7 Ways to Make Sex with Condoms Sexier

orgasmNational Condom Week 2015 is here! From Feb. 14th to Feb. 21st, we are celebrating by providing a new article every day by prominent sexual health advocates focused on condom use and education.

Pleasure is an important yet seldom discussed feature in condom education. As Lara Worcester of Condom Monologues argues, “There is a difference between knowing how to put on a condom and knowing how to use them well.” When you know what condoms and lubes you like, which condoms fit best, how to put one on in sexy ways, how to talk to your partner about condom use, your safer sex is guaranteed to be hotter!

This article offers some creative ways to spice up sex with condoms.

In sum, the main tricks to loving the glove are:

  • Communicate
  • Take turns putting it on
  • Practice
  • Be prepared
  • Be playful and have fun
  • Lubricant!
  • Be aware of condom sizes and experiment with different ones

Continue reading for a more in depth discussion on sexy condom use.

This post was originally published at Condom Monologues

BY CONDOM MONOLOGUES | CondomMonologues.com

I’m sure you know, or at least have heard of someone who claims that condoms make sex feel less good.  Condoms (and other safe sex tools) don’t have the best reputation.  It doesn’t help that we rarely see safer sex happening in media representations of sex that is hot, fun, or romantic.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

As we discussed elsewhere, there is no solid empirical evidence to back up negative claims about condoms. Studies find that people who use condoms correctly and are used to using them tend to report greater pleasure with protected sex than those who go without protection.

This does not mean that people on an individual level do not experience problems enjoying protected sex.  There is a difference between knowing how to put on a condom and knowing how to use them well.  That is why it tends to be people who use them often and consistently that report greater sexual satisfaction.

It takes practice and know-how to feel confident and learn what feels good for you and partner(s).  Condoms can add a playful and sexy dimension to sex but, as with anything sexy, you need a positive attitude and a dash of creativity. In this post, we offer some ways to help spice up condom use.

Before we begin, the basics of condoms should be known.  Check out our user manual.  Once you understand these essential steps to condom care you can explore ways that may enhance sexual pleasure and make condoms a part of sex- rather than a disruption to it.

This post focuses on condom use for penis and sex toys, but some tips here can also apply to safer anal and vaginal oral sex using barriers including condoms, sex dams, cling film saran wrap, or latex/nitrile gloves. For more info on protective lesbian sex check out this sex column.  For specifically gay protective sex info, the Gay Men’s Health Charity is an excellent resource.

Introducing condoms to partners 

This isn’t something that should feel awkward no matter how casual or serious your relationship.  It can be as simple as just stopping what you are doing and handing over a condom.  Sometimes you won’t need to say anything at all.  Or, as suggested by Robin Mandell at Scarleteen, when you feel the heat turning up and sex might happen, take a quick break and retrieve condoms from wherever you keep them (ideally with easy access).  You can say something as casual as, “No pressure.  I just wanted to get these out just in case we need them.”

Condoms do not keep people from getting close- Silence does

Asking someone to use a condom is to show care for the well-being of you both. Communication really is key and talking about sex might mean explaining what you like, what’s your favorite position, or how to use condoms and use them in ways that work for you both.  Talking together about these things will cultivate intimacy and deepen your bond (not hinder it!), because you are sharing the responsibilities of sex and caring for each other.

Great sex is about sharing control  

As Heather Corinna explains, this is something that safer sex can help support.  Learning how to discuss condom usage and exploring sexy ways to put on a condom and what feels good together will make talking about other facets of sex a lot easier, such as how you’d like to try something new.  This also means that both people are making decisions and choices which are fundamental to both amazing sex and healthy sexuality.

Take turns putting on barriers

Related to the above- condoms can be a lot more erotic when one partner puts it on the other.  There are many ways to turn up the heat with a condom.  When done in a deliberately slow manner with some stroking, teasing, eye contact, putting on a condom can be exciting.

