|The Art & Science of Using Condoms|
We must admit that condoms can sometimes be a less than charming element of a sexual encounter. Awkward, untimely, interrupting. But put quite crudely, sex with condoms is pure romance compared to sex with herpes et al.
Learning to live in peace with condoms isn’t too difficult, but it does need some time and practice. The time will be well spent and the practice is really more of a pleasure than a mission.
Male condoms are the safest way to protect women and men from spreading sexually transmitted infections (STIs) during any form of penetrative sex. They are also effective for birth control. Even if you are on another form of birth control and have tested negative for HIV, condoms should be used until both partners are given the all-clear on all the other little bugs and blisters that could bring the romancing to a screeching halt. These mini invaders may be less critical than HIV, but they are also often harder to detect.
Like a great painting, some people just hang their condom in its place and say no more. And then there are those who appreciate its worth, and can talk about it for hours….
Buying & keeping condoms
• Check the date when you buy condoms and check the date when you use them. A good supplier will have a sell-by date that is 5 years or more away. Whether by time-travel or other means, condoms have a way of aging faster than we know how to explain.
• Hold off on economy packs in the beginning. Try different sizes, fits, makes and features, until you learn what works best for you and your specific partner.
• Coloured and flavoured condoms can be a good novelty and add interest to using condoms. But trying out is one thing. Using them on a constant basis could be a downer for the female partner who doesn’t really need the extra ingredients rubbing up against her vaginal tissue. They may cause unnecessary irritation.
• If the regular latex doesn’t feel good for either partner, first try extra lubricant, and if it still causes discomfort, try the non-latex options.
• Regular sized condoms will fit most penis sizes. Even if you over-estimate your size when it comes to comparing with the other men, try not to over-estimate on condom size; if it’s too big it could simply slip off. Finding the right condom might just take trial and error.
• While it is responsible to have a condom available if you stand a chance of having spontaneous sex, the one you’ve been carrying around in your wallet or purse since last summer may not be your best choice. If the wrapping has torn or worn away, the condom is no longer sterile and the sheath could have torn. The back pocket of your jeans is also one of the worst storage spots because while telling the world that you protect your own ends, your insurance policy can over time be ripped open and weakened.
Men and women both, should get to know the feeling of a condom, how to open the package, without tearing the condom, how to unroll it, and so on. Before you will be able to manage it under pressure and possibly in the dark, you really should try it under less hostile conditions.
The Moment of Truth
2: Airing it
3: Wearing it
Place the rolled up condom on the edge of the penis, making sure that the roll is on the outside. This will allow whoever is placing the condom, to unroll it over the penis with one hand, while squeezing the closed end with the other hand.
If the condom comes off, withdraw the penis and put on a new condom before intercourse continues.
4: Removing it
Latex vs. Polyurethane
Some women and men complain of latex allergies. Whether it is an allergy, roughness or just dislike, you have the option of using polyurethane condoms. They are quite a bit more expensive, but most will agree they are worth the investment. The material – polyurethane – which is the same used for female condoms, is thinner than latex and better at transferring body heat, so it feels more natural.
Never use oil- or petroleum-based lubes with condoms, since they can cause the latex to perish and tear. Water-based or silicone-based will be safe on latex or polyurethane. Placing a small amount of lube on the outside of the condom can give it a more natural feeling and help with the entry.
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