Awesomeness continues after advertisement
Let’s talk condoms. Not everyone wants to use them, but they are hands-down the best method to protect against unwanted pregnancy and STIs. Literally no one wants to go into a hook-up (or be sexually active in a relationship) and come out with a long-term problem.
Taking an active role in your sexual health is just as important as paying attention to your physical or mental health. Talking about sexual health can just feel a bit more awkward.
According to the 2017 SKYN Condoms Millennial Sex Survey, self-reported condom use is (woo woo!) ON THE RISE.
Awesomeness continues after advertisement>
65 percent of millennials say they’re using condoms “always,” “most of the time,” or “sometimes.” This is obviously great news. However, some teens aren’t using condoms for one specific reason (which is based on a very common misconception):
“Most teens, and even some adults, think that using a condom is going to take away from the experience,” Dr. Emily Morse, Doctor of Human Sexuality and host of the Sex with Emily podcast, told AwesomenessTV. “They have this idea that sex won’t be as pleasurable, or worse yet, [that] they won’t feel anything at all.”
But this is absolutely not true.
Numbers time! Condom users actually reported being slightly more satisfied with their sex lives than non-condom users (88 percent vs. 82 percent). If that doesn’t convince you, 78 percent of condom users report having sex at least once a week — in comparison to only 69 percent of non-users.
“The good news is that there are so many different types of condoms to add sensations – from lubed to ribbed to ultra thin. With so many varieties out there, it can actually be fun to experiment, so why not try them all?” Morse says.
Knowing how to use condoms correctly is very important. And ladies…! It’s not just up to the guys to know the do’s and don’ts:
1. Store condoms at room temperature.
“Extreme temperatures can damage condoms rendering them ineffective,” Morse says. So stay away from extreme heat or cold, moisture, and sunlight. It’s also best if you avoid wallets, glove compartments, and back pockets.
2. Make sure you use them correctly.
Be sure that the condom is facing the correct way, with the rim on the outside. Also, be sure that the condom rolls all the way down to the base of the penis. You’ll know it’s on incorrectly if it doesn’t roll all the way down.
3. Check the expiration date.
“Yes, they last a long time. No, they don’t last forever,” Morse says. An expired condom will not be effective and can possibly break and tear. So if your condoms have been sitting in a drawer somewhere for a while, be sure to double-check before using them. Accidents can happen, but you’ll feel better knowing you did everything you could to prevent one.
1. Never use two condoms at once.
Sure, an unplanned pregnancy or catching an STD can make you paranoid. But “double-bagging” can cause friction, which will make them less effective and more likely to break. So don’t do that. Ever. One condom, if put on correctly, is plenty.
2. Don’t use your teeth to open the wrapper.
“As sexy as you might think it looks, never use your teeth to open a condom because you run the risk of ripping the condom,” Morse says. Yeah, not exactly sexy.
3. Don’t ever “stealth.”
This is an incredibly serious one. The act of stealthing is when someone removes a condom during sex without the other person’s knowledge or consent. “This is technically a form of rape,” Morse clarifies. Keywords to note here are “without consent.” This trend has become so bad that states like California and Wisconsin are in the process of pushing an anti-stealthing law. Always get clear consent from your partner about a condom (or anything else) in bed.
4. Don’t be afraid of buying condoms.
According to the Millennial Sex Survey, young women today are feeling more sexually empowered than ever before. In fact, more females are having one night stands than in previous surveys. Unfortunately, only 48 percent of women say they incorporate condoms into their sex lives.
And! Over a third of women say they’ve never purchased condoms. Condoms are nothing to be ashamed of. Women should buy them too, end of story. So don’t be afraid to stock up.
Last but not least, remember that even if you or your partner is on birth control, the only way to truly protect against STDs and STIs is to wear a condom.
“Many teens make the mistake of only worrying about getting pregnant, but sexual health is equally as important,” Morse says. “Condoms are the only way, aside from abstinence, to make sure you’re truly protected.”
Safe and responsible sex is sexy. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.