You can put the condom on together.  For example, one person takes the condom out of its package and places it over the head of the penis (make sure that you unravel it the right way down, not inside out).  The other person pitches and holds onto the reservoir tip of the condom as the other unrolls it down the shaft of the penis with one (or two hands).  This can also help ensure that the condoms is put on correctly.

Practice Makes Perfect

Learn how to put it on.  You can use the ol’ fashion banana, or the aid of a dildo or willing partner to practice how to unravel the condom.  It should unroll downward to the base without too much pulling or stretching.  If any exertion is needed to get the condom to the base then it is probably the wrong size.  Practicing by yourself will relieve any worry about losing an erection or the uncomfortable pressure of being judged on your condom skills.

Ladies and guys, you can always practice when you masturbate.  This will also help you learn your pleasure spots and what feels best with protection.  Or practice with your partner.  When the time is right, either you or the other can put on the condom, so it’s good for everyone to know how.  For many couples, this also helps to naturalize the process. It’s not about “making” a guy do something; it’s about something people do together for each other.

Be Prepared

One of the great advantages to condoms is that they are readily available for anyone to buy without a prescription or an age limit, and they are relatively cheap- even free at some health clinics like Planned Parenthood.  So equipping yourself with this contraceptive takes far less time, research and planning.

Also, it will help things run a whole lot smoother and greatly reduce the buzz-kill if you can reduce condom-hunting time.  So keep condoms (and lubricant) in a dedicated, handy place next to your bed where you are sure to find it.

Be playful

Keeping condoms in an easily accessible place is helpful, but that does not mean that it’s always best to rush through the process of putting one on. Great sex is to have fun with it.  When you introduce condoms have a sense of play.  And if things get awkward as you’re learning how to do safer sex, let yourself laugh about it.  This helps take the pressure off.

Buy some glow-in-the-dark condoms and leave your partner in suspense until the lights go out!  Or incorporate condoms into erotic foreplay.  Try slipping it on his penis with your mouth. If you are using gloves, get some props and play “Doctor”. Spice it up by carrying a condom with you in your handbag or pocket and discreetly show it to your partner to hint what’s on your mind.

Lubricant

This is really important. Especially, if you or your partners complain about reduced sensitivity, lubricant will improve sensation immensely.  Put two drops of water-based lubricant inside the tip of the latex condom before putting it on.  Even if dryness is not a problem for a person, lubricant that is made for condoms will lasts longer than the natural stuff.

Experiment with different lube samplers and flavors.

Know Your Condom Size & Experiment

Two points here.  First, make sure your condom fits well.  Condoms aren’t one-size-fits-all, and a condom that’s too small or too big is likely be difficult to put on, very uncomfortable, and much more likely to malfunction.  If you are not sure what will fit, check out our Condom Size Calculator or view this handy trick provided by Lucky Bloke (you’ll need a empty toilet paper roll).  If you experience certain discomforts, such as condoms being too tight, or too long, we have suggestions at our condom guide.

If you’re providing the condoms, it is useful to have a variety of types and styles so you and your partner can choose what feels right. Variety sample packs can be found online, and at some drugstores.

Second point, if you are in a longer-term relationship, you have the advantage to experiment with different types of condoms and lubricants together to discover what suits you both best and have fun while doing it!  There are many different styles of condoms out there from thin, to thick, to wider in certain spots, snugger in other spots, etc.  There’s variety in texture: ribbed, studded, contoured, pouched; variety in non-latex condoms; and there is plenty of variety in lubricants that can enhance sensation dramatically.  You could buy a variety pack of condoms to find the best ones.  Or make a date out of it and visit a sex shop and choose together (like this Condom Monologuer).

