Outside of getting your sperm supply cut off, male birth control is limited to condoms and abstinence. Thanks to my American public school sex-education course, you can guess which of these two I learned about…
I’m one of millions of men in this country who was vastly unprepared for and culturally dissuaded from using condoms. And considering that condoms are essentially the most vital tool for safe sex, sexually active people have got to educate themselves more!
When people use them correctly, condoms are 98% effective. However, If you just know how to put one on right, you’re already ahead of the curve. But if you’ve got that first lesson in your sex transcripts, here’s a selection of other vital infortmation for your everyday sex life:
10 Things I Never Learned About Condoms in Sex-Ed
- Most Condoms are NOT vegan
Renouncing the consumption of all animals and animal byproducts is no simple feat, especially when people learn that most condoms are not vegan. The majority of condoms smooth the latex with a milk protein called casein. If you don’t want the vegan police to come for you, you should invest in some vegan alternatives. While most non-latex condoms are incidentally vegan, you may need to double check that. For a list of confirmed vegan options, follow Vegan.com’s recommendations.
- You might NOT have a Latex Allergy
Research shows that less than 1% of the US population is legitimately allergic to latex. Many who have reactions to latex condoms are actually reacting to certain chemicals (like casein) that are often used in their production. So if you’re afraid of an allergy, get a doctor to confirm that before you rule out a GIANT portion of the condom market. While you can try testing at home by trying out different latex condoms until your partner goes into anaphylactic shock; this is not a preferred method to determine allergies, regardless of how hot it would be to blast your partner with an epipen mid-coitus.
- Lambskin Sex is NOT Safe Sex
Lambskin condoms do not protect against viral STDs, like HIV and herpes. While they do protect against children, the cutest of all the sexually transmitted diseases, viruses are tiny enough to get through the pores in lambskin. So if you only like the feeling of lambskin, you better only be worried about getting children from your partner.
- Buy Online to Save
Just like printer ink, the condom market preys on desperate people who have run out. But if you purchase before you need, you pay a fraction of the price! Even if you’re buying the “best value” at your local pharmacy, you’ll pay half that amount if you order online. I order in bulks of 100-count packages where I can easily find options that cost $0.05 USD per condom. While 100 condoms may seem like a lot, condoms are generally good for 5 years (2 years if they have spermicidal lubricant). Step your safe sex game up and buy for a year of fucking, not just a night.
- American Condoms are Rare
More than 5 billion condoms worldwide are sold every year, according to Michael S. Zedalis, senior vice president in charge of science and technology for condom-maker Ansell Limited. Of all the brands on the market, the only American company who makes American condoms is Trojan. Continued support of the American economy means buying American condoms for all your banging needs.
- Condom Climate is Important
Keeping condoms in your wallet or your car is sure useful in a pinch. But for maximum longevity, condoms need to be kept in a cool, dry place. The regular frictions put on the average wallet by the average man can deteriorate the condom or puncture the packaging, causing failures. Keeping them in your car’s glove box can have a similar effect on the condoms. Excluding the frictions of the glove box, condoms should never be stored anywhere it’s over 100 degrees or cooler than 32 degrees Fahrenheit. I keep my condoms in an empty Altoids tin in my breast pocket. It doesn’t get too warm there, not too much turbulence, and I’ve got the room for 4 condoms and a packet of lube!
- Flavored Condoms are Probably ONLY for the Mouth
The same is true for flavored lubricants. It would be neat if they said this ANYWHERE on the package, but they generally don’t mention that the sugars that make these taste so good also put women at a higher risk for infections like a yeast infection. While we’re on the subject of women-friendly condoms, spermicidal lubricants also cause irritation which can cause UTIs in women.
- Size Matters…kinda
Here’s a chart for condoms and their sizes. Unstretched, the smallest “snugger fit” has 58% of the volume that you’ll find in the biggest condom on the market. That being said, anybody who has ever stuffed their whole head in a condom will tell you that condoms are plenty flexible! Most “large sized” condoms are the same size as the regular-sized option, but cost 33% more. Let it never be said that men don’t fall prey to vanity sizing.
- Condoms are Especially Important for Buttsex
While it’s a surefire way to avoid pregnancy. Just because you’re thinking outside the box, doesn’t mean you’re playing it safe. Clinical studies show that unprotected anal sex has over twice the HIV risk of its vaginal counterpart.
- Condoms Have Tons of Uses
Even if you’ve decided you’d rather not have sex than do it with a condom on, it’s still beneficial to keep a few in the house! If you need to waterproof anything or just need a quick bit of latex for tying off something, condoms are good for lots of stuff other than fucking. And if you have them on hand for those occasions, you won’t be caught unawares if you ever need them for their intended purpose…
I’m always a little shaken by how little people know about condoms. Often enough, all people know about condoms are the problems they have with them. If I could address some of those greivances:
- I can’t feel anything with the condom on
You lucky duck. Here I am thinking about baseball and counting prime numbers to stop myself from finishing too fast, and all you have to do is make a prudent decision about the health of yourself and your partner. Pressuring partners into having unprotected sex with this line is disturbingly common.
I understand why. It’s a much more acceptable way of saying “I want to put us both at risk for some reason, and I’m going to bait you into agreeing with me by calling into question your desire for approval.”
- The condom is too tight, it cuts off circulation
I hope your partner isn’t too tight, then! For real though, try out all the different options on this chart before you decide that no condom in the world has enough room for your enormous pecker. If you’ve used every single one to no avail, then maybe invest in some female condoms.
- It takes too long to put it on
If several seconds is a sizable portion of the time you’re spending making love, you have bigger problems than condom use. If you feel like putting on a condom interrupts the flow of your session, there are plenty of sexy ways to get the condom on. Just like taking time in foreplay to get your partner ready, you shouldn’t have a problem with the time it takes to get yourself ready.
That’s just some stuff that I really wish someone had taught me back in the day when I had “sex ed”. Is there anything you wish you got taught about safe sex when you were in sex ed? Any important pieces of information about prophylactics I could add to the list? Feel free to drop those comments in the comments!