How to put on a condom: an easy-to-follow guide

With springtime being on everyone’s minds, it’s the perfect time to talk about the birds and the bees. Or better yet, the birds and the bees and the C’s, as in condoms. First of all, do you actually know how to put on a condom? It may sound like a weird question because putting condoms on penises or dildos probably seems pretty straightforward — or maybe a little bit curved to one side. In fact, knowing how to put a condom on makes using them in the first place more effective. 

According to Planned Parenthood, when you put a condom on correctly, it is 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. Because many don’t actually put them on correctly, they end up being 85% effective most of the time, Planned Parenthood reports. Since even a perfect condom application isn’t 100% effective in preventing pregnancy, women should still use an additional method of birth control.

When it comes to preventing STDs and STIs, condoms are the way to go. Even when using dildos and sex toys, condoms can prevent the spread of disease and infection. Since these so-called “gloves” are important for all kinds of frisky business, you may as well get familiar with the ins and outs — and ons and offs — of condoms.

Now get your condom out, and grab a banana.

A vibrator or dildo will do, too. Think of it this way: the more familiar you are with properly putting a condom on, the quicker you can get back to the actual fun stuff.

Step #1: Check the date

Not the person you’re about to have sex with, but the condom’s expiration date.


Because condoms do expire. If the last time you stocked up you also stopped at a Blockbuster to get a movie, you might want to re-stock. The date will be on the wrapper, so check there before you turn the lights off…or it could get awkward.

Step #2: Use scissors

No, that’s not a new sex move. Ripping open the condom wrapper with your teeth or hands could cause the condom to rip, too, and that is the last thing you want.

Step #3: Make sure it’s not inside out

This is where things get tricky. The rim of the condom, as in the part that ends up farther from the tip of the penis, should be on the outside of the tip of the condom. If you need to unroll it a little bit, to make sure that when you move your hand downward from the tip it unrolls, that will help you to make sure it’s on the right way.

As Planned Parenthood instructs, make sure you throw away a condom if you or your partner accidentally unrolls it inside out. It would be obvious as you would have to unroll it with your fingers on the inside of the condom. If that happens — and it does happen in the heat of the moment — don’t try to put the same condom on in the correct way (or there could end up being pre-ejaculate on the outside of the condom).

Step #4: Save room for semen


In order for the condom to properly catch sperm, and block it from entering you or your partner’s vagina, the condom needs to have room on the end when you put it on. To do this, pinch the tip of the condom and hold it above the tip of the penis. At this point, you might want to roll the foreskin down on an uncircumcised penis.


It’s also important to note that a penis should be fully erect before putting a condom on, Columbia University’s Go Ask Alice! advises.

Step #5: Roll it on down

While still holding the end of the condom at the top of the tip with one hand, use the other hand to roll the condom down to the base of the shaft. It should go all the way onto the penis so it’s completely covered, and you’ll want to smooth out any bumps or folds.

Feel free to add some lubricant at the same time.

There you have it, the A-Zs of condoms. After following these steps, you will be more free to have uninhibited — consensual — sexy time, and that’s the best kind there is.

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