If we haven’t convinced you yet about the sensual side of condoms, take this with you:  Everyone needs to accept this reality.  If you’re sexually active and not practicing safer sex then you are likely to transmit an infection and/or get pregnant.  To prevent this from happening, to experience healthy fulfilling sexuality, you have to learn how to use protection.

condom ad condoms too tight

condom-monologuesCONDOM MONOLOGUES Affirming safer sex and sexuality one story at a time… Condom Monologues dispel harmful myths about safe sex and sexual stereotypes that permeate our ways of understanding what is “healthy sexuality”. They accomplish this through sex-positive, pleasure-focused approaches to sexuality that affirm the diversity of people- genders, sexualities, kinks and relationships.
Find them on twitter @CondomMonologue

Condoms Breaking? You’re Probably Doing It Wrong

#93 - The Accident

Photo credit: John O’Nolen

National Condom Week 2015 is here! From Feb. 14th to Feb. 21st, we are celebrating by providing a new article every day by prominent sexual health advocates focused on condom use and education.

Here is Heather Corinna, sex educator and founder of Scarleteen, discussing the common reasons why condoms break. The truth is that condom malfunction is very rare. So if you are experiencing a series of rips and slips, it’s more likely the error is caused by you and your partner, not the condom.

Here are the main culprits of condom breakage. Read more below for a comprehensive guide. 

  • An expired condom.
  • A damaged condom due to improper storage (e.g., in your wallet).
  • Not leaving enough room at the tip of the condom.
  • Not enough lubrication.
  • Using more than one condom at the same time.
  • Not removing or changing the condom after ejaculation.
  • Tearing the condom with teeth when opening the package or during oral sex.
  • Using the wrong size condom.

BY HEATHER CORINNA | Scarleteen

As we’ve explained in the past, like here, with proper use, condoms actually break very rarely. The common mythology that condoms are flimsy and break all the time is just that: mythology, not reality. Different studies on latex condom breakage tend to reflect a breakage rate of around .4%, or only 4 breaks in every 1,000 uses. So, if you’re having condoms break often, especially before you’ve even used them a few hundred times, it’s not likely something is wrong with condoms, but that something is wrong with the way you’re using them. That’s not surprising, since a lot of people don’t get good information about how to use condoms correctly, or ever see clear, slow demonstrations of proper use where they also get the chance to ask questions.

Since we’ve been having some users lately reporting patterns of breakage, we thought we’d take a few minutes to walk you through a review of some common issues that tend to make breakage more likely, so that those of you using condoms can avoid breaks and have them provide you the high level of effectiveness in preventing pregnancy and STIs you are using them for.

Have you checked the expiration date? Condoms past their expiry date are much more likely to break, because the latex can start to break down. If they’re past the expiry date, they also may have been shuffled around for a long time. The expiry date put on a condom — which you can always find right on the package of every individual condom — is usually for around five years after it’s been manufactured, so you’ve got a pretty good time window. Our advice? Make sure a condom is not only within its expiry date, but around six months ahead of it, the time when a lot of condom resellers dump a batch instead of continuing to sell them. Don’t use condoms past their expiry dates: toss them out and get yourself new ones.

Are you or your partners storing them properly? Sometimes people carry around what we’ll call the “wishful thinking” condom. That one condom they keep in their wallet from the dawn of time, thinking if they have that one condom, they’ll be more likely to have an opportunity for sex. Or maybe you just think that will assure you’ll never be without a condom when you need one, which would be great if the condom you had had been stored properly.

Condoms need to be stored somewhere that doesn’t get too hot or cold, where they’re not directly exposed to sun or fluorescent light, and where they don’t get bumped around a lot. Back pockets, wallets, the bottom of a purse or inside a car dashboard compartment are not sound places to store condoms. If you want to carry a condom or two around with you, find something you can put them in that protects them, like a pencil case, or in the box they came in if you bought a whole box. There are also cases made expressly for storing condoms, and sometimes when you buy condoms, you might find some already specially packaged in a storage case.

