Meet Natalya Mason, a sexual health educator who is here to help you with all your sex questions. Check out this article for more information.

 

Condoms are a critical piece of safer sex practices. They’re awesome because they do double duty as birth control and STI protection. Even though they’re super necessary, sometimes it can feel awkward or nerve wracking when it comes time to whip one out. Now first of all, in a consensual situation, someone pulling out a condom is a very good sign. #1, it means you’re about to have sex, and #2, it shows that they are considerate enough to keep you both safe. But in the moment, it can be tough to know what to do. Putting a condom on is rarely going to be a movie magic moment, and honestly, no one should expect that. If you’re not feeling super confident with condoms, go ahead and practice a few times! Take one out of the package and give it a good look. Practice putting it onto your own body or on a prop. Even if there’s no penises involved in a sexual equation, condoms can still be used with sex toys to avoid the spread of sexually transmitted infections and for an easy clean up. If you’re so inclined, try masturbating with the condom on. Get used to the way it feels. There’s a ton of different condoms available for purchase, if you don’t like one kind you can always try another. Lubed! Ribbed! Flavored! Non-Latex! The world is your oyster.

When it’s time to use a condom, there’s a few important steps you need to follow. First things first, check the expiry date to make sure you’re ready to roll. Next, tear gently down the side of the package with your fingers. It might be tempting to use your teeth or scissors, but it’s important to make sure the condom isn’t damaged in the process, or you’ll be starting all over. Make sure the roll is on the outside of the condom before you get ready to place it. If you’re putting the condom on an uncircumcised penis, make sure you pull back the foreskin before you put the condom on. Hot tip: Put a few drops of water-based lube into the condom, it’ll make things feel more pleasurable and it helps prevent the condom from breaking! Once it’s time to put the condom on, you can keep your partner’s attention elsewhere by kissing them while you prepare. Or, if you’re feeling nervous, why not ask your partner for some help. That way your hands will be free for other things. It’s important to communicate about condoms, so both people involved know what’s happening—your partner probably wants to be sure that you have actually put the condom on, so there’s no need to be mysterious or slick! If you’re struggling with the fit of the condom, it’s possible that you need another size. Condoms also come in a snugger or roomier fit. You’ve got options! Even if you practice and rehearse, there might still be a few awkward moments here and there, but that’s the beauty of sex. It’s funny, intimate, unpredictable, and messy. Sex is many moments, not just one, and all of those little things are what make the experience fun and unique.

BY NATALYA MASON

Want to learn more about Natalya Mason?
Natalya Mason, RSW is a registered social worker and sexual health educator. She has a Master's Degree in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She has taught sex ed in classrooms for 8 years, and answered more than 4000 questions about sex!

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