[Dash of SAS] Let’s have a condom talk
From stigma to sensation – or lack of it – condoms get a bad rap. But those small rubbers or prophylactics (not to be mistaken for prophylaxsis) offer the best protection against untimely pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections when used properly and consistently.
You’ve had the sex talk with me in more than one column. Let’s have a condom talk now, shall we? (READ: Are you afraid of condoms?)
Here are 5 things you should know about those nifty little love gloves:
1. Condoms have an expiration date
It is only diamonds that last forever. Condoms have an expiration date written right on the packet. Before opening a condom packet, always check the expiration date.
Another thing you should do before opening the condom packet is to make sure it is still puffed up with some air. To check, lightly press on the packet. If the packaging is flat and deflated, chances are it has been punctured or torn. Do not use that condom. A condom that is exposed to air will be dry, brittle, and prone to breaking.
2. There is a proper way to store condoms
You know that condom you have stashed away in your wallet just in case you get lucky? Well, your wallet isn’t exactly the best place to store your willy wrapper. Wallets are usually slid into back packets and sat on – and that combination of bending and body heat are only good when you actually put the condom on for some action. Otherwise, it may cause the condom pack to inadvertently open, break, or tear.
Same thing for girls, keep your condoms away from the pointy things in your kikay (vanity) kit, eyebrow tweezers, and hairbrushes. And yes, you should bring your baon. Don’t trust your health and your future on the probability that your partner will come armed.
The glove compartment of your car is also not a good place for the love glove. Keep your condoms in a cool dry place. If you are anxious about your mom or your helper finding your stash in your room, hide them in a box or a pair of socks.
I know what you’re thinking. But my wallet or kikay kit is the best place to store a condom to keep it within easy reach. Okay, I concede. If you choose to keep condoms in your wallet or kikay kit, just remember not to store them there for an unlimited period of time. Throw them out if they remain unused after a weekend. Just like your slow internet connection, your condom stash needs to be refreshed regularly.
3. There is a wrong side up
Condoms are not reversible. If you put them on the wrong side up, it won’t cover the entire length of the penis, no matter what size of male appendage we are talking about. And a condom that does not cover his whole package may slip off during the course of action and comprise your protection.
A condom that is right side up will slide all the way down to the base of the penis. On the wrong side up, it will stop mid-way and resist your affectionate attempts to roll it all the way down. Do not fight the condom. Just like you when take a selfie, a condom knows its better side best. Turn it over or get a new one and start over again.
And while we’re at it, do not double bag it. Do not wear two condoms at the same time, they will just rub against each other. This friction may cause it to break.
4. Condoms break
Condoms do break. They are not invincible and I’m hard-pressed to think of anything that you would willingly actually insert in your body that is.
Condoms break for a variety of reasons. Maybe you bit into it by accident when you tore off the packaging with your teeth (not a good idea, really), or your long nails got in the way, or the passage way it was meant to go through was not just prepped enough, if you know what I mean.
That is why lubricant is your friend. Condoms and lube go together like peanut butter and jelly, and should be used in tandem for maximum protection and comfort.
If you want a little bit of a pleasure amplifier, add a dollop of lube on the inside tip of the condom before putting it on. For visual purposes, I’m talking about the part of the condom where the semen goes (the cumbag, if you want to call it that). The added smooth and slosh will heighten the sensation that many argue condoms negate.
The scientific explanation? The glans or the head of the penis contains about 7,000 sensory nerve endings. It has the greatest concentration of nerve endings in one place compared to any part of the male body, making it extremely sensitive to pleasure and sensation. Don’t you just love biology?
For the record, the clitoris, called the female equivalent of the glans, has about the same number of nerve endings neatly condensed into a smaller space.
5. Condoms trump the pill and other forms of contraception
Only condoms can protect you from both an unplanned pregnancy and a sexually transmitted infection. I think they are the most gender-sensitive and gender-neutral sexual health tools around. Not bad for a tiny little rubber ring (READ: Condoms and sex ed).
Think about that next time you insist on the “no glove, no love policy.” – Rappler.com
Correct and consistent use of condoms has been proven to effectively prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections like HIV.
This DASH of SAS column is part of Rappler’s #StayNegatHIVe campaign to raise awareness about HIV.