Condoms are ubiquitous. When it comes to preventing sexually transmitted infections (and pregnancies), condoms are usually the first choice. After all, they are inexpensive, easy to get, and good at their job—most of the time.
Using a condom during intercourse can be up to 98 percent effective in preventing the spread of STIs. But condoms are only as good as their users. When used incorrectly or inconsistently, condoms can be rendered completely ineffective.
Addressing the consistency aspect is easy. If you use a condom every time you put a penis inside someone, you’ve got the consistent part down pat.
Using a condom correctly probably seems even easier, especially after you’ve done it a dozen times: You take it out of the package, roll it on, and you’re good to go! Right?
However, there are a number of mistakes people commonly make when putting on a condom, and these mistakes can cause the condom’s effectiveness rate to plummet.
No worries, if you just follow these simple tips, you’ll be having sex that’s worry-free and even more fun:
1. Size Definitely Matters
Sure, those extra-large condoms come with a tremendous ego boost, but there are massive problems using a condom that’s way too big. We’re not talking length here. Usually it’s a question of girth: The problem with extra-large condoms is that they are often too wide. A loose fit leads to friction, and that friction can lead to breakage.
So it’s important to make sure you find the condoms that fit the penis in front of you. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are at the “rip, tip, and roll” if your condom doesn’t fit. Fortunately, some brands, like LifeStyles Condoms, offer a wide range of styles and sizes so you can experiment to find the perfect fit. LifeStyles’ latex Snugger Fit, for example, is shorter and narrower than the average condom, while the longer and wider SKYN Large condom is made from a softer, highly flexible polyisoprene material that conforms more easily to the wearer than latex does. Experiment with a few different condoms to see what really fits.