How to Use A Male Condom

Young Man Holding Condom
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Condoms are a great way to protect yourself against sexually transmitted diseases. However, for them to be most effective, you have to know how to use a condom correctly.

First things first. You should always use latex condoms, polyisoprene, or polyurethane condoms to protect yourself against STDs. Natural skin condoms are not effective at STD prevention.

Instructions on How to Put on a Condom

  1. Make a decision to have sex.
  2. Talk about safer sex with your partner.
  3. Buy some condoms, or find them someplace for free.
  4. Check the expiration date on the condom package. Throw out the condom and open a new box if the condom has expired. (You can use expired condoms on sex toys to make them easier to clean. However, they're not a good idea for partner sex.)
  5. Check for any punctures in the condom/wrapper by feeling the package to see if it contains an air bubble. If there is no air bubble, throw out the condom and try a new one.
  6. Carefully tear open the package, making certain not to tear the condom.
  7. The condom should go on like a hat, not like a shower cap. Make certain that you place it on so that it unrolls easily down the outside of the penis. You shouldn't need to put your fingers inside the condom to unroll it. If you get this backwards, throw out the condom and start over. It's potentially contaminated from being on the penis.
  8. Pinch the tip of the condom to remove any air. You want to leave room for the ejaculate when you roll it on the penis. (It is not necessary to leave room if the person with the penis can not ejaculate, for example, a transgender man who has had a phalloplasty.)
  9. Holding the tip of the condom, begin to roll it down the shaft of the penis. There should be room at the end of the condom, but there should not be any trapped air.
  10. Roll the condom the rest of the way down the penis. The condom should be put on after the penis is erect, but before there is any contact between your penis and your partner.
  11. After ejaculation, hold onto the base of the condom while withdrawing your penis from your partner. Carefully remove the condom and dispose of it in the trash. Do not flush the condom down the toilet unless you want to risk a large plumbing bill.


  1. Using lubricants can reduce the risk of condom breakage, but you should use only water-based or silicone-based lubricants with condoms. Oil-based lubricants, such as vaseline, can damage the integrity of the condom.
  2. With a little practice, it is possible to put a condom on your partner using your mouth. This can be a fun way to practice safer sex, but be careful not to bite down on the condom and tear it. Also, you might not want to use N-9 lubricated condoms. As a sex educator, I quickly learned that N-9 lubricant can make your tongue go numb.
  3. Never reuse a condom. Always change condoms each time you have sex, and if you are going to go from penetrating one orifice to another. You should, for example, never have vaginal intercourse after anal intercourse without changing condoms.
  4. Some people find that putting a small drop of water-based lubricant inside the tip of the condom can increase the wearer's pleasure. It, however, should be a very small drop. This is largely a matter of personal preference.
  5. Frequent use of N-9 (nonoxynol-9) based lubricants may increase your risk of STDs. If you are having a lot of sex, it is best to use lubricants that do not contain N-9. Note: Some people who think they are allergic to latex are actually allergic to N-9. If you have had problems in the past, it may be worth trying unlubricated condoms with your own preferred water-based lubricant before switching to polyurethane or polyisoprene condoms.
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