Hands putting a condom on a banana in front of a pink background.


Let's get back to basics: here's how to put on a condom

Putting on a condom is an easy thing to do as long as, well, you know what you’re doing. But once you get the hang of it, it’s like riding a really sexy bicycle.

So, if you’re staring down a condom and thinking, “what the...??” — you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a five-point cheat sheet that will help you remember the correct way to put on a condom.

But first, do you have the right condom?

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait –– you’re not about to dive into your next sexcapade with the first condom you stumble upon at the pharmacy, are you? There’s a lot to think about: What size? What shape? What flavour? Trust us when we say there are a lot of great options out there — and what works for one person might not be for everyone else.

When hot between the sheets, the last thing you want is to fumble in the dark only to find out that the fit isn’t ideal.

So, before we get into it, let’s make sure you’ve picked out a style that’s snug and feels good. Try this on for size: Find Your Fit: The Best Condom Styles Explained.

A hand holding a condom in a wrapper beside the number 1 in white text on a pink background.

1. Check the expiry date

The first thing you need to do is check the expiry date –– it’s printed on the wrapper or box. While condoms last a long time, they don’t last forever. Would you use a bottle of mayonnaise that’s a month past the expiration date? Of course, not (we hope), and the same goes for sexual protection.

Equally important: if the wrapper is torn, or if it appears to have been exposed to extreme heat or cold (maybe it was sitting in your car’s glove compartment for way too long), then just toss it. That’s a pair of dice you don’t want to be rolling.

Hands open a condom wrapper with the number 2 in white text on a pink background.

2. Open carefully

When it’s time to open the packaging, always use your hands and never your teeth or scissors. We like to push the condom to one side of the wrapper and tear the package from the corner on the other side where there’s a little more wiggle room.

If you accidentally tear the condom — it really can’t be fixed. Just grab a fresh one instead and try again. No matter how many tries it takes, if you tear the condom (we can’t say it enough) please grab a new one from the box.

While we’re on the subject of DOs and DON’Ts — just remember that not everything you hear other people say about condoms is necessarily true. For example, that dude on your hockey team who thinks wearing two condoms is better than one? Yeah, that’s what we like to call “fake sex news” — so it’s a good thing you’re doing your own research.

Actually, there’s plenty of age-old misconceptions about condoms — and to debunk them, we’ve rounded up this explainer on 4 Myths About Condoms That Just Aren’t True.

Three open condoms on a pink background beside the number 3 in white text.

3. Make sure you roll in the right direction

When you’re putting on a condom correctly, the tip end should be pointing up like a little hat — and as you roll the rim down, it should be visible above the rest of the latex, not underneath. When you put a condom on inside out, it’ll be a lot harder to roll down and it might not cover your penis all the way.

Another easy way to know if you’re rolling in the right direction is by looking at the wrapper as you open: the Durex logo is always right side up!

Seriously though, if you accidentally roll on the condom inside out, it could slip off during sex. And that’s not good for anyone.

As demonstrated on a banana, squeeze the condom tip and roll it on with care.

4. Squeeze the tip of condom & roll on

Gently squeeze the tip of the condom with your fingers (watch those nails, please!) and place it on the head of your erect penis, then roll right to the base.

Why squeeze the tip? Because you want to create a collector space for semen while squeezing out any extra air. Trapped air can cause the condom to malfunction, but that’s an easy problem to avoid.

PRO TIP: If you accidentally roll on the condom inside out on your first try, do us a favour and throw it out, then try again with a fresh condom. It’s not worth the risk! 

An open garbage can on a pink background with the number 5 in white text.

5. Discard condom

Right after sex, hold onto the rim of the condom and pull your penis out of your partner’s body. It’s often best if you do this before your penis goes soft, so semen doesn’t sneak out of the condom. Finally, tie it up and toss it in the garbage.

Remember: practice makes perfect pleasure!

And that’s the correct way to put on a condom. If you mess up any of the steps, don’t sweat it (it happens to all of us) just grab a fresh condom and try again. The only thing that matters is that you and your partner enjoy the ride –– as safely as possible.

Of course, there’s more to safe sex than putting on a condom correctly. How well do you know the ins-and-outs of a fun, safe sexual experience?

To help you figure things out for yourself, here’s our guide to safe sex.

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