Please make sure you’re not making any of the top 7 most dangerous condom mistakes:
- Not checking for visible damage. Nearly 75% of people never bother looking for tears or holes — even if they use their teeth to open the packet (don’t!) or snag the con_dom on their jewelry or fingernails.
- Not checking the expiration date. Yes, that little date printed on the wrapper is news to 61% of users. Not you, of course! Just don’t confuse the expiration date (EXP) with the manufacture date (MFG). Con_doms last a lot longer than even Twinkies — up to 5 years for plain ones, though only 2 years or so for those with a spe_rmicide, which gradually breaks down the latex. But con_doms kept in men’s wallets get toasty from body heat, which can considerably shorten a cond_om’s life expectancy (and maybe yours). If a con_dom is sticky or brittle, toss it.
- Not discussing con_dom use beforehand. Yes, 60% of people say it doesn’t work out well when a partner springs con_doms on them at the last minute. The more both partners discuss (and even practice) using con_doms, the better things will go when the big moment comes. (Find out more about staying in top se_xual condition for your partner.)
- Putting it on late in the action. About 43% of students in a se_x-behavior study donned the con_dom after pen_etration had already occurred. Presumably they didn’t know that some spe_rm can be released before the final fireworks, posing pregnancy and STD risks.
- Not leaving room at the top. It’s apparently news to four out of 10 con_dom users that before putting it on, you need to gently squeeze the tip of the con_dom to remove any trapped air and leave space for the spe_rm. Otherwise, the con_dom’s more likely to break.
- Putting it on wrong. Don’t you hate when that happens? About 30% of people put it on inside out and don’t realize that an inside-out con_dom is more likely to slip off . The safest thing to do? Start with a new one. The right way: The cond_om should look a little like a ski cap with the bottom edges rolled up (not under). The cap should fit over the pe_nis so that the brim unrolls easily down the shaft. Any other way and it’s a dunce cap.
- Breaking the cond_om. About 29% of users report breakage. A large chunk of that is user error, not product defects, say researchers. In addition to the mistakes in numbers 1, 2, 5, and 6, add this: using oil-based lubricants (like petroleum jelly, face and body creams, and baby oil or mineral oil). These can make the latex pop.