Condoms, French Letter, Rubbers, Johnny’s, Prophylactic, Love Glove, Cock Sock, Cum Catcher. Whatever you call it is one of the oldest and yet still most popular forms of birth control in the world today.
Did you know that the oldest condoms ever excavated were found in a cesspit located in the grounds of Dudley Castle and were made from animal membrane, the condoms dated back to as early as 1642 however evidence of condoms being used as a form of birth control and STI protection date back to the early 1500’s and there is even some evidence of very early versions of them being used in ancient Greek, Egyptian and Roman civilizations.
More than 5 billion condoms are sold world wide each year and today it is International Condom Day so let’s talk about condoms.
Birth Control and STI protection
The origins of condoms definitely lay in their use as a birth control however there is evidence of them being used in the 1500 to try to combat the spread of Syphilis which has swept across Europe and Asia. However in more modern times they had largely been associated with birth control and until the invention of the female contraceptive pill in the 1960’s were really the only reliable and somewhat acceptable contraception available but then HIV and AIDS was discovered in the early 1980’s and condoms usage become not just about birth control but also about saving lives and the rate of condom usage in the developed world soared.
When it comes to preventing pregnancy when they are used properly and consistently they are 97 percent effective. Condoms that break or slip accounts for the remaining 3 percent. If you don’t use them consistently or correctly then their effectiveness falls to 86%. This means that 14 out of 100 couples using condoms will become pregnant each year.
When it comes to preventing sexually transmitted infections the figures on that are a bit less clear but we do know that when used properly they are hugely successful and preventing the spread of all sorts of infections such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and HIV. Which means that you should always be using a condom unless you are in a fluid bound relationship with a partner where you have both been tested and that neither of you is having sex with anyone else.
Picking A Condom
There are quite literally tons of different options available when it comes to condoms. You can buy ribbed, flavoured, glow in the dark, Extra Large. You get Latex, Polyurethane and animal membrane ones. You can buy ultra thin, second skin, sensitive. You can even get coloured ones. How on earth do you know what is the right one for you? The answer is that you need to try different ones and decide which one you and your partner(s) like the best.
Putting on a Condom
Condoms come wrapped in a square or round foil packet. make sure when you tear the packet open you don’t damage the condom also always makes sure that your condom is not past it’s use by date. If it is, throw it away and buy a new one. Never use an out of date condom.
Experts say you can put a condom on both a soft and hard penis but it is definitely easier to put them on if you are hard. If the man is uncircumcised pull back the foreskin before putting the condom on. Place the rolled condom over the tip of the erect penis. Leave a half-inch (1 cm) of 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, rolling it all the way down to the base of the penis. Smooth out any air bubbles since they can cause condoms to break.
It is also important that you take off a condom correctly too.First of all the penis should be withdrawn from the body as soon after orgasm is possible and whilst the penis is still hard as that reduces the chances of leakage significantly. Also hold the condom at the base of the penis while pulling out to prevent it being left inside the body. Then remove it from the penis and tie a knot in it to stop it from leaking. Do not flush down the toilet but dispose of it in the bin.
If your condom breaks
Sometimes it happens, the condom splits or even comes off during sex. What you do when that happens really depends on your situation but it is vital that you tell your partner that it has happened so they can decide what precautions they want to take. If you/they are using some other form of birth control as well then pregnancy is not going to be your first worry. If they are not then you might want to think about taking a Morning After Pill. They can be purchased from most chemists in the UK.
When it comes to STI’s you should follow up with your doctor or local Sexual Health Clinic and get a full sexual health check up so you can make sure that you have not got any infections. The earlier most sexually transmitted infections are caught the easier they are too treat.
Did you know that a few drops of lube on the head of the penis before you roll the condom on will allow the inside of the condom to move around on the sensitive head of the penis much like foreskin does. It also helps with friction on the condom on this part of the penis and reduces the risk of the condom breaking. Don’t add too much though as you don’t want it to drip down the shaft of the penis and cause the condom to slip off. You want to the wetness to stay at the head of the condom.
You should also use lube to moisten the outside of the condom to reduce friction for your partner. This is particularly important when it comes to anal sex as unlike the vagina the rectum is not self lubricating but even for vaginal sex lube can help to reduce friction and not only make it feel better but also reduces the risk of tearing and breaking.
Where can I buy them?
You can buy condoms all over the place now. Supermarkets, chemists even your local corner shop but they are not the cheapest option. Our recommendation is to try Freedoms Shop who only sell online but are part of the NHS and therefore sell them a much cheaper price than anywhere else. They have a large selection of different kinds and they ship them off to you in discreet packaging.
But no matter which type you choose, or what reason you choose to use them always remember to wrap that rascal.