Condoms: Get the facts
Today I’ve got four facts about condoms that you probably didn’t know:
Condoms aren’t always made of latex
Some of the first condoms ever used were made of animal guts. True! Now, most condoms are made of latex, which is a type of rubber. But there’s also condoms made of non-latex materials called polyurethane. These are a good alternative for anyone with a latex allergy. Plus, they’re a bit thinner than a latex condom.
Condoms weren’t made to spend time in the sun
A bit like being packed into a crowd at a summer music festival, condoms really start to feel the heat. This can weaken them and lead to breakage. So, it’s important not to put them in your pocket for long periods of time. They also don’t survive in places that might put them at risk of getting a hole in them. That includes being near your keys or other sharp objects. So, when you’re heading out think about the best place for your condoms to travel and check on them when you get home. Otherwise you might end up with more than just memories from a good time out...
If you’re getting wet, make sure it’s water based
If you’re using lubricant or ‘lube’, make sure you only use the water based type with latex condoms. Anything that is oil based will weaken latex condoms and can make them break. This means you shouldn’t use things like Vaseline, baby oil, or olive oil. Using water based lube with condoms reduces friction and may even make sex feel nicer.
If it’s not on, it’s not on
This might sound like an obvious one. You can’t tell if someone has an STI just by looking. Lots of STIs have no symptoms. So, just a little reminder, if you’re having casual sex, sex with a new partner or if neither of you have been tested, condoms are the best way to prevent STIs. If you feel like it’s taking away from the pleasure or the moment, try to include it as part of the foreplay, and try out a few different sizes and flavours. Find one to suit you.
Most people use condoms most of the time, which is great. But, if you hear of anyone using cling-wrap or other stuff to make their own – please bring them up to speed and let them know about the real thing – thanks!
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If you want to know more you can ring 1800 451 624 between 9:00am and 5:30pm Monday to Friday to talk with a sexual health nurse. It’s confidential and free if you call from a landline.
Until next time.
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