Condom storage is also something to think about before you even have the condom yourself. Some places that sell or dispense condoms don’t store them properly, potentially screwing them up before you even get them. That’s why machines that dispense them aren’t such a great place to get them, nor are places like gas stations, which often keep them near the front windows, where it can get hot or sunny. When purchasing condoms, look for them to be in a spot where temperatures are moderate and they’re not in direct sunlight. You also want to avoid hand-me-down condoms, too, however well-intentioned the person who gave them to you may be. Who knows how that person stored them.

Leaving room in the tip? You don’t put condoms on like you put on a sock or stocking, where you pull them all the way on so that they’re snug at the tip. Instead, we need to leave a little bit of room — around a half inch or so, or the width of two fingers, if that’s easier — at the tip for ejaculate and so the condom can move around a little bit. That makes them feel more comfortable, too.

Using enough lubricant? Plenty of condoms come pre-lubricated, but that’s only a smidgen of lube. More times than not, especially for intercourse that goes on for a while — and more so with anal intercourse than vaginal, since the anus doesn’t produce its own lubricant — you’ll need some extra lube right from the start, or to add lube during sex. Even with vaginal intercourse, while the vagina often produces its own lubrication when the person with the vagina is aroused, lube is often still needed. It’s pretty common for younger people to feel nervous or have issues with arousal, so not being as lubed up on your own as you might be otherwise is typical. Too, if you’re using a hormonal birth control method like the pill, one common side effect is a drier vagina. While we don’t endorse mixing sex with drugs or booze, being wasted also tends to impact lubrication, especially with alcohol. By all means, drinking impairs our judgment no matter what, making it a lot harder to use condoms at all, let alone properly, but it also often inhibits parts of the sexual response cycle. Whatever the reason, chances are awfully good that you need more lube than a condom itself offers. Plus, putting a drop or two of lube inside the condom, as well as more liberally on the outside, makes condoms feel a lot better, too.

Feeling funny about using lube? Don’t, seriously. People have used lubricants for as far back as we know, and if you ask us, beautifully engineered, clean lube in a bottle or tube is a serious improvement over animal guts or blubber, something we know people way back in the day used as lube. The idea that a body creating enough lubricant on its own gives a person some kind of sexual status, and that not being lubed up enough on your own means something is terribly wrong, are both really problematic ideas. Lube makes things feel better most of the time, and it helps condoms be more effective. We can probably agree that there’s no status in sex feeling less than as good as it can, or in a condom failure.

Remember, what you use as lube with latex condoms matters a lot. When buying lube, look for the tube bottle or packet to make clear a lube can be used with condoms. Oil-based lubes or oils, lotions or vaseline are NOT okay to use with latex condoms.

One condom per customer. If you have the idea that two condoms at a time are better than one, ditch it, and fast. That only increases friction, which increases the possibility of breakage. Only use one condom at a time.

Same goes for thinking thinner condoms will be more likely to break: that’s not true. Thinner condoms often feel better and are just as effective as thicker ones.

 

Does the condom fit? Condoms really aren’t one size fits all. Sure, most brands will fit a lot of people just fine. But some brands or styles don’t work for plenty of folks. So, if a condom is really tough to get on or off, hard to roll down, won’t roll down all the way, or feels uncomfortable, try out some different sizes or brands. If we have to struggle with condoms, we’re more likely to put them on wrong or just ditch them altogether. And with so many options in condoms, there’s no reason anyone should have to use a size or style that doesn’t work for them. The right condom usually feels great and works just as well. Even if you’re getting condoms for free from a clinic or school, you’ll often have more than one option, so snag a few different ones when you can.

Carrying condoms when you’re not the one wearing them? If so, see if you can buy variety packs, so you have more than one style or size around in case another just doesn’t work out. Most condom manufacturers sell combination boxes of a couple different styles or fits, sold right where you can get boxes of only one style or size. If you feel funny about having a variety and worry about judgment from a partner, remember that what you’re doing is having an assortment so they’re most likely to have a condom that feels good for them. Every partner is going to appreciate that.

