Many people think they know how to put on a condom…but do they really? In the heat of the moment, putting on a condom without paying attention can be tempting. If you’re worried that putting on a condom the right way is time-consuming, we’ve got good news. Putting on a condom properly won’t delay the fun. In fact, it’ll help you spend less time readjusting and more time with your head in the game. Plus, a condom that’s put on correctly will help keep you and your partner safe during sex.
That’s why—whether you’re wearing the condom or not—it’s important to know the right way to wrap it up. Let’s walk through some pro tips on how to put on a condom properly.
Why Does It Matter?
You may be wondering why you can’t just throw on a condom and call it a day. If it’s on, won’t that be enough to help keep you and your partner safe? Not necessarily! Knowing how to properly put on a condom can impact the condom’s effectiveness in keeping you and your partner safe against unwanted pregnancies, STDs, and STIs. Since condoms are designed to be worn in a specific way, condoms worn incorrectly could slip off, sag, or otherwise malfunction during sex.
Plus, constantly fumbling with a condom that wasn’t put on correctly can make it difficult to stay in the mood. After all, a key element of bringing your A-game to the bedroom is staying present in the moment. So the last thing you want is to be consistently interrupted by some unruly latex. Thankfully, there are five quick steps you can take to minimize mid-session condom adjustments.
How To Put on a Condom Properly
Inspect Your Equipment
When it’s game-time, the first thing you should do is double-check the condition and expiration date of your condom. Be sure to grab a new one if it’s damaged or out of date. If you’re anxious to get started, just remember that a little foresight ahead of time could make or break you and your partner’s safety.
Pro tip: Some people keep condoms in their wallets or glove compartments, but this is a big mistake! According to Planned Parenthood, friction and heat can damage the condom. Even if you can’t see the damage, these conditions can degrade the condom’s surface and render them unsafe to use.
Open the Wrapper
Next, you’ll want to gently remove the condom from its wrapper. There will usually be a small perforation or line showing you where the condom wrapper opens. Even if you’re in a rush, don’t use anything sharp to open the wrapper like scissors, teeth, or fingernails. These items could accidentally poke through the wrapper and damage the condom inside. The hole could be too small to see, so it’s best to play it safe and just open the wrapper with your hands.
Position & Unroll
Now it’s time to put on the condom. When you take it out of the wrapper, you’ll see that the condom is rolled up like a small hat. The tip of the condom should poke up from the center, with the condom’s rim running around this tip. From there, place the rolled-up condom on the tip of the penis. If the condom has a small reservoir at its tip, pinch it to hold the reservoir in place as you use your other hand to roll the condom down the shaft to the base of the penis.
To double-check that the condom is right side out, try rolling it down and see if it unrolls easily. If it does, you’re all good. If not, that is a sign to grab a new condom and try again. Remember, if you find out you’re unrolling the condom the wrong way, grab a new condom instead of reusing the old one. That condom would have already made contact with sexual fluids, therefore making it unsafe to use.
For uncircumcised penises, try gently pulling back the foreskin before unrolling the condom. This makes the condom more comfortable, helping to increase sensation and pleasure.
Do a Quick Gut Check
Take a quick second to note how the condom feels. Is it too tight? Too loose? Is the condom gaping around the edges? If you notice any of these warning signs, find a new, well-fitted condom before having sex. If you’re already having sex when you notice any of these problems, pull out immediately and carefully remove the condom. Talk to your partner about the condom malfunction, and decide whether or not you’re both comfortable with continuing.
Remember that both partners deserve to be completely aware of any condom issues or failures. Without this knowledge, neither partner would be able to make informed choices about their own sexual health.
Speaking of choices, Champ Condoms come in a variety of premium-quality options to help keep your sex life safe and exciting.
Since penises get softer after ejaculation, it’s important to know how to remove a condom once the deed is done. Don’t linger for too long post-climax to pull out of your partner. As your erection subsides, the condom could loosen and semen or sexual fluid could escape. Gently hold onto the rim of the condom at the base of the penis while pulling out of your partner. This will keep the condom from accidentally slipping off and will seal the edges of the condom to prevent any leakage.
From there, carefully pull the condom off of your penis away from your partner. To dispose of the condom, wrap it up in some paper towels or tissues and throw it in the trash. And do your septic tank a favor and avoid flushing condoms down the toilet—they don’t break down easily and can also cause a lot of issues in sewer systems.
Want some quick tips for proper condom use? Here are a few highlights based on common condom misconceptions and questions.
- Never reuse a condom because used condoms have already made contact with sexual fluids
- Don't use two condoms at once. This is sometimes called "double bagging" and can lead to the condom breaking due to increased friction
- When using lube, remember to use the right type of lube for your condoms. For example, oil-based lubricants can degrade the surface of latex condoms and cause them to break
- Keep your condom’s shelf life in mind. Condoms stored properly in a cool environment will usually last for 5 years. If they’re kept in a hot or friction-heavy environment (e.g. a wallet) then they may no longer be good to use
- Be aware of your condom’s condition. A brand new condom should not be discolored, brittle, or dried out. If you notice any of these warning signs, use another condom
- Try using a condom with a sex toy. You’ll still need to remove residual lube from the toy, but this process will make for easier cleanup
And just like that, you’ve geared up for MVP-level sex. Regardless of who is wearing the condom, these steps are critical for every partner to know. The few seconds it takes to apply these steps can make for safer sex with fewer interruptions and adjustments in the middle of the action. Now that you know what safety steps to take, you and your partner can have seamless, safer sex.