Condoms & Lubricants FAQ


What is a condom?

A condom is a thin material that fits over the penis during sex to prevent sexually transmitted Infections (STIs) and pregnancy. There are also female condoms that fit inside of the vagina for the same purpose. Condoms are the only birth control method that can prevent STIs.

When should you use a condom?

Condoms should be used during any act of sex to prevent pregnancy and STIs. You should use condoms in the following situations: 

  • During vaginal and anal sex.
  • When using shared toys. You should switch out condoms for every new partner.
  • For any sexual act that involves the mouth, penis, vagina, or anal area.

How do condoms work?

Condoms form a barrier that stop fluids, such as semen, blood, and vaginal fluids from transferring to another person's genitalia. A person’s genitalia includes the anus, vagina, penis and, in cases of oral sex, the mouth. Such fluids can transfer STIs and HIV.

Are there different kinds of condoms?

There are a massive variety of condoms available for use which include:

  • Standard condoms - condoms with straight sides
  • Large or Magnum condoms - longer and wider than your average sized condoms to accommodate larger penises
  • "Dome" condoms - condoms that are larger around the head
  • Extra strength condoms - these condoms are very thick and are best used during anal sex
  • Flavored condoms - condoms that have a flavor, developed for oral sex
  • Textured condoms - condoms that are ribbed or sports bumps which increases the sensation for both partners
  • Extra thin condoms - condoms that have an extra thin material to increase sensation for both partners

Are there different types of condoms?

There are two condom "types".

  1. Male condoms are the most common type of condom that fits around the penis.
  2. Female condoms are characteristically wider than male condoms and fit inside the vagina.

Is latex the only material condoms are made from?

No, latex is normally the most common type of condom material, but there are also condoms made of Polyisoprene and Polyurethane. These are especially useful for those who are allergic to latex. 

What should you do if the condom breaks during sex?

  • Immediately pull out
  • Switch to a new condom
  • Use emergency contraception if you're not using another contraceptive method at the time
  • If you or your partner are HIV positive, seek medical treatment/testing ASAP

Why you should use lubricants

Lubrication during sexual play is important. That is because lube makes sex better and more comfortable.

The act of sexual intercourse often creates friction. If there is not enough lubrication, you may experience small tears in the vagina, which could increase the risk of urinary tract infections, STIs, and other types of infections.

Just as important, lube makes the act of sex much more pleasurable. Every sensation is enhanced which will allow you to feel every movement at a heightened level.

For anal play, lubrication is a must. Unlike the vagina, the anus does not produce natural lubrication. Therefore, lube is necessary. Plus, lube makes anal play more comfortable.

Are the myths about natural lubrication true?

Some myths claim that the more you are turned on, the more natural lubrication your body will produce. These myths aren't true for a number of reasons:

  • Every person has a baseline level of wetness. Where it may take one person five minutes to produce enough natural lubrication with just a minimal amount of stimulation, it may take another person as long as thirty minutes of foreplay before they have produced enough natural lubrication for enjoyable sex.
  • Unlike the vagina, the anus does not lubricate itself. Therefore, lube is required for comfortable and pleasurable anal sex.
  • Variables such as stress, lack of sleep, medication, pregnancy, menstrual cycles, health conditions, the amount you drank the previous night, and even dehydration can affect how much lube your body can produce.

What are the types of lubes?

There are three main types of lubes: silicone lube, water-based lube, and oil-based.

Water-based lube - water based lubes are suitable for everyday use. You can use them with any type of toy and any and all types of sex. Unfortunately, water-based lubes tend to be short-lived because they eventually absorb into the skin. Therefore, applying saliva or natural lubrication will help to rehydrate the lube for continued use.

Silicone lube - silicone lube is far longer-lasting than water-based lubes. They're great for sex that stretches on for long periods of time. Silicone lube is also recommended for anal sex and skin-on-skin contact such as hand jobs and fingering.

The only downside is that silicone lube cannot be used with silicone sex toys as it will simply dissolve away.

Oil-based lube – Many people prefer oil-based lubes for sex and masturbation. It is slick and moisturizes the skin. However, oil-based lubes can stain your sheets and are not latex compatible.

How do you use lubricants?

This is how you should use and apply lube:

  • On the outside of the condom (both male and female)
  • Inside and around the anus or vagina
  • On a sex toy

Where can I get lubrication and condoms?

There are a number of places where you can get both lubrication and condoms:

  • A sexual health clinic
  • Your doctor or healthcare provider
  • Pharmacies
  • Stores
  • Online

Some sexual health clinics and healthcare providers provide condoms for free though this may not always be the case.

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In Post Image Credit: Pixabay