ALL ABOUT CONDOMS
Condoms and lube are the most effective way to protect yourself from HIV and most other STIs, like syphilis and gonorrhoea. Usually made of a thin latex, condoms provide a physical barrier that viruses and bacteria can't pass through.
When used consistently and correctly, condoms are extremely reliable. Make sure you use lots of lube for anal sex – it’s absolutely essential for having a good time!
Follow these five steps when you are putting on a condom:
- Check the use-by date on the condom wrapper – if it’s expired, throw it out and use a new one.
- Tear along the serrated edge. Don’t use your teeth, as that can damage the condom.
- Make sure the condom is the right way up before you put it on your dick. The rim should be on the outside, so it looks like a little hat.
- Pinch the tip to squeeze out any air, and place the condom on the end of your erect cock.
- Use both hands to roll the condom down to the base of your shaft. Squeeze out any trapped air, lube it up and you’re ready to fuck!
It’s important you feel confident and comfortable in your condom. To find your perfect fit try different condoms, play around with them and get a feel for which ones work best for you.
- Size: most guys are fine with standard size, but try other sizes if your condom feels too loose or is uncomfortably tight.
- Thinner or thicker: thinner condoms have a more intense feel and are just as effective at blocking HIV, even for anal sex. Thicker condoms can reduce sensitivity but can help you last longer.
- Find condoms itchy or uncomfortable? You might be allergic to latex. Have a look for non-latex (usually polyisoprene) condoms, which are made by a number of condom companies.
We have samples of smaller (Shield 49) and larger (Shield XL) condoms that we can send out to you - get in touch with us by email.
Condoms and lube are available for free in many gay bars and sex-on-site venues, and you can find them all over New Zealand using our Condom Locator Map. You can also buy condoms and lube at any service station, chemist or supermarket, or order them free online here. They are also available on prescription from a GP or sexual health service.
Lube keeps things nice and smooth while you are having sex and also reduces the risk of condoms breaking. There are three main kinds of lube – water-based, silicon-based and water/silicon-based. Try a few different brands to see what you really like. Make sure your lube is close at hand when you are ready to fuck. Don’t use oil-based lube, as it can break down latex and cause your condoms to break.
Once you get used to putting condoms on it becomes second-nature – but the first few times aren’t always so easy. Here are a few tips:
- Try using a condom when you jack off. It’ll help you learn to put them on quickly, as well as get you used to the feeling of wearing your condom.
- Put a few drops of lube in the top of the condom before you put it on. This will give you extra sensation during sex – just be careful not to use too much, or the condom may slip off.
- Make sure you have the right fit.
- Get condoms you are into. Try a few different brands and thicknesses to see what works best for you.
- Learn to put one on with your mouth. Just keep your teeth clear!
- Wear a cock ring.
- Keep condoms handy – so looking around for them doesn’t disrupt the action.
- Tear the packet open a little way before you get down to business, so you aren’t fiddling around later on with lube on your fingers.
- Get your partner to put the condom on for you – make it a fun part of sex!
Once you’re fucking, check to make sure the condom hasn’t broken and that you have enough lube. Stop and check if you aren’t sure!
If you have a condom break, tear or rip, staying calm is always a good first step. If you’re concerned that the condom breaking may have put you at risk of HIV, then you need to get tested, and should consider getting on PEP as soon as you can.