Why Wear Condoms?
Glove. Jimmy. Rubber. Protection.
Whatever you want to call them, condoms are essential to your sexual well-being. Wearing a condom every time you have sex has been proven to be 98% effective in reducing the risk of pregnancy and the risk of HIV and STIs.
Condoms can be worn by people with a penis or a vagina, or they can be worn for oral sex. There are two types of condoms, the external, or male condom, and the internal or female condom. Check out the videos below to learn how to put them on correctly.
Condoms may seem uncomfortable at first. They do require some getting used to, but the momentary discomfort does not outweigh your sexual well-being. There are also many different types of condoms that you can learn about here.
What Is Lube and Why Do I Need It?
Lubricant is a gel, liquid, or cream that helps to decrease friction during sex. Not only can lube make sex more pleasurable, using lube when you use condoms also increases your protection. Using the right kind of lube prevents the condom from tearing, or the sensitive skin inside the vagina or anus from hurting or tearing, which could make you more prone to infections. Water- or silicone-based lubes are safe to use with latex condoms. Oil-based lube can make your condoms break, which puts you and your partner at risk for STIs or pregnancy. Never use Vaseline, lotions, or cooking oil as lubricants.
How Do I Talk To My Partner About Wearing Condoms?
As you strive towards a healthy sexual well-being, you should always do what’s best for you, your body, and your partner. Wearing condoms shows that you and your partner are taking the proper precautions towards a healthy sex life and that you care about each other’s well-being. Be direct. Have the talk long before things get heated up. Tell them how important it is to you and that the boundaries you set are non-negotiable.
Conversations like these are not always easy. Your partner may find condoms uncomfortable. In situations like these, be prepared by doing some research in advance. Suggest specific brands that might make the experience more comfortable and keep in mind that condoms may take some time to get used to. Or suggest lube to make things more enjoyable.
Sometimes the issue of trust can be brought up. Maybe your partner asks something along the lines of “Why do we need to wear condoms if we trust each other?” Remind them that wearing condoms isn’t a matter of trust but of protection. The suggestion of wearing condoms doesn’t mean that you think either of you has an infection but wearing them will give you both peace of mind knowing that you practiced safe sex.
Where can I get some from?
If you live in DC, DC Health will mail condoms to your home for free! Don’t worry — they will be mailed in an unmarked envelope! Just fill out the form here: Free Condoms – SEX IS… (sexisdc.org)
Male (external condoms), female (internal condoms), lube – we got them all! And remember, the regular sized condoms will fit just fine — don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
How do I become a Wrap MC?
Wrap MC is a DC Health program that certifies youth and Trusted Adults to be reliable sources of sexual health information and condoms in DCPS high schools. You ready to get started? Learn more and get certified here: https://sexisdc.org/how-do-i-become-a-wrap-mc/.