Unsure what size

Are you or your partner hanging around after ejaculation or starting intercourse again without changing condoms? Male condoms are manufactured and designed for a single use: in other words, for only one session of intercourse or one ejaculation. After ejaculation happens, it’s really important the person wearing the condom withdraws pretty immediately. If you want to continue that sexual activity or start again, you need to put on a new condom.

Breaking during oral sex use? That’s even more unusual than breaks during intercourse, but if it’s happening, we’ve got one word for you: teeth. You’ve got’em, and they’re sharper than you think (just ask your lunch). If condoms are breaking during oral sex, and they were put on properly, stored properly, and are within the expiry date, teeth are probably the issue here. Remember that during oral sex, you’ve got to watch those little sharpies, both for a partner’s comfort, but also when using condoms.

While we’re talking about teeth, don’t forget that they’re not what you want to use to open a condom. That can easily rip or tear the condom. You want to use your hands to open a condom, not your mouth.

Practice makes perfect. So does patience. If you’re racing around in a big hurry to put a condom on, it’s a lot easier to make mistakes. And when everyone is turned on, they can be a lot tougher to notice. So, if you aren’t already an expert with putting condoms on — whether you’re the person who wears them or not — practice. If you are the person wearing them, practice during masturbation, where you don’t have the pressures we can all feel when there’s a partner there. If you aren’t the person wearing them, get some condoms and find something suitable to practice on: the age-old banana is always an option, and one of our users today said she practiced using a deodorant can.

Remember that it’s ideal for everyone involved with condom use to know the right way to use them and how to put them on. Not only can putting them on for a partner make condoms feel like part of sexual activity, rather than an interruption, we all have different levels of experience and skill with condoms, as well as different levels of condom education. So, if both people know how, and one person is doing something wrong, rather than finding out the hard way, the other person can easily make a correction so condoms work as well as you want them to, every time.

Don’t forget about the female condom! If no matter what you do, male condoms (and we know, this female/male language doesn’t make a lot of sense, and certainly isn’t very inclusive, but it’s what they’re called right now) don’t seem to work out for you, try a female condom to see if that works better. Female condoms are non-latex, and far roomier at the base and through the shaft than male condoms are, and they can also be inserted well in advance of intercourse to help you avoid game-time fumbles. As well, if you or a partner prefer not to withdraw soon after intercourse, that’s okay with female condoms in a way it isn’t with male condoms, which are more likely to break or slip off when withdrawal doesn’t happen soon, or if intercourse is something you continue after ejaculation. Female condoms can be a bit tougher to find, so if you want to try them and are having a hard time finding them, check in with your local sexual health or family planning clinic.

Have questions or want someone to walk you through all the steps of proper condom use so you can be sure you’re doing it right? We’ve got your back: come on over to the message boards, or use our text service. We’re happy to talk with you one-on-one.

P.S. We just got a helpful addition to this list from Scarleteen reader and peer sex educator Katarina Albrecht. She said, “Another important point: Do NOT poke your finger carelessly into the tip to correct the direction for rolling them off! We teach people to blow into the tip to change the direction or be reeeally careful with their nails. We’ve been seeing so. many. girls (and boys) do this with their long, sharp, nicely manicured fingernails.” Thanks, Katarina!

heatherHEATHER CORINNA is an activist, artist, author and the director of Scarleteen, the inclusive online resource for teen and young adult sex education and information. She is also the author of S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College and was a contributor to the 2011 edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves. She’s received the The Champions of Sexual Literacy Award for Grassroots Activism (2007), The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, Western Region’s, Public Service Award (2009), the Our Bodies, Ourselves’ Women’s Health Heroes Award (2009), The Joan Helmich Educator of the Year Award (2012), and The Woodhull Foundation’s Vicki Award(2013).

scarleteenSCARLETEEN is an independent, grassroots sexuality education and support organization and website. Founded in 1998, Scarleteen.com is visited by around three-quarters of a million diverse people each month worldwide, most between the ages of 15 and 25. It is the highest-ranked website for sex education and sexuality advice online and has held that rank through the majority of its tenure.
Find Scarleteen on twitter @Scarleteen

Teaching Teens About Condom Size

measuring tapeNational Condom Week 2015 is here!  From Feb. 14th to Feb. 21st, we are celebrating by providing a new article every day about condom use and education, written by prominent sexual health advocates.

