The Best Way to Put on a Condom

person holding white and red plastic pack

If you don’t put on a condom correctly, it could slip off during sex or come out before you can use it. And that’s not just embarrassing for you and your partner — it could lead to an unintended pregnancy or STI.

Learn the best way to put on a condom so you can avoid all of these worries. It’s easier than you think!

Make Sure It’s Right Sided Out

Before you even touch the condom, make sure it’s right sided out. It should look like a little hat and the reservoir tip should be poking up, ready to roll down over the penis. The best way to tell is by eyeballing it as you’re unwrapping it (push it to the side if it’s sticking out a bit, don’t flip it). Alternatively, you can try pinching it between your thumb and forefinger—this helps squash any air bubbles that could cause it to break.

Once you’re sure the condom is right sided out, it’s time to put it on. It’s always a good idea to dab on some lube before placing the condom, which will both be comfortable for you and your partner during sex and help reduce the likelihood of a break.

It’s also important to check that the condom isn’t damaged or past its expiration date. If you see any tears or rips in the wrapper, or notice that it feels dry, throw it away—even if it’s just been in your pocket for too long.

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Place It on the Penis

When you’re ready to put on the condom, start by pinching it lightly and gently separating the two sides. Then, take the tip and squeeze it to remove any air bubbles. Finally, place it on the head of your or your partner’s erect penis. Make sure it’s on correctly by eyeballing it to make sure it’s positioned in the right way around and isn’t inside out (a condom that is inside out can easily break or have sperm trapped inside it).

Have your partner hover over you in a missionary-like position while you roll the condom down over his shaft. He should then thrust his penis into the condom so it rests partially inside him. After that, you can guide him into your vagina.

If your or your partner finds the condom uncomfortable, a little lube can help. Just remember to use a water-based lubricant because oil-based lubes can cause condoms to break.

If the condom gets stuck during climax, you can still have fun by holding the rim while pulling the penis out of your or your partner’s body. Just be careful not to pull the condom so hard it rips or breaks, which can lead to unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Then, put a fresh condom on and try again. Be sure to always have spare condoms handy and to keep them in a cool, dry place.

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Unroll the Condom

You should open your condom with your fingers, never use sharp objects like teeth or scissors. This is the only way to avoid poking a hole in it, which could cause the latex to break. If you do this, it’s best to start over with a new condom.

While you’re doing this, it’s a good idea to squeeze the tip of the condom to remove any air bubbles. This will make it easier to roll down the shaft of your penis or sex toy. Also, be sure to use a water-based lubricant – body lotions, vaginal jelly, and baby oil can weaken latex and make the condom break.

Once the condom is ready, you can put it on your penis or sex toy. When you’re done, remember to take it off before your partner enters the vagina – if it slips off, semen may spill out and lead to an unprotected pregnancy or STI. Just be careful not to twist the condom while you’re pulling it off, because this can cause the condom to slip into your partner’s vagina. You should also make sure to slick the rim of the condom with lube before inserting it into your penis. This will help it slide easily and protect your vulva from sperm that may be trapped inside the condom.

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Place It in the Vagina

Condoms are a great way to protect against unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, but they can only work if they’re used correctly. Make sure to check the expiration date and packaging, unroll it carefully, leave room for ejaculation, and apply water or silicone lubricant if needed.

The inner ring should be placed inside the vagina, while the outer rim should remain outside the vagina. If using female condoms, pinch the inner ring before placing it inside the vagina. If a condom slips off during sex, it’s important to tell your partner and use emergency contraception or get tested for an STI.

When you’re ready to take it off, hold the rim of the condom while withdrawing the penis. Be careful not to spill semen while removing the condom, and be sure to wrap it in toilet paper before throwing it away. It’s also a good idea to use a different condom for each time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex so that you don’t introduce bacteria into your vulva from your rectum.

You can also use a lubricant during anal or oral sex to reduce the chance that the condom will break. But be careful not to use oil-based lubricants, which can damage latex and polyisoprene condoms. They can also increase the likelihood that a condom will stick to the skin or mucous membranes.

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