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Your Go-To Guide On Condoms & Lube

Your Go-To Guide On Condoms & Lube

by Team Champ - March 04, 2024

There’s no shortage of sexual health products out there—and while that certainly comes with its perks, it can make choosing the right products feel like a daunting task. But in order to bring your A-game to the bedroom, you need to understand (and feel confident in) your gear. That’s why we’re going back to basics and focusing on condoms and lubricant—two of the most essential tools in your sexual wellness toolkit. Stick around for a crash course on what to consider when you’re buying and using condoms and lube.

Are Your Condoms & Lube Compatible? 

Before we go any further, we need to clarify a common condom misconception. Not all condoms and lubricants are compatible with each other. Why is it so important to talk about this first? It’s because using the wrong condom and lubricant combo could render the condom useless in reducing the risk of unwanted pregnancy or STD transmission. Let’s break it down.

  • Water-Based Lube: These lubes are compatible with all condoms and sex toys. 
  • Silicone-Based Lube: Condoms made of latex, polyurethane, polyisoprene, or lambskin are safe to use with silicone-based lube. Just be sure to avoid using silicone-based lubricant with silicone sex toys as the lube can damage the surface of these toys. 
  • Oil-Based Lube: The oil in these lubricants can damage the surface of latex condoms, rendering them unsafe. Plus, researchers are still investigating whether or not oil-based lube is safe for non-latex condoms. Either way we don’t recommend oil-based lubes for internal use or on the genitals as they can potentially cause infections.

To be on the safe side, we recommend sticking to water or silicone-based lubricants and double-checking that they’re compatible with your particular condoms. This will help you make safer choices when pairing lubes and condoms.

But no matter what type of lubricant you choose, prioritizing quality is always the right move. Champ’s lineup of lubes provides a premium option for those who want to up their game in the bedroom. 

So, What Are My Options?

The good news is that you have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to both condoms and lubricant. 

Choosing the Right Lube

When choosing a lubricant, you should consider what you need from your lube. If you have sensitive skin or are looking for a more natural feel that will be compatible with all your condoms and sex toys, then a water-based lube could be your new go-to. But if you want a thicker lube for things like anal play, then a high-quality silicone-based lubricant could work for you. The final category to consider is oil-based lube. Like we mentioned, we don’t recommend using these lubes internally or on the genitals due to potential safety concerns. Instead, oil-based lubricants are best for sensual massages on non-genital skin. 

Understanding Condom Types

To sift through the seemingly endless condom options out there and find the types that work best for you, we recommend focusing on a few key questions. First, think about whether or not the condom is compatible with the type of lube you prefer to use. Next, consider whether you’re looking for a quality go-to condom option, or if you’re aiming to be adventurous and expand your horizons. Either way, the sky’s the limit! Not only do condoms come in a variety of flavors, but there are also temperature-changing options for some exciting sensory play. In the texture department, you can choose from ribbed, studded/dotted, and contoured condoms for different sensations.

It's awesome to experiment with the many options available. In fact, there are tons of condoms to try in the family planning aisle. But if you’re looking for a place to start, ultra-thin and ribbed condoms are a solid, tried and true choice. Based on our initial research, roughly 80% of the people look for just an ultra-thin and ribbed options.

How You Use & Store Your Gear Matters

In order for your lubes and condoms to work in harmony, you need to make sure you’re using them correctly. The first step to this is always making sure your gear isn’t expired. Both lubricants will feature an expiration date either on their outer packaging or printed on the individual bottles and wrappers. Remember, using an expired lubricant or condom can be potentially harmful. Expired lubes could harbor bacteria and cause rashes and other forms of irritation. When it comes to condoms, expired ones lose the ability to reduce the risk of STD transmission and unwanted pregnancy. 

But knowing their expiration date is just the first step. Storing and using them properly is essential to ensuring you’re ready for action. While you should always confirm the correct usage and storage instructions for your particular products, most guidelines will recommend storing your lube and condoms in a moderate-temperature environment. Temperatures that are too hot or too cold could compromise the condom’s materials and the lube’s formula. For example, a directly sunlit spot on your nightstand isn’t ideal. However, a closet or the inside a bedside drawer usually makes for an excellent storage area. 

Aside from checking the expiration date, make sure the foil hasn't been opened by checking the wrapper for any tears. Aside from making sure the wrapper has not been torn, you can gently squeeze it and feel around for a little air bubble. This bubble means the foil is still sealed and the condom has not been exposed to external conditions. Also, we don’t recommend storing condoms in your wallet (due to excessive friction) or in your car (because of the heat). 

You’ll also want to make sure you’re wearing condoms and applying lube correctly. Here are some quick tips to guide you. 

  • Unroll the condom the right way by making sure the tip is pointing outwards and away from the head of the penis. If it’s facing the right way, the condom should look like a little hat and be easy to unroll. 
  • Tip: For added comfort and increased sensitivity, you can place a couple of drops of lube inside the unrolled condom.
  • Pinch the top of the condom, unrolling it from the head of the penis and down the shaft. The fully unrolled condom should end at the base of the penis (without being overly tight, short, or long). 
  • If you notice any gaping or bunching around the base of the penis (or if the condom feels uncomfortably tight) don’t use it! This indicates that the condom is either too tight or too loose, rendering the condom ineffective at helping prevent unplanned pregnancies or the spread of STDs. 

Like with all things, knowledge is power when it comes to your sexual health. The more you understand your gear, the more prepared you’ll be to make your dream sex life a reality. After all, you can’t have game-changing sex on a foundation of shoddy equipment. We hope this guide helps you navigate the seemingly endless options of condoms and lube available, while also giving you a clearer picture on how to use them in tandem. Happy exploring!