Condom Basics – How to Use a Condom Effectively

I know this is a boring subject, so I’ve included some very personal stories of my own sexual shenanigans throughout the article.  Enjoy.

Ah, the lowly condom, one of the most basic and boring forms of birth control available, yet one of the most effective if used properly, and the only thing that can protect you from STDs.  I always imagine the invention of the condom as a simple problem-solving conversation, clearly something invented by one of our fabulous male minds (Charles Goodyear, actually). 

“Wait, so women get pregnant from the stuff that comes out of our penises?” 

“Yes sir, that’s what the research shows.” 

“Well, let’s create something that covers the damned thing and make sure none of that stuff goes anywhere!” 

And thus, the condom was born.  Perhaps it was a little more complex than that, but you get the picture.  This article will describe exactly how to use a condom for MAXIMUM EFFICACY as a birth control method, and to prevent STDs.  At the end I’ll include a few links to some amazing condom brands that I’ve tried and like (as much as one can like a condom).

How to put on a condom

-GET HARD!  Seriously, it’s difficult and ineffective to put a condom on a soft penis, so get that bad boy hard first.  Have your lady help you with this as she’s benefitting from condom use as well, but make sure the base of your penis is dry so the condom has less of a chance of slipping off.

-OPEN THE CONDOM, preferably in a stylish manner.  I use my teeth and give my lady a little wink while doing so.  I’m also careful to not damage the condom.

-INSPECT THE CONDOM – make sure there are no holes or anything strange about the thin piece of rubber that’s going to be the only protection between you and having a kid you don’t want.

-WHICH WAY DOES IT ROLL?  Figure out which way the condom will roll.

-PINCH THE TIP of the condom to remove air.  I learned this the hard way while in a rush.  Trust me on this, you don’t want to feel air being forced up your pee-hole when entering a lady, it’s NOT the feeling you’re expecting and will bring that party to a screeching halt in a hurry.

-ROLL THE CONDOM DOWN while still pinching the tip to remove air.  Roll the condom ALL THE WAY to the base of your penis.

-ENJOY!  Make sure you stay hard so the condom stays where it needs to be.  Have your lady help you out with this (maybe a little dirty talk?). 

Ok, I’m pretty sure most men know how to do this already, but maybe it was a good reminder for some of us.  Next I’ll talk about a few lesser known pieces of advice and some stories from my own life to back them up.

General condom advice


So many guys out there are wearing the wrong size condom for them and wondering why they are so uncomfortable. A proper fit not only ensures comfort, but prevents slipping and breakage.  Make sure to try a few different sizes and styles, and pick the one that feels best but is still snug enough not to move during sex. 


If you’re serious about not having an accidental baby or STD, you need to be checking condom placement frequently DURING SEX.  I typically do this every few minutes or so, but I make ABSOLUTELY SURE it’s still on properly right before I cum.  If the condom is starting to slip off, I take it off, throw it away, and PUT ON A NEW ONE.  Fun story…  I was having sex with an amazing girl for the second or third time ever, with a condom of course.  During the act, I was checking the condom placement like I usually do.  While she was on top, it started feeling REALLY good.  I had recently checked the condom and figured this new sensation was because of how she was moving or possibly because the condom had a little more lubrication on the inside (pre-cum).  Well, this feeling didn’t last long, because I finished.  And guess what?  The condom was completely OFF of me, and somewhere inside of her along with an entire load of baby-maker.  FUCK!  How could I have been so careless?!  All I had to do to prevent this is check one last time right before I finished, but noooo, I was an idiot.  Luckily, she had an IUD and we had both been recently tested (which we had discussed before ever having sex), so there were no huge worries there, but it was still an unfortunate situation and made me re-think my strategies.  The biggest horror of all this is that she was not the only woman I was having sex with at the time, and I had to explain the situation to my main partner which involved some hurt feelings.  It was not fun.  Learn from my mistakes.


The last story reminded me of a couple others…  If things start feeling extra good, or even just different, CHECK THE CONDOM!  Pull all the way out and look.  I’ve only had a total of two condoms break EVER (because I buy good quality condoms), but it’s never a good thing.  The only time I’ve had a condom break is when I’m using an off-brand of “ultra-thin” ones, which I don’t do any more.  I remember a time when I was having sex doggy-style (one of my personal faves), when suddenly things started feeling a bit too good.  This was after the last story occurred so I had learned my lesson and pulled out and found that the condom had broken at the tip and bunched up around the base, leaving everything else exposed.  Great.  Not what I wanted as this girl was not nearly as trustworthy as the woman above.  Now, the only way to PREVENT this is to buy high quality condoms in the first place, and store them correctly.


Seriously. When you’re all done, tie that bad boy off, wrap it in a tissue, and take it with you (if you’re anywhere but your place). Sperm can live for quite a while like this, and if the lady is so inclined can use your carefully stored spunk to impregnate herself. This is one of the ways men can be tricked or trapped into being a father, and since we have zero reproductive rights, we’ll have to pay child support for the kid we tried our best not to create. Keep in mind not all women are out to get you, but it’s always better to be cautious. Plus, if she has dogs, they have been known to swallow whole condoms (ask me how I know…).


Take a look at the condom box and follow the suggestions about what temperature to store them at.  Personally I always have one or two in my backpack, in my car, and in my coat pocket.  Hey, you never know when opportunity will strike!  Now, I religiously replace these condoms every month because they are exposed to higher temperatures than the ones I keep at home in my nightstand, and I suggest you do the same.  Do NOT keep the same condom in your wallet for years on end and expect to use that with a woman.  It’s a bad idea.  REPLACE YOUR CONDOMS!


Latex is the gold standard for condoms, and the vast majority of condom brands are latex-only.  Latex is great!  It’s very stretchy, very strong, and can be extremely thin because of those two properties, leading to a more pleasurable experience for both people.  Latex is also able to prevent STDs because it is a non-porous barrier.  “lamb skin” or similar non-latex condoms made from intestine are only good for pregnancy prevention and will not protect you from STDs, so I generally don’t recommend them.

Non-latex condoms by Skyn or other brands made of Polyisoprene are also good choices.  They prevent STDs and pregnancy as well, and are as strong as latex.  Over my years in the health care industry and being a bit of a man-whore I’ve developed a latex sensitivity so now I exclusively wear non-latex polyisoprene condoms, Skyn being my favorite by far.


When buying condoms be aware that they need to be stored and handled properly for them to have a longer shelf life and to be effective, like I mentioned above in Condom Storage.  This means purchasing your condoms from a reputable source that really knows about proper condom storage, handling and expiration.  These are usually drug stores, and online sellers specializing in condoms.  Sometimes I buy condoms on Amazon when there’s a good deal or sale going on, but make sure to only order from the manufacturer and not some sketchy third-party seller.  Compromised or knockoff condoms are not worth the couple bucks you might save by buying from those sellers.

My favorite vendor is UNDERCOVER CONDOMS.  They have a huge selection, fast shipping and great customer service.  Plus they have the SKYN condoms I like available in bulk, and a pretty good selection of other NON-LATEX brands.

Stock up and have fun!