Condoms are your friend
Consistent condom use is the key to stopping the spread of HIV and STI's. forgetting to use a condom, not wanting to wear one or being in the heat of the moment are situations that could be putting you at risk. Be safe, sexy and smart and take responsibility for your sexual health. Insist on condom use, even if your partner says he has no infections. He may not even know himself- many STI's, including HIV, can have no symptoms. Everybody is responsible for their own sexual health.
If used properly and consistently, condoms are the best way to protect you from contracting HIV or an STI during sex. They can also be extremely sexy and pleasurable! Try exploring the variety of condoms available. find out which ones you and your partner(s) like, and experiment. There are non-latex condoms, condoms that heat up, glow in the dark condoms, flavored condoms, non-lubricated condoms, colored ones, and ribbed ones, ones with extra room at the tip and lots of other varieties. You might even want to try using a female condom for anal sex. The female condom is made of polyurethane and it has a plastic ring inside it. If you take that out, you can slide the female condom into the rectum and it can be used in place of a regular condom. It is a super fun experiment trying out all the different condoms. Just think of the possibilities! If you are uncomfortable putting on a condom, try incorporating it into your solo sex activities. The ring at the base of the condom can sometimes act like a cock ring and can help to keep your penis harder longer. You can also make it a really erotic part of sex, use your imagination.
Having sex without a condom is called barebacking. Barebacking is the highest risk sexual activity that men who have sex can engage in. If you choose to not wear a condom then you are greatly increasing your chances of contracting HIV or an STI.
Putting on a condom halfway through sex is called dipping. there is also risk associated with this as HIV is found in pre cum. So condoms are important from start to finish!
Important Tips for condom Use:
- When you open the package, check it for air. If there is none (the condom doesn't pop around in the package) then it has been punctured. A punctured package means the condom might be damaged and it will be ineffective in protecting you from infections. If the wrapper is worn, torn, or punctured then you should toss it out.
- Condoms are best kept in your purse/ bag, on your bedside table or wherever they will be needed. If they have been near heat for a length of time the latex can deteriorate. That's why condoms shouldn't be kept in your wallet.
- Condoms have an expiry date, so make sure that it's not expired as they can weaken over time.
- Do not use your teeth when opening the wrapper or this will increase the chance of tearing the condom.
- Pinch the air out of the tip and roll it all the way down your penis.
- To avoid breaking the condom, try to keep it well lubricated when in use. Use water based lube, such as K-Y Jelly. Never use oil based lubricants or petroleum jelly (Vaseline) as this will cause the condom to weaken and break. If you put some lube inside the condom before putting it on, it will also increase the sensation for the wearer.
- If it breaks during sex put on another one and continue where you left off. Talk about it with your partner. After it's all said and done consider going with your partner for testing.
There are lots of free condoms available. Drop by the AIDS Committee, the Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Health Centre, the Woman's Resource Centre or LGBT MUN on campus.