Male Condom

Male condoms also known as external condoms are one of the most popular forms of birth control out there. They slip over the penis to prevent pregnancy and lower the risk of STIs by keeping sperm and pre-cum inside the condom and out of the vagina. There are hundreds of shapes and sizes to choose from, with lube and in latex or synthetic plastic.

Male Condom

They reduce the risk of STIs, don’t require a prescription, easier to find and are inexpensive.

SPERMICIDE
These condoms are lubricated with a chemical that kills sperm. Ok for vaginal intercourse, but not recommended for oral or anal sex. Check the box to find out if the condoms contain spermicide.

SPERMICIDE-FREE
People who are sensitive to spermicide can use spermicide-free condoms. Condoms have very few side effects. This type has even less. Check the box to find out if the condoms do or do not contain spermicide.

LATEX
Latex can stretch up to 800%. These are the most common condoms. But don’t use them with oil-based lube. They can break or slip off if you do. Many latex condoms come pre-lubricated with water based lube. Additional water based lubricant such as KY can be added to the outside and inside of a latex condom to reduce friction and decrease the chances of the condom ripping or falling off.

NON-LATEX
Allergic to latex? Then these are for you. Non-latex condoms are usually made from polyurethane or polyisoproprene other synthetic high tech materials, or natural lambskin. HOWEVER, natural lambskin condoms DO NOT protect against HIV. Polyurethane or polyisoproprene are safer non-latex options. Not sure what the condom is made of? Just read the label.

STI PROTECTION!
The best thing about most types of condoms is that they protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. Lambskin condoms, however, are the one type you should not rely on for STI protection—they are able to block sperm, but not infections.

CONDOMS TAKE EFFORT AND COMMITMENT
In order for condoms to be effective, the must be used consistently and correctly, every time, no matter what, in order for them to be effective.

CHEAP AND EASY TO FIND
Condoms are relatively inexpensive (and sometimes even free from health centers and STI clinics). Plus, you can find them just about everywhere, from gas stations to supermarkets.

NO PRESCRIPTION NECESSARY
If you can’t make it to the doctor (or don’t want to), you can always use a condom.

MAY HELP YOUR MAN LAST LONGER
If your partner has trouble with premature ejaculation (in other words, they cum too soon) condoms may help them last longer.

NOT SO GOOD IF YOU’RE ALLERGIC TO LATEX
If you’re allergic to latex, you’ll need to use a plastic or lambskin condom (but don’t forget that lambskin condoms aren’t good for STI protection), or try another method.

CONDOMS ARE PRETTY EASY TO USE, but you have to remember—if you’re relying on condoms, you have to use them EVERY SINGLE TIME.

HOW TO PUT A CONDOM ON

  • Remember the condom should be placed on the penis before it touches or comes in contact of the vulva (outer lips) or vagina. Pre-cum—the fluid that leaks from a penis before they ejaculate—can contain sperm from the last time they came.

  • Step 1: Before you use a condom, check the expiration date. Do not use an expired condom, they break easier.

  • Step 2: Be careful not to tear the condom when unwrapping. If it’s torn, brittle, or stiff, toss it and use another.

  • Step 3: Put a drop or two of lube inside the condom and on the penis. It’ll help the condom slide on, and it’ll make things more pleasurable.

  • Step 4: Unroll the condom over the penis as far as it will go, the condom should go to the base of the penis. If your partner isn’t circumcised, pull back the foreskin before rolling on the condom.

  • Step 5: Leave a half-inch of extra space at the tip to collect the semen, then pinch the air out of the tip.

  • Step 6: Smooth out any small air bubbles—they can cause condoms to break. If large air bubbles appear, take the condom off and use a new one.

  • Step 7: Apply lubricant if desired.

  • Last note, remember to never reuse condoms and only use one at a time. Double-bagging, or using two condoms at once can cause the condoms to break.

HOW TO TAKE A CONDOM OFF

  • Make sure the penis is removed from the vagina before it becomes soft.

  • Hold on to the base of the condom while the penis is removed so that semen doesn’t spill out.

  • Throw the condom away in a trashcan). If you’re worried about someone seeing the condom, wrap it in toilet paper. Don’t flush it down the toilet—that’s bad news for your plumbing.

  • If you and your partner decide to engage in sexual activity again soon, be sure the penis has been rinsed with soap and water before it get near the vulva again.

THERE ARE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE THINGS TO SAY about each and every method. And everyone’s different—so what you experience may not be the same as what your friend experiences.

THE POSITIVE
Positive “side effects”? You bet. There are actually lots of things about birth control that are good for your body as well as your sex life.

  • Reduces the risk STIs, including HIV

  • Relatively inexpensive and easy to get a hold of

  • No prescription necessary

  • May help with premature ejaculation

THE NEGATIVE
Everyone worries about negative side effects, but for most people, they’re not a problem.

  • Unless you’re allergic to latex, condoms cause no physical side effects (only 1 or 2 out of 100 people are allergic, and if you happen to be one of them, you can always use a plastic condom instead).

  • Some people may be sensitive to certain brands of lubricant (so, if the lube bothers you or your partner, try another brand).

  • Some people complain that condoms reduce sensitivity.

WE’RE HERE TO GET THIS METHOD WORKING BETTER FOR YOU. And if it still doesn’t feel right, we’ve got ideas for other methods. Just remember: If you change methods, make sure you’re protected during your switch.

MY PARTNER SAYS IT REDUCES THEIR SENSITIVITY.
Not all condoms are created equal, so try a few different brands or types to see if that helps. You might want to check out the condoms marketed as “ultra-thin” or “ultra-sensitive.”

Still not working?
You can also try switching to a method you can “forget about” for a while, like an IUD, implant, shot, ring, or patch. But remember, none of these other methods will protect against STIs. So if you want STI protection, you could try a female/ internal condom instead.

CONDOMS KEEP SLIPPING AND/OR BREAKING.
Not all condoms are created equal, so try a few different brands or types to see if that helps. It may be that you’re not putting it on properly or, if the condom is slipping as your partner is pulling out, you may be able to prevent slippage by having them pull out while they’re still hard.

Still not working?
You may want to check out a non-barrier method, like the patch, pill, ring, IUD, implant, or shot. But remember, none of these other methods will protect against STIs. So if you want STI protection, you could try a female/ internal condom instead. Or you can try again to find a male/ external condom that works for you.

Effectiveness

Condom effectiveness is ‘so-so’ the way people typically use them—better when used perfectly.


Perfect Use

98%


Typical Use

82%


Side Effects

None usually. Unless you have a latex allergy.


Effort

You have to use one EVERY time.


How do I get it?

Drug stores, health centers, supermarkets, gas stations and even some bars and clubs. Find your local health center here.