Think ya know it all? Well, indulge us and review the basics anyway. Condom breakage is often the result of improper use, so learn to use them correctly.

Outside Condom

An outside condom is a sexual protection barrier that can be used for penetrative and oral sex involving a penis. Outside condoms are designed to contain the bodily fluids (such as semen or ejaculate) that are released during sex. This prevents sexual partner(s) from being exposed to anyone’s fluids but their own.

Outside condoms can be purchased at convenience stores, grocery stores, and drugstores. They can be purchased at any age and are often free at many health centers and STI testing clinics, as well as the sisters!

For those with a latex allergy, use a non-latex condom made with polyisoprene or polyurethane.

Inside Condom

An inside condom (commonly referred to as a female condom) is a sexual protection barrier that can be used for penetrative sex involving a front hole/vagina or anus.

Inside condoms are designed to line the wall of the front hole/vagina or anus in order to prevent bodily fluids from coming into contact with the toy or body part penetrating it.

Inside condoms are often harder to find than outside condoms. Only one brand is available in the United States, but health clinics often have them. They’re also available by prescription.

How to use an inside condom

  • First, check the expiration date on the condom package. If you’re too drunk to find the expiration date, you’re too drunk to be having sex!
  • Don’t use condoms that have been exposed to heat or light (or the one that has been sitting in your wallet since 7th grade) Use foil wrapped condoms, not clear-plastic wrapped novelty condoms.
  • Carefully tear open the package... and not with your teeth!
  • Pinch the reservoir tip in between your fingers and unroll the condom all the way down the erect penis, making sure to leave the reservoir tip at the end and making sure to get all the air out.
  • Use PLENTY of water based or silicone based lubricant, especially if you are having anal sex.
  • NOTE: Oil based lubricants or lotions like massage oils or Vaseline will destroy the condom!! Remember, failure to use enough can cause the condom to break with friction and may cause physical injury and or discomfort to your partner.
  • Pay attention to the condom’s position on the penis during sex. Make sure it is rolled down the whole shaft of the penis and that it hasn’t slipped off.
  • After intercourse, while the penis is still erect, grasp the condom as you pull out. Only then you should remove the condom.
  • Wrap the used condom in tissue and toss it in the garbage. Don’t flush it! Don’t tie the end up, since air kills HIV and some other infectious agents, and sealing up the condom could just prolong the life of the virus.
  • Never reuse a condom.
  • Put a new condom on if you are switching between vaginal and anal sex, or vaginal and oral sex, or oral and anal sex.

How to use an inside condom

  • Just like with outside condoms, make sure to use a new condom that’s not expired.
  • Open the condom gently. Be careful to only tear the wrapper, not the condom.
  • Take a look at the condom before putting in on. Keep your eyes out of for any tears or unusual bumps.
  • Unlike an outside condom (which has one rim/ring), inside condoms have two rims/rings. One rim is closed, and the other is open. This creates a space between the two rims that protects the penetrating toy or body part from the bodily fluids secreted by the front hole/vagina or anus.
  • Apply a small amount of lube to the outside of the closed end of the condom. This is the part of the condom that will be inserted inside.
  • Different people have different preferences about the best way to insert an inside condom into the front hole/vagina or anus. A couple options include inserting it while sitting on the edge of a chair, standing, or lying down. Before inserting the condom inside, pinch the closed rim/ring with your fingers so the width is small enough to place inside the hole opening.
  • Push the closed, pinched rim as far back as possible, allowing the condom to line as much of the internal hole as possible. After it’s placed as far back as possible, remove your finger and allow the open rim of the condom to hang out of the hole opening. There should be around an inch of condom hanging.
  • When used for sex, a partner will insert a body part or toy into the open rim of the inside condom.
  • After sex, the penetrating partner should remove the toy or body part from the inside condom slowly.
  • Gently pinch the open rim of the condom together as you pull the remaining part of the condom from inside the body.
  • Throw the condom in the trash. Use a new one for another sexual act.

Dams (also known as dental dams)​

A dam is a sexual protection barrier used during oral sex to help decrease the risk of contracting or transmitting an STI, such as gonorrhea, HPV, or herpes.

Dams can be used with lots of different body parts, including a front hole/vagina, clitoris, and anus. Even though oral sex involving a penis has a higher risk of STI transmission, it’s important to know that oral sex involving other body parts still presents risks.

Dams can be harder to find in stores than outside condoms. You can create your own dam by cutting open an outside condom and using it as a barrier between body parts. Check out this step-by-step guide to get you started.

How to use a dam

  • Open the dam packaging gently. Be careful to only tear the wrapper, not the dam.
  • Unfold the dam all the way, ensuring it’s large enough to cover the area of the body where oral sex will be performed.
  • Apply a small amount of lube to the genitals or anus of the partner receiving oral sex. This increases pleasure and serves as a form of protection.
  • Place the dam over the body part where oral sex will be performed, keeping it in place between the mouth and body part using one partner’s hands.
  • During oral sex, be sure to keep the side of the dam that’s against a body part facing the body. Don’t switch sides.
  • When finished, throw the dam away. Don’t reuse it on another body part or with another partner.

Everything You Need to Know About Using a Dental Dam