When it comes to men's active sex lives, condoms play a crucial role as reliable protectors against unwanted pregnancies, as well as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and diseases (STDs). Yet, have you ever delved deeper into the world of condoms? If not, we're here to provide you with essential knowledge and more!
Engaging in sexual activity without the use of condoms can be a grave mistake. It not only puts you at risk of unplanned parenthood but also exposes you to the potential transmission of STIs and STDs that could harm your health. Using condoms during sexual intercourse is a responsible choice, even if you may have concerns about them affecting the pleasure of the act.
However, not all men are well-informed about condoms, including whether the condoms they use are the right fit for their needs. Surprisingly, if condoms are not used correctly, there is a higher risk of breakage during intercourse.
For those seeking to understand more about condoms, we're here to provide the information you need. Let's explore the topic further:
What Are Condoms?
A condom is a snug-fitting, thin tube that a man places over his penis before engaging in sexual intercourse. It serves as a barrier to prevent semen and other bodily fluids from coming into contact with the vagina, mouth, or anus. Condoms are highly effective at preventing both unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of STIs and STDs between partners.
Often referred to as rubbers or the barrier method, condoms enable individuals to practice safe sex. However, their effectiveness depends on proper usage. It's worth noting that condoms are about 98% effective when used correctly. While they excel at preventing STDs like gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, and HIV, they are less effective against STIs like HPV, as they do not cover the scrotum during intercourse.
Types of Condoms
There are various types of condoms available, each with its own characteristics. Let's explore some of the options you can find at your local pharmacy:
Latex, Plastic, or Lambskin
Most men opt for latex condoms, but if you have a latex sensitivity or allergy, you can choose plastic (polyurethane or polyisoprene) condoms. Additionally, lambskin condoms, made from lamb intestines, have small pores like human skin. While latex and plastic condoms protect against both STDs and pregnancies, lambskin condoms only prevent pregnancies, not STDs.
Condoms with lubrication help reduce discomfort and the risk of breakage during sex. If you purchase a non-lubricated condom, simply apply some water-based lube to enhance comfort. Avoid oil-based lubricants like petroleum jelly, as they can damage the condom. Oil-based products can also render the condom ineffective.
Spermicide-coated condoms contain a layer of nonoxynol-9, a chemical that immobilizes sperm. While this reduces the risk of pregnancy, this chemical may cause irritation and increase the risk of contracting HIV. As a result, these condoms are less popular among men, who often prefer other types.
Ribbed and studded condoms, known as textured condoms, aim to enhance your partner's pleasure. If your partner doesn't find regular condoms enjoyable, trying a textured variety may improve the experience.
How to Use Condoms
When using condoms, remember to use a new one for each sexual encounter, as condom breakage can occur. If a condom breaks, replace it immediately.
Before using a condom, ensure that it's in good condition and has not expired. Carefully open the condom wrapper to prevent tearing. If you're uncertain about how to put on a condom, consult the instructions provided on the packaging and follow them precisely. Pinch the air out of the condom tip and unroll it fully onto your penis.
If the condom lacks lubrication, use a water-based lube to prevent breakage during intercourse. After use, slide the condom off your penis carefully. Do not flush the condom down the toilet, as it can clog your plumbing. Instead, wrap it in tissue and dispose of it in the trash.
Condoms are among the most effective and affordable means of practicing safe sex. They are readily available at pharmacies and department stores, offering a variety of options to choose from. In today's society, where discussing sex can still be considered taboo outside of marriage, opting for unprotected sex can lead to numerous hardships and significant health risks. Prioritizing your sexual health and the well-being of your partner makes the use of condoms an essential practice for responsible individuals.
Written by: Deepti Dogra
Edited by: Aniket Joshi