect.

Failing to hold onto the condom makes it more likely that the condom will slide off. It also increases the risk that it will leak.

9
Throw Away The Condom

(c) 2009 Elizabeth R. Boskey licensed to About.com, Inc.

Condoms go in the trash - not in the toilet. If they go in the toilet, your next date might need to be with a plumber.

When throwing away a condom after sex, it may be a good idea to wrap it in toilet paper or tissue to prevent it from leaking and making a mess. This is particularly true if you're throwing away the condom in a trash can without a liner.

10
And you're done!

Couple ready to Use Condom
Fuse / Getty Images

Condoms don't just make your sex life safer, they can make it better as well.

When you know you're protecting yourself from both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases it does wonders for your peace of mind.

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