Today is a short and pithy piece by sex educator Melanie Davis. She argues that it is important to teach our teens about condom size and fit sooner rather than later. All too often that first experience is with the wrong size condom leaving many young people frustrated and quickly conclude that condoms either don’t feel good or simply are not made in their size.

We can overcome the myth that condoms are one-size-fits-all by informing young people about the variety of sizes, shapes and types of condoms available. Also, explaining how to gauge one’s condom size and encouraging experimentation with sample packs is important. This should be part of basic sex education, argues Melanie.

 This article was originally published here

BY MELANIE DAVIS, PhD | MelanieDavisPhD.com

Kudos to you, if you’ve talked to your teens (of any gender) about using condoms during oral, vaginal, or anal intercourse. I’d like to encourage you to take another step that may be more awkward but is just as important: Talk about condom sizes and shapes.

Condoms can enhance sexual enjoyment or limit it, and getting the right fit can affect whether people will use condoms consistently. Penises come in many sizes, and condoms that are too short or too long can, respectively, slip off or create an uncomfortably tight roll at the base of the penis. Pleasure is another factor, as some new condom shapes allow more movement within the condom, which increases a natural feel — especially when a small amount of lubricant is dripped into the condom prior to it being placed on the erect penis. Some partners enjoy different sensations from textured condoms.

Dr. Paul Joannides, author of “The Guide to Getting It On,” posted a terrific video that explains the whys and wherefores of new condom shapes and sizes (however, this video is no longer available online). But I encourage you and your teen to read his book.

I recently spoke to a parent who encouraged his 13-year-old to keep condoms in his backpack at all times — even though he wasn’t yet sexually active. The dad’s rationale? It takes a long time to build up a habit, and he wants his son to be comfortable carrying condoms by the time he needs them. He also bought condoms in bulk and, when his son asked to practice with them, encouraged his son to use them during masturbation. This is a clever idea because it will link sexual pleasure to a potentially life-saving practice of consistent condom use.

Unsure what size

melanie_davisMELANIE DAVIS, PHD, consults with individuals and couples to help them build sexual knowledge, comfort, and pleasure through the New Jersey Center for Sexual Wellness. Through her firm Honest Exchange LLC, she provides professional development in sexuality. She’s a popular speaker on self-esteem and body image, and the sexual impact of cancer, menopause and aging. She’s an AASECT-Certified Sexuality Educator. On Twitter @DrMelanieDavis

Teaching Condom Use: When Hands-On Is Necessary

Free CondomsNational Condom Week 2015 is here!  From Feb. 14th to Feb. 21st, we are celebrating by providing a new article every day by prominent sexual health advocates focused on condom use and education.

Dr. Karen Rayne, who writes about teacher and other sex educator issues, talks about when condom demonstrations are necessary in the classroom. Some school districts do not allow teachers to bring condoms to school. In Mississippi, for example, sex educators are forbidden from demonstrating how to put on a condom.  To get around this, Dr. Karen provides YouTube videos to her students. This article is for sex educators, parents and young people who want productive tips on both teaching condom use and learning about condoms in general.

Here are her key points:

  • Offering hands-on activities is important because it gets students familiar with condoms before they engage in sex, increasing the chances of consistent and correct condom use.
  • Students not only need hands-on demonstrations to learn how to put on and take off a condom; this teaching model is effective at debunking the myths that 1) condoms decrease pleasure and 2) that condoms don’t fit well.
  • There is a wealth of age appropriate online videos that teachers can share with students. Check out her suggestions below.

