8 mistakes men make when using a condom

Using a condom should be pretty straightforward, shouldn’t it?  But, that’s not always the case.  Mistakes can happen and men have been known to make a few when it comes to condom usage.  Men may want to blame the condom when an unexpected pregnancy happens, or he contracts a sexually transmitted disease, or it breaks right at the moment of penetration.  However, if a man is not consistently using one each and every time when engaging in sex, he may get a little careless or be misinformed as to how to use this ingenious device to cover his penis during intercourse.

Here are 12 mistakes men could be making possibly increasing his chance of any unfortunate mishaps he really doesn’t want to have to deal with:

1.     Not buying the right size

It is no longer a one-size-fits-all in the world of condoms.  Today, condoms come in all shapes and sizes to accommodate varying lengths of an erect penis.  It’s important to size the condom to your penis to prevent slippage or breakage.  Too small and you’re penis will feel like it’s being choked.  Too large and it could slip off.  Choose condoms make of FDA-approved latex or polyurethane but avoid ones made of natural lambskin or novelty condoms.  And it never hurts to have plenty on hand just in case one accidentally tears or breaks.

2.     Not checking the condoms due date

Yes, condoms have an expiration date. So always check the date and do not use a condom that has expired.  Before opening a condom, check the wrapper for signs of tears or damage and always discard any condom that looks discolored, brittle or sticky.                                   

3.     Not storing condoms properly

There are several places in which not to store condoms – your car, your wallet, back pocket, or in a hot, humid environment.  The best place to keep them is in a cool, dry area away from the sunlight. 

4.     Not opening the packaging carefully

Take advantage of the easy-tear edges when opening a condom.  If you get in a hurry and try to rip them open across the packaging, you run the risk of tearing the condom and then it won’t be of any use.  Forget using your teeth to force open the package – this only increases the chance of accidentally piercing a rip in it.  If you like, be prepared and have it already open lying face up on a bedside table ready to use. 

5.     Not putting the condom on correctly

It can spell disaster if you are not aware of how to properly place a condom on your penis. First, place it unrolled on your thumb carefully noting the rolled edges of the condom.  If it is right-side up, there will be a rimmed lip on the edge.  Otherwise, if the edge is smooth, it is inside-out. Once you have figured out the proper side to be up, you’re are literally ready to roll the condom smoothly away from the tip.

Make sure to also pinch the reservoir tip of the condom as you unroll it onto your penis.  This will eliminate an air pocket forming at the top which would direct the ejaculated sperm down the sides of the condom instead of into the tip itself. 

Once the condom is on, smooth out any air bubbles that may be trapped on the sides of the penis.  It is not recommended to place a second condom on over the first condom (some men do this as a form of added protection).  This will only cause friction and the risk of it slipping or breaking.

6.     Not having a fully erect penis

Now it would make sense that in order to place the condom on correctly, the penis needs to be fully erect.  If it is not, there is a greater chance the condom will not stay put and will slip off. 

7.     Not lubricating the condom and penis

To avoid friction during intercourse, proper lubrication will not only help with this but also to prevent tearing the condom or causing discomfort.  It is recommended to use an approved water-based or silicone lubricant.  Do not use oil-based lubricants which would include baby oil, mineral oil, petroleum jelly, or vegetable shortening, as these can weaken the structure of latex increasing the risk of tears or breakage. 

Also, be careful not to get carried away with too much lubricant.  This will makes things from your penis being too slippery to a greater chance of the condom coming off.

8.     Not changing condoms between sex acts

The basic message here is – never reuse a condom.  If you go from having anal sex to vaginal sex, change the condom.  This would only increase the risk of a bacterial infection for the woman.  After having ejaculated into a condom, take it off and if sex happens shortly again place a new condom on your penis.