Putting on a condom – how hard can it be…?

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24 Mar 2015

Putting on a condom – how hard can it be…?

Putting on a condom might seem like the most basic skill in your sexual repertoire. After all, you practised as a 14-year-old in school, using that cucumber.

But it seems a worryingly large number of us aren’t quite as skilled as we assumed. In a study published in Sexual Health journal, almost half of adults demonstrated condom ignorance.

Getting it right is vital. Condoms are highly effective in preventing transmission of HIV and other infections, and offer a 98% success rate in preventing pregnancy – but only when they’re used correctly.

Here’s a breakdown of the most common mistakes people make. It’s worth noting that these results are based on people of all ages in 14 countries – not just nervous teens trying to overcome the excitement of their first time…

Late application

Worryingly, over half of respondents in the study admitted that they sometimes only put on the condom part way through sex. As many STIs can be transmitted on contact and pre-cum can lead to pregnancy, it’s important to get the condom on as soon as the pants come off.

Premature removal

Even more amazingly, 44.7% of those questioned claimed to take condoms off before intercourse was over. While it’s fine to take down the hood of your raincoat for the last couple of steps in the rain before getting into the office, the same rules do not apply to condoms. Keep that hood on until all contact and intercourse is concluded and the cuddling has commenced.

Incorrect withdrawal (failing to do so promptly and properly before the penis turns flaccid) was also reported by 31% of men and 27% of women in the study.

Early unrolling

Like Indiana Jones measuring the task at hand, a surprising number of people admit to unrolling the condom before putting it on. One in four people in the study revealed they like to unroll a condom before struggling to fit it over their penis. Don’t unroll – roll over.

Failure to remove air

Almost half of women and men have reported sexual encounters when the air wasn’t removed from the tip of the condom – ruining the sex and compromising the condom’s contraceptive skills.

Inside-out condoms

Like the scruffy kid in primary school who always had his jumper inside-out (and usually with the tag pointing forward), more than 30% of those in the survey reported that their safe sex endeavours have been compromised by inside-out condoms. A good rule of thumb – if a condom doesn’t simply unfurl over the penis, it’s probably inside-out.

No safety check

It may be the furthest thing from your mind when you’re about to have sex, but it’s always advisable to have a little check that the condom is fully intact before putting it on. This is by far the most common condom misstep, with 83% of women and 74% of men failing to do so.

No lube

Using lube can help reduce the risk of condom breakages – something ignored by more than a quarter of those in the study.

Unsuitable storage

That old condom which has been gracing your wallet since Year 11 probably hasn’t retained enough structural integrity to safely protect your penis. It’s time to throw the old soldier out and start storing condoms properly. Almost a fifth of those in the study admitted they didn’t keep their condoms according to the instructions on the packaging.

Getting ripped off

One condom mistake which is simple to avoid is paying over the odds. The partnership between trusted brands and the Freedoms Shop means our store stocks Durex, Mates, Pasante condoms and more at unbeatable prices. Check the store now, or call us on 0207 685 5977 for great deals and more info.

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