Sex Advice

Dear Dr. Locker: How do I use a condom?

Answer from Dr. Locker

What are the steps to using a condom? How do I use a condom?

Condoms work very effectively when you use them correctly. Here are my steps to proper condoms use. Also, read the instructions in the box of condoms for more info.

1. Check the expiration date on the condom package to make sure it is still good.

2. Do the "pillow test", meaning that you gently squeeze the closed package to be sure that there is a pocket of air in it, to show you that the package has not been punctured.

3. When the man is fully erect and ready to have sex, open the condom package, using your fingers, not your nails or teeth, which can puncture or tear the condom.

4. Look at the condom. Without unrolling it, check to make sure that it will unroll down. You don’t want to put it on inside out and then find that it will not roll down. (If you make that mistake, you’ll have to throw it away, as it has touched the end of the penis, which may have pre-ejaculatory fluid on it.)

5. (optional) Put a drop of water-based lubricant inside the tip of the condom. Not too much, and do not fill the tip of the condom. Just a drop will help the condom feel better against the penis.

6. Place the rolled-up condom over the tip of the erect penis, leaving a half-inch space at the tip.

7. Roll the condom down over the penis, smoothing out any air bubbles as you go.

8. Run your hand down the length of the penis once the condom is on to make sure all the air bubbles are out. Bubbles can cause breakage.

9. After the man ejaculates, he should immediately withdraw his penis, then remove the condom, holding the base to prevent leakage.

10. Throw it away in the trash, not the toilet.

When condoms are used properly, they rarely break. If the condom breaks during use, it usually means you’re doing something wrong. You may be leaving air trapped between the condom and penis, or you might not be using enough lubrication, or you might be using the wrong type of lubrication.

Read these about breakage issues: *What can I do to keep condoms from breaking?

Read this about condom effectiveness: *Can a woman get pregnant if you use a condom?

Copyright © Dr. Sari Locker