Almost half of 16-24 year olds have never used a condom with a new partner.
Let that sink in a little.
One in ten teens have never used a condom, full stop.
These figures are scary. Young people are putting themselves at risk of pregnancy scares and STIs that can cause infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, swollen testicles, and meningitis, to name but some of these, in some cases, life-threatening conditions.
Male condoms have always had a bad rep. Unfortunately, associations with safety and caution aren’t sexy and often, ‘grabbing a condom’ in the heat of the moment can be seen as a passion killer. But it doesn’t have to be.
It’s our responsibility to change perceptions of safe sex for young people. We need to be advocates of safety. We need to stand up and say ‘Hell yeah I carry a condom, don’t you?!”.
Our friends at HANX have been addressing these archaic perceptions, specifically when it comes to women carrying and using condoms, by launching their luxury male condoms made by women, for women. And it’s about time.
After all, male condoms are almost 98% effective if used correctly. They’re the easiest, quickest and most readily available form of contraception.
So, what can we to do to get more people wearing them?
Firstly, I think it’s important we understand exactly how to make the most of our condoms. The most common feedback from condom users is that they don’t ‘feel as nice’.
Yes, for people with penises, having an extra layer against their skin during sex may reduce sensitivity. However there are ways to combat this, and enhance your pleasure.
Here are some of the most common condom mistakes people make, and how to tackle them:
1. The perfect match
Finding the right condom for you is really important. Too tight, and the blood in the penis will be restricted. Too large, and you’re likely to experience slippage and seepage.
Condoms come in many lengths, widths, colours, flavours and densities. The trick is to find your perfect match.
Treat it like Tinder. Try as many different sizes as you like, until you find the one that fits like a glove.
2. Start off right
Another great thing about condoms is that they are a barrier contraceptive. This means that, although they primarily collect seminal fluid, they also act as a barrier to pre-ejaculate which protects you and your partner from harmful bacteria and infections.
That being so, it’s important that you use your condom as soon as there’s any genital-to-genital or genital-to-mouth contact – STIs are passable through oral sex.
3. Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’
When you’re unrolling the condom along your shaft, it’s really important that the base reaches the full length of your penis (or sex toy).
You could ask your partner to give you a slow, sensual massage ensuring it’s fully unrolled.
Talk about sexy safety!
4. No extra room
Another condom hack: the tip of your condom helps to prevent extra air.
Squeeze this tip as you roll the condom. That way, you’re less likely to keep any trapped air that could potentially burst your condom.
5. On the look-out
You’re getting down to business. There are hands and legs and tongues and lips and genitals everywhere.
You’re sweaty, everything is wet. You’re having a great time.
We don’t want to burst your bubble, but it’s important to be aware of any potential tears to your condom throughout your passionate session.
To avoid any accidents, don’t open the condom with your teeth as you could accidentally rip something. Use fingers to be on the safe side.
Take some time to stop and take in all the pleasures your lover is giving you. At the same time, you can check everything is okay down there. Hey, why not ask your lover to check, and give you a lick at the same time.
6. Wet, Wet, Wet!
The wetter, the better we say. Don’t you agree?
Most condoms come pre-lubricated, however that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add your own to the mix.
Extra lubrication can help enhance your sensitivity – just as we discussed earlier. Using a water based lube, lather yours and your partners genitals until you reach your desired slide/grip ratio.
And don’t forget to give all your other pleasure points some attention. Tweak those nipples, bite those lips and nuzzle into that neck.