YEP Crew Blog Post – Matthew Bacon: Pleasure-based Condom Usage

So we have all been told that we should wear condoms and in an ideal world we all definitely should. They not only are a good form of contraception but also a great method of preventing many STI’s. Condoms do not prevent all STI’s; some skin on skin contact infections are not prevented but as far as contraception goes they are a barrier method that prevent against most STI’s. Despite the general consensus that they are very beneficial after handing out free condoms for 4 years through numerous jobs and volunteer work, I know just how few people happily take a condom and get super, super, super, super excited to wear them. I have heard every excuse UNDER THE SUN as to why people don’t want to wear condoms; I’m too big, they hurt, I can’t stay hard, you can’t feel anything, they just break. I have become very, very, very good at advertising condoms, and after my years of trialling different types of condoms, sizes, shapes, lubricated, flavoured etc., I have gotten to the place where condoms are not a nuisance, but a way of minimising clean up, staying safe and allowing me to stay confident and comfortable during my sexual encounters. Before women and partners sign off knowing these things can be useful when you want to negotiate condom usage with a new partner.

So here it is, my list of pleasure based condom usage:

  1. Make sure that the condom is completely rolled down. In case people don’t know, condom sizes are not measured by length. I know it’s surprising to hear but you can be 12 inches and still be a smaller sized condom purely based on your girth, where as someone who is not as long but has quite a large member based on girth is a larger size. Meaning that condoms are pretty much the same length. Some people that say condoms are too tight feel this way because there is a lot of latex all folded over at the end which increase the tightness. By bunching the condom up around the shaft and rolling the condom all the way down it can prevent that “being choked” feeling.
  2.  Lubricant. I have met so many people, particularly young men, who say they don’t need lubricant….. WRONG lubricant is created for sex, masturbation and pleasure. Lubricant on the outside of the condom decreases the likelihood of condom breakage, but when used on the inside and in moderation this makes condom usage more pleasurable. By moderation I mean nothing more than a pea sized drop on the head. Also making sure the lubricant being used is silicone or water based NO OIL BASED LUBRICANTS.
  3. Third hint, experiment with different types of condoms. There are so many condoms, not just brands but sizes, shapes flavours, colours etc. You can get condoms that have a bigger head to allow easier foreskin movement. There are condoms that are ribbed for your partner’s enjoyment. You can get condoms that vibrate. Moral of the story: there are lots of different condoms. My personal favourite is Skyn extra lubricated but as I have said, shop around. Look at the sides of the box so that you know how big the condoms are.
  4. Practice putting them on. This sounds silly but wear them while you masturbate if you really don’t like wearing them. A lot of difficulties with condoms can be mental and by making them a part of your sexual script, you can make wearing them far more pleasurable.

In terms of protection from STI’s condoms are the most effective method of prevention. Condoms may not be a part of your monogamous long term relationship if you have had your STI screenings done outside of window periods and if you have other methods of contraception and maybe they will be. One thing for sure is that knowing how to make them as comfortable as possible is always advantageous.

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Jesse Altham

Hey! My name is Jesse and I’m a 23 year old from Fremantle, WA. I’m finishing up my Diploma of Youth Work with North Metro TAFE, completing my last practical placement here with the YEP crew. I am extremely passionate about politics, advocacy and education and I’m so fortunate to be working with YEP in the space of peer education.

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