People are very casual about telling others to just use a condom and sex will be safe. But a recent study done at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex Gender, and Reproduction showed that many people have problems with using a condom correctly.
The most common problems reported were:
- Starting too late – Many people think they can just fool around a little bit before they ejaculate and all will be well. WRONG – it may be too late! As soon as a male begins to become erect, he may release a slight bit of fluid from the Cowper’s gland (you may know it as “pre-cum”). Pre-ejaculate may contain sperm and will definitely contain sexually transmitted infections. Additionally, if his partner has a STI, their body fluids will be pushed into the unprotected urethra. The Kinsey report found between 17 and 51% of respondents put on the condom partway through intercourse.
- Taking the condom off too soon – Once a male has ejaculated, the penis may remain “functional” for a bit. Don’t be tempted! Ejaculate may continue to drip for some time. The same study stated between 13 and 44.7% reported early removal.
- Flipping the condom – Sex often occurs in obscured lighting or while under the influence of drugs, alcohol or lust. Even under the best of circumstances, a condom can be attempted to be unrolled when it is actually flipped inside out. If this happens, throw it away! Pre-ejaculate may be on the wrong side of the condom and pushed inside a partner’s body. Between 4% and 30.4% flipped the condom.
- Where has it been and how long has it been there? – Wallets, glove compartments, window sills, freezers are all potentially damaging places to store a condom. They can be too hot, too cold, or squished from too much pressure by sitting on them. If a condom is about to expire, you need to think, “Where has it been for the last 3 years, 11 months?” Check for a pocket of air and that it still is slippery from lubricant. 74.5% of men and 82.7% of women failed to check a condom for damage before use!
- Pinch the tip – Males ejaculate about ½ to 1 teaspoon of semen at a rate of 15 to 26 MPH. It’s got to have someplace to go! If you don’t pinch the tip of the condom while you roll it down, there is no space for the ejaculate and it’s more likely to break. Between 25.3% and 45.7% of respondents did not pinch the tip.
- Unroll the condom on the penis – Up to 25% of participants in the survey completely unrolled the condom before putting it on rather than unrolling it on the penis. All that tugging could cause tearing.
Who would think that using a condom could be so complicated! Here’s a good video on how to correctly use a condom. (And remember – don’t flush them!)