When you get dressed for a date you probably take some time to make sure you’re looking good and have everything you need, but make sure you don’t forget a condom.
And now, thanks to Planned Parenthood, you can even record the naughty but vague details of your safer sex encounter.
Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest created a website called “Where did you wear it” that allows you to give a report of relatively where and how you just had sex with a condom.
According to the website this is not an encouragement to have or not have sex. It said “We’re just encouraging people to be safer in their activities. Be sexy. Be responsible. Have safe sex and be counted to help normalize the use of condoms.”
On the website you can “check in,” similar to Foursquare and Facebook, and share a little anonymous information about how you did it, what type of relationship you have and why you wear condoms. Then the site generates a pinpoint of somewhere near the cross streets you gave, as well as where other people who are getting it on with a condom.
While condoms are one of the most accessible protection during sex, they have a range of effectiveness that is based on how you treat and use your condoms.
The Guttmacher Institute published a report on January 12, 2011 titled “Testimony of Guttmacher Institute Submitted to the Committee on Preventive Services for Women Institute of Medicine.” In the report it cited that a condoms can have a 17 percent probability of failure. If used correctly, condoms can be about 98 percent effective, according to Planned Parenthood.
To use a condom effectively store it in a place where it won’t be exposed to air, heat or light for long periods of time because that can increase its likelihood of breaking. Despite the convenience, your car and wallet are not good places to store your safer-sex stash unless they will only be there temporarily.
Keeping a box in your room and taking out condoms when you think you might have sex is a good way to keep condoms in prime condition. Many stores sell small tin boxes, similar to cigarette cases, in which you carry your condoms when you do go out.
Planned Parenthood’s website advised to check your condom before you use it to make sure the package hasn’t been punctured. Don’t open the package with your teeth in case you accidentally tear the condom as well.
Also, be very careful what type of lube you use if you are using latex condoms because several substances can break down the latex and make condoms more likely to break. Your best bet is to use a water-based lube.
“Oil-based lubricants like petroleum jelly, cold cream, butter, or mineral and vegetable oils damage latex,” the site reads.
Make sure you put the condom on before there is contact between the penis and whichever hole you are is penetrated, because even the small amount of ejaculate that is released before orgasm has sperm in it and has a potential to cause pregnancy or transmission of an infection such as chlamydia or herpes.
Many people complain that wearing condoms during sex can dull the sensation, but using lubricant on the inside of the condom will enhance the sensation on the penis. Remember lube is your best friend during all types of sex and you should keep plenty of it around. If you had to choose between sex with a condom or having an unplanned pregnancy or getting an STI, I am going to guess most of you reading this would choose the condom.
It’s also important to make sure you are wearing the right sized condom. If you aren’t sure what size you should wear, buy a variety of sizes and see which one fits you best and is the most comfortable.
Another option to use is a female condom, which is shaped like a large pouch that you insert into the vagina. Some people say they like the female condom more because it isn’t as tight as a male condom and some men feel more sensation with a female condom.
Here are some other tips Planned Parenthood provides for effective condom use:
- Place the rolled condom over the tip of the hard penis.
- Leave a half-inch space at the tip to collect semen.
- Pinch the air out of the tip with one hand while placing it on the penis.
- Unroll the condom over the penis with the other hand.
- Roll it all the way down to the base of the penis.
- Smooth out any air bubbles. (Friction against air bubbles can cause condom breaks.)
- Lubricate the outside of the condom.
- Put spermicide or lubricant on the outside of the closed end.
- Find a comfortable position. You can stand with one foot on a chair, sit on the edge of a chair, lie down, or squat.
- Squeeze together the sides of the inner ring at the closed end of the condom and insert it into the vagina like a tampon.
- Push the inner ring into the vagina as far as it can go — until it reaches the cervix.
- Pull out your finger and let the outer ring hang about an inch outside the vagina.
While reading all of that may seem daunting— don’t worry, you just have to get yourself used to the process. It’s similar to learning how to dress yourself. At first as a child it may have seemed like there are too many steps to remember and you have to do all of them in the right order. But look at how far you’ve come since then. You probably get dressed everyday without too much trouble.
Condoms are one the most affordable methods of birth control so taking the time to practice using one correctly will benefit you in many ways.
If you are nervous that during your practice you might slip up and become pregnant or spread an STI, practice without having intercourse and do everything but. Many people try to incorporate condoms into their foreplay so that when you are revved up and ready to go you don’t have to take time out to put the condom on.
The “Where did you wear it” website is, in my opinion, doing a good job to try and get people more excited about having safer sex and to show the stats on condoms usage in a compelling way.
It gives you an opportunity to let your inner exhibitionist out, without actually exposing any details about yourself.
If you are lucky enough to be a UNM student, you can get free condoms at the Student Health Center, at registers in the SUB and in the SRC commons.