BY DR. KAREN RAYNE | KarenRayne.com

Being a sex educator with my face and my e-mail address out on the Internet sometimes means I get crazy notes from people. I’ve had someone posing as a student e-mail me asking for details about my classes, suggesting he wanted to enroll in the fall. After several back and forths, he wrapped up thusly: “Do professors ever assign hands-on activities?” I said no, that hands-on activities don’t happen in college classrooms, but there are other places that offer hands-on instruction. He replied with: “There’s so much more I’d like to talk about but I can only imagine how busy you are!” I declined to respond.

But there are occasions when hands-on is the right way to go, and condom education is one of them.

A quick side note: There are many places where hands-on condom education just isn’t possible for political or other reasons. In many school districts around here, for example, teachers aren’t allowed to bring condoms into the school. If you’re a teacher and face similar requirements, don’t beat yourself up over it or do something that might get you fired. I provide links to YouTube videos below that can stand in, when necessary, for doing the actual activity.

So many young people have their first experience with a condom when they are in the dark, trying to figure out how to use the silly thing, aren’t fully aroused, feel embarrassed, etc. It’s not the most conducive experience to figuring out something new, even something relatively un-complicated like a condom. To combat this, I like to provide students with an activity that will provide them with lots of opportunity to figure condoms out. I divide the class into four groups and then rotate them through four stations. In general, having one educator at the demonstration model and one educator to monitor the other three stations works well. However, having more than four or five people per group can become unwieldy, so you might benefit from adding anther station or providing two of each kind of station so you can have smaller groups. Provide a big pile of condoms at each station. If they can vary in kind, brand, color, size, etc., even better!

The stations are as follows:

1. Demonstration Station: I prefer to use a realistic looking dildo, but everyone has their own preference here. Taking students through all the steps – from checking the expiration date to taking the condom off after ejaculation – is important. Relevant YouTube video:

2. Lubrication Station: “Wait, which kind of lube can’t you use on a condom?” The kind that gets all hot and breaks them when you rub it on. Nothing drives this point home further than trying out different kinds of lube and seeing what happens! Relevant YouTube video:

3. Sensation Station: Even after saying that you can feel through condoms, many students either don’t believe it or end up believing someone else rather than trying it out for themselves. Get a few feathers (I use turkey feathers from the free-range turkeys in my yard…) and have students put the condom over their hand and see what the feather feels like when brushed over the condom-covered hand vs. the non-condom-covered hand. Telling them there’s no difference is silly, but letting them actually feel that there’s still substantial sensation is important. I couldn’t find a good YouTube video for this.

4. Maximization Station: How big can a condom get? This station, in particular, works better if you have a range of condom sizes on hand (so to speak) for the students to explore and discuss. The stated goal is for them to see how big they can get the condom. I’ve had students do all kinds of funny things, from putting condoms on their heads, feet, backpacks, and more. When they’re in a space that allows for it, they love filling them up with water. Relevant YouTube video:

Please note that the YouTube videos may or may not be available for your group of students, depending on the age you’re working with. There are lots of videos out there – if you go the video route, find one that is appropriate for the age and development of your students!

Engaging with condoms at this level helps to dispel additional condom myths, building on yesterday’s blog post, but in a very personal sort of way.

I’ve decided that it’s Condom Week around here at Unhushed. Melissa White over at Lucky Bloke recently asked if I wanted to provide content for her new safer sex education website, and of course I was delighted! But when I went back to look through my blogging archives (both here and at www.unhushed.net/blog), I found that I had written terrifyingly little about condoms. So here I am, rectifying that problem with Condom Week, on both sites. At KarenRayne.com, I’ll be writing about teachers and other educators’ issues about condoms in the classroom. At Unhushed.net, I’ll be writing about parental concerns about condoms. Interested in receiving KarenRayne blog posts as they happen? Sign up here. You can sign up to receive Unhushed blog posts here.

