A condom is a thin rubber sheath which fits over the man's erect penis just prior to intercourse. It is a vital weapon in the campaign to promote Safe Sex. When the man ejaculates, he does so into the condom, preventing sperm from entering the vagina, anus or mouth.
Most condoms are made of latex; although there are also higher-priced polyurethane varieties available. Both latex and polyurethane are considered a very effective means of protection from pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Some condoms are made of animal intestine, but these are less effective for disease prevention. The latex or polyurethane condom is the recommended form of STD and pregnancy prevention.
Polyurethane condoms have the advantages over latex of being less abrasive and non-allergenic. This is important because polyurethane can be tolerated by anyone, unlike latex to which many people are allergic. Many women will also find the polyurethane more comfortable in male condoms. Latex is quite abrasive at a molecular level and a marathon session with latex can leave women quite sore, even with added lubrication. Polyurethane is much smoother and reduces the abrasion of very sensitive tissue.
When condoms are used properly, they are about 90% effective in the prevention of pregnancy. Unfortunately, since many people don’t use them correctly, the actual effectiveness is in the mid 80% range.
Before using a condom, always check the expiry date. Never carry a condom in a hot, confined place (i.e., your wallet) and keep it out of direct sunlight. Squeeze and hold the tip to release the air and provide a space for the ejaculant (sperm) to fill. Then roll the condom down to the base of the penis. Some rolled material will remain at the base of the penis to make it easier to pull the condom off after ejaculation. Be sure that your fingernails or jewelry do not damage or rip the condom. After orgasm, the man should hold the base of the condom while withdrawing from the vagina (or anus). Once the penis is fully withdrawn the condom can be safely removed.
Remember the following points:
Never use a condom more than once.
Always use a latex or polyurethane condom for effective prevention of STDs.
Lubricated condoms are less likely to break during intercourse.
Always use water-based lubricants.
Use in combination with Spermicide for better protection.
Unlubricated condoms are best for oral sex.
A minor problem with a condom is that you must interrupt foreplay momentarily to put it on – but why not both participate in putting it on, much more fun!
Oil-based lubricants such as petroleum jelly, edible oils and medications weaken latex condoms. If you wish to use lubricants during sex play make sure they are water based, such as Astro Glide.
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