You’ve already read up on overcoming some common obstacles to using a condom (if you’ve decided that sex is what you want). But once you know you’ll be using a condom to play safe, you’ve got to make sure you’re taking care of your condoms so they can take care of you.
1. Heat/Cold – Did you leave a few condoms in the glove compartment to your car? After you left that car in a sunny parking lot and got in later did you notice what an oven that thing was? This is a regular recipe for a ruined condom – baking at extreme temperatures. The same goes for freezing them in a similar scenario in the winter. Extreme temperatures are bad for your condoms – it makes the latex gooey or brittle and totally ineffective at doing the awesome things it normally does.
2. Age – Old condoms don’t work either. The latex wasn’t meant to last forever. Just check the packaging. There is an expiration date to help you out. It will do a great job before that date – after that, not so much.
3. Pricks and Pressure – A condom is meant to be a solid line of defense in preventing your fluids from mixing with your partners. But if you break down that wall with lots of little holes it won’t be very effective. Some guys put condoms in their back pockets – but then they stand up and sit down a lot all day putting stress and pressure on the condom. Some guys will keep their condom in a desk drawer with pencils and protractors and other pointy things that shuffle around at opening and closing. These aren’t the best ideas. If things are poking into your condom they can damage it. The same goes for opening a condom – use your fingers, not your teeth, not a pair of scissors. It’s a mutual relationship you and your condom – it keeps you safe if you keep it safe.
4. Double Bagging – Some people think using two condoms means they’re being extra safe. But it is actually the opposite! When you use two condoms at the same time you have latex rubbing against latex and creating friction. The friction breaks down the condom, and BAM now both of them are broken and you’re probably freaking out. Using two condoms at the same time is silly advice passed from people that don’t know much about using condoms. One at a time does everything you need it to do.
5. Not Having One – If the plan you came up with to stay safe was to use a condom then you’ve got to have one around for that plan to work. They’re not too hard to find, whether it’s in store or for free. Way too often a couple decides to let it slide because they just don’t have a condom around. But they all come to regret it later. Don’t let this be you. Stock up. Keep them on you, around your room, in a safe case in your backpack. And if you don’t have one, there are plenty of things you two can do that aren’t sex.