How To Use Condoms

Condoms are very effective at preventing most STIs and unplanned pregnancy if you’re having sex with a penis (or a toy). Learn how to use them here.

Condoms prevent most STIs and are excellent at preventing pregnancy. So if you’re going to have entry sex with a penis they’re a really good idea. However they only work if you put them on (obvs) and if you don’t put them on properly they can break. So here’s the BISH guide.

They can be pretty fiddly so it’s a good idea to practice on something before you start having sex (if you have a penis, your penis).

They are more likely to break if they get dry, so if this happens to you you might want to have some water based* lubricant with you too. Clinics give this away for free with condoms and can be great for masturbation too. (* things like baby oil and moisturiser can break condoms)

1. Open the packet

how to use condoms tear open

Put the condom on before the penis touches anyone. Hold the condom away from the edge and tear the packet using the jagged edge (to help you get it open). People often find this really difficult. Relax! It’s just like opening a bar of chocolate!

If you find it tricky getting condoms open, read this about making using condoms easier.

2. Get it the right way round

how to use condoms right way round

Hold the condom carefully (nails can tear condoms). Make sure the condom is the right way round before it touches the penis (the roll should be on the outside – check this by rolling between your thumb and finger).

3. Squeeze the tip

how to use condoms squeeze the tip

When the penis is hard, put it on. Squeeze the air at the top with one hand. Squeeze the top 2cm, to leave enough space for semen. If air is trapped in the condom it can break and sperm can leak out.

4. Roll it down gently

how to use condoms roll down gently

Then gently roll it down the penis with the other hand. There should be no air trapped at the top. Keep wearing it all the way through sex – or you’re not protected.

5. Well done! Now make sure

how to use condoms da daaaa

There’s no air trapped at the top

  • It doesn’t slip off (check now and again).
  • It doesn’t get dry (use water based lubricant or saliva).
  • The condom is on when pulling out.
  • You bin it after use (don’t re use).

Sometimes condoms break, usually if they aren’t used properly or if they get dry. If you are worried about an unplanned pregnancy, you can take the emergency contraception pill . This needs to be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex to be effective but you have up to 72 or 120 after sex to take it.

Here’s me showing you how to use condoms in an amusing video. No you can’t touch my beard.

Find out more about different kinds of condoms

Please leave a (nice) comment below if you like or ask me a question here.

© Justin Hancock, 2024 Find out more about me and BISH here.

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I’ve been a sex and relationships educator since 1999 (with a background in youth and community work). In that time I’ve taught and given advice about sex and relationships with thousands of young people in person and millions online. I’ve worked with many charities, local governments, schools and youth organisations facilitating training and workshops. My two books, Enjoy Sex (How, When, and If You Want To) and Can We Talk About Consent? are widely available around the world. I’ve been on the telly and the radio and have written articles for newspapers and magazines. I’m also a member of the World Association for Sexual Health. Read more about me and BISH here. Find out about my other work here Justin Hancock

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23 thoughts on “How To Use Condoms

    1. Absolutely! In the UK we call it a ‘posh’ or a ‘royal’ wank. It’s a good way to get used to using condoms, so you know how they feel if you were to have sex with someone. They also make the clean up easier.

  1. Hi Justin!
    I’m just asking that is a man allowed to wear a condom after receiving oral sex.
    Please reply ASAP.
    Thank you.

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  4. One of the bse article for the first time condom user, for the safe sex., condoms are very useful in many ways to enhance sexual pleasure, to prevent pregnancy and the deathly STI too.

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    you wrote the guide in it or something. I feel that you just can
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  10. Great article, but LUBE! Seriously, that should be discussed in a fair amount of detail, and pretty high up the article. Mention that oil-based lubes damage condoms, mention that silicone lubes are often preferred over water-based (although they may damage silicone sex toys).

  11. Yvonne, it is quite normal for women to become wet during sex. This means that they are aroused, although this may not be the case for some women. It’s quite normal to become wet when having sex. Your friend may prefer the dryness for for his own arousal as it means it can be quite tight for him on penetration. This might not be the case for the woman though as being dry when having sex can be painful. Becoming wet is part of being sexually aroused and it’s a sign of enjoying sex. Women can become wet just by thinking or fantasising about sex, which is quite normal.

    I hope this helps.

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