Whether you learned about it in sex ed, or right before hooking up, you know the general mechanism involved with putting on a condom. You take the condom out of the wrapper, slide it on the penis, get busy, and discard it. When used properly, condoms have a 98 percent effectiveness rate! But guess what? Some of y’all…ain’t using condoms properly. In fact, a lot of you probably aren’t. When they aren’t used perfectly, they have an 82 percent effectiveness rate, which–according to Planned Parenthood–means that 18 out of 100 people who rely on condoms as birth control will become pregnant.
You might wonder how these mistakes can even be made. Condoms are so simple, right? But using a condom properly goes beyond making sure that you make sure the tip looks like a sombrero before it’s rolled onto a penis. Check out these seven condom mistakes you didn’t know you’re making. Let’s…avoid some unexpected pregnancies, guys, shall we?
Lingering After SexYeah, I know, it's all cute and romantic to cuddle up with bae after sex. But if you're using a condom, take a second to part before the cuddle session. If a penis is lingering inside of the body post-sex, it can soften, which means that the condom won't be as secure, which means that ejaculate can spill out. That's way more of a mood spoiler than removing the condom ASAP, trust me.Skins
Not Leaving Room At The TipLook, it might seem as if a condom has the most secure fit if it is hugging a penis so tightly that it's lookin' like a hand in a plastic glove. Wrong. You need to leave some room at the tip so that there's room for ejaculate to deposit itself. Otherwise, it might spill out of the sides, which...is not a good look, guys. Also, make sure that the tip is pinched slightly to make sure air isn't lingering; that could increase the condom's chance of breaking. iStock.com
Neglecting To Use (The Right) LubePlease, use lube when you're having sex with a penis! More lubrication means less chafing, which means the chances of the condom tearing are reduced. Invest in some lubricated condoms and/or buy your own lube to incorporate into your hookup session. Just make sure you avoid oil-based lubricants; they can degrade condoms and make them break. Yeah, that means no using body oil or lotion as lube either. Not only will it ruin the condom, it'll mess up your vagina as well. Opt for water based or silicone based lube, and if your condom is already lubricated, make sure that any additional lube matches its base. For example, if a condom is lubricated with a silicone-based lubricant, your additional lubricant should be silicone based as well. If your condom's lubricant is water based, use a water based lube. Simple? Simple.Sarah Wintner Illustration
Putting The Condom On Late In The GameWhen you can't make up your mind on whether to try the pull out method or using condoms, we get this: Putting on a condom after you've already initiated intercourse. According to Men's Health, up to half of dudes do this, which isn't so wise if you want to make sure STDs and pregnancy are as unlikely as physically possible. Make up your mind from the jump...preferably to put on a condom. Some Girls
Rolling The Whole Condom Out FirstSome people find it easier to roll out the entire condom before putting it onto their penis. Not many, but enough to warrant concern. Condoms weren't manufactured for that kind of application, and you could accidentally tear the latex a lot more easily this way, too. Try to roll it down onto the penis right out of the package, please. iStock.com
Neglecting Female CondomsYo, if you have a vagina and you want to take even more power over your sexual health, why not give a "female condom" a try? They're inserted into the vagina, creating a barrier that's just as effective as the penis-friendly ones. You should at least have one as back up, because anything can happen. Condoms get broken, birth control gets skipped, etc. You're better off having as many options at your disposal as possible. iStock.com
Not Inspecting The Condom Thoroughly Before Using ItThis might sound paranoid, but hey, better safe than sorry. Inspect condom wrappers for any nicks or tears. You'd be surprised how easily a condom can be pierced. And check the expiration date, too. If a condom is expired, don't use it. This is especially important to check if you or your partner last bought condoms over a year ago. iStock.com
Have you and your partner ever made any of these mistakes? Tell us in the comments!