condom ad condoms too loose

rayne2sm DR. KAREN RAYNE With a doctoral degree is in Educational Psychology, Karen provides advice and support to parents on how to educate their children and teenagers about sex and sexuality. Karen’s knowledge about adolescent development and education provides her with a solid background for guiding parents through these tricky conversations. And, as a college professor, helping young adults grapple with sexuality, she is known to change student’s lives. On twitter @KarenRayne

Why We Need National Condom Week

HaveAcondom-1National Condom Week 2015 is here!  From Valentine’s Day to February 21st, we are celebrating by providing a new article every day by prominent sexual health advocates focused on condom use and education. To kick it off, here is a little trivia for you:

If National Condom Week started campaigning in the 1970s, a time when the birth control pill had come into fashion and the HIV crisis was just around the corner, how is it still relevant today?

Here are seven important reasons why Condom Week remains pertinent today.

This article was originally published here

BY LARA WORCESTER | CondomMonologues.com

What is condom week?

Condom week is a national campaign to raise awareness not only about the importance of safer sex, but also how condoms can add to your sexual pleasure. Yes, contrary to popular belief, condoms don’t make sex less good. Many studies have found that those who report condoms reduce pleasure are men and women who do not use condoms, or don’t use them often. In other words, people who use condoms often- because they approach it with a better attitude and because they’ve learned what condoms they like- report greater pleasure with protected sex. Attitude, condom education and experience all play a role in sexual satisfaction.

That, my friends, is why we need National Condom Week.

Condom Week lands at a time in our calendar when people are puckered up with Valentine’s sweets. From Valentine’s Day to February 21st, while the air is plush with intimacy, what better time to integrate safer sex into the national conscience and give out lots of free condoms!

Condom Week originally began at the University of California in the 1970s, and has grown into a educational event for high schools, colleges, family planning organizations, AIDS groups, sexually transmitted disease awareness groups, pharmacies and condom manufacturers. Planned Parenthood and Advocates for Youth are just a few of the hundreds of non-profit organizations who participate in Condom Week, setting up sex education booths at universities all over the country and distributing over 50,000 free condoms. These booths, as well as open public seminars, will discuss topics such as safer oral sex, using lube with condoms, internal condoms, consent, and how to talk safer sex with your lover.

So again, if National Condom Week has been celebrated to raise awareness since the 1970s, why do we still need it today?

Because…

– Only 19 states require that, if provided, sex education in school must be medically, factually or technically accurate. That leaves schools in 31 states without fact-based sex education oversight!

Over 19 million people in the United States are diagnosed with an STI. That number increases dramatically if we account for those who do not know their status.

Two-thirds of all individuals who acquire an STI are younger than 25.

– In 2013, 66 percent of sexually active male high school students reported that they or their partner used a condom at most recent sexual intercourse, compared to only 53 percent of females.

More than 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection, and almost 1 in 7 (14%) are unaware of their infection.

– The United States continues to have one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the developed world (68 per 1,000 women aged 15–19 in 2008)—more than twice that of Canada (27.9 per 1,000) or Sweden (31.4 per 1,000).

If I haven’t convinced you yet to celebrate National Condom Week, jump over to this article by Heather Corinna which debunks all the condom myths you’ve probably faced.

Do your part in public health and stay aware.

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LARA WORCESTER is co-founder & editor at Condom Monologues and a Lucky Bloke contributor. She’s a published social researcher with a Master’s in Gender & Sexuality studies and has worked with various HIV/AIDS organizations including Stella and the HIV Disclosure Project.

condom-monologuesCONDOM MONOLOGUES Affirming safer sex and sexuality one story at a time… Condom Monologues dispel harmful myths about safe sex and sexual stereotypes that permeate our ways of understanding what is “healthy sexuality”. They accomplish this through sex-positive, pleasure-focused approaches to sexuality that affirm the diversity of people- genders, sexualities, kinks and relationships.
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