December 17, 2010
Many folks writing in about HIV-transmission risk often tell me their condom broke, when in reality they actually never used one. It is just less guilt inducing to report their risk as a condom failure rather than a judgment failure. When used properly, condoms very rarely fail.
I just did a quick survey of the folks posting questions to my inbox over the last few days claiming to have had a condom break. There were over one hundred! I'd be willing to wager that if I cross-examined this group or gave them a dose of Professor Snape's Veritas potion (truth serum from the Harry Potter series), the vast majority would admit they never used the condom. So point number one: condoms will always "fail" if you choose not to use them!
What about those rare instances where the rubberized raincoat does spring a leak? The number one cause by far is user error. For instance, using expired condoms. If you've been carrying that glow-in-the-dark condom in your wallet since the Reagan Era, chances are it's well past its prime and about as trustworthy as Reagan's memory during his second term.
Condoms have expiration dates. So if you only get lucky infrequently, you'll need to keep an eye on when to replace this critical item in the goody drawer of your bedside nightstand. You also might reconsider the urge to purchase the economic jumbo pack at Costco. Really dude, look how long it took you to use the giant-sized jar of mustard you bought there. Do you really think you are going to use 300 condoms in the next few months?
Other tips to help avoid condom catastrophes:
I hear this frequently and often wonder: Dude, exactly where are you having sex? While attending ten o'clock mass at the cathedral? While skydiving? While scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef? Chances are if you keep a handy supply in your bag (gym bag, briefcase or whatever), coat pocket and bedside nightstand goody drawer, you should be "covered"! Don't keep them in your car or wallet, as heat exposure can weaken the latex. Think ahead! If you're going to drink and/or party or wind up at a strip club or massage palace, bring some condoms with you! Frevinsakes! Stop worrying about your reputation just because you carry condoms! It's shocking that 90% of women carry lip protection in their purses, but only 10% carry HIV protection (condoms).
Well hello Mr. Big! Condoms are supposed to be tight. If they weren't, they wouldn't stay in place once the ol' in-and-out gets into full swing (particularly if you're fond of certain positions like the reverse cowgirl/cowboy). For Italians and those built like them, there are longer-sized condoms available (Trojan Magnum, Maxx, Pleasure Plus or Durex). These really do fit those with "bigger" needs. Yes, dear reader, that even includes your anaconda-sized trouser snake. The ring at the base remains the same size to assure even these bigger brands stay in place. I'd suggest you unroll these size XXX-long condoms all the way before installing them on your throbbing tallywhacker. You can then put them on like you would a sock.
Well, if you don't "like" condoms, let me assure you you'll "hate" having HIV/AIDS much more.
Newer types of condoms (such as Maxx or Kimono) are high-quality thinner condoms. Yes, they are reliable. Remember to put a drop of slippery stuff in the tip of the condom to increase the "natural" feel. The water in water-based lubricants conducts heat better than latex, so having some water-based lube on the tip of your big bopper makes it more sensitive and consequently also makes the bopping more enjoyable.
No doubt condoms can be a turnoff due to the many bad associations we all have with them, including becoming Mr. Softy while trying to get the damned things out of those foil packets with slippery fingers and/or trying to be cool while attempting to decide which way is right side up. Add to this the fact some folks still only have sex in the dark (what's up with that?) and the entire issue of safer sex performance anxiety, and it's no wonder your tallywhacker gets so frustrated with condoms!
The best way to get over this is to practice -- by yourself! Yes, by yourself. You need to become adept at learning how to get condoms on while you've still got it up. Then enlist the help of a cooperative partner. He, she (or they) can assist in getting your soldier ready for combat. Also, just because Mr. Softy makes an untimely appearance once doesn't mean you should forego condoms forever! If you deflate while condomizing, talk it over with your partner and try it again, perhaps using a different technique. Practice does indeed make perfect hot safe sex. Despite what you may believe, your brain is your biggest sex organ! You need to put your mind at ease by making condoms a routine habit.
I should also mention a new and possibly improved method for quicker quickies. Sensis has recently decided the centuries-old latex protector could benefit from modern technology. They have added two detachable Band-Aid-like pull-tabs for their new line of condoms. This purportedly eliminates roll-down mistakes and allows for very speedy condomizing. The new improved variety should help decrease other condom missteps, such as scratching the latex with Barbra Streisand (or drag queen) fingernails or putting the latex suit on inside out.
These are only five of the numerous "coulda, shoulda, woulda" reasons that, when it comes to the dance-with-no-pants, condoms stay in foil wrappers rather than adorning (and protecting) throbbing tallywackers. Meanwhile every 9.5 minutes another person in the United States joins the ranks of the positively charged and begins his journey of life with HIV/AIDS.
Want to get in touch with Dr. Bob? You can reach him through his "Ask the Experts" forum, by sending a message to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation, or by leaving a comment for him below. (If it's a private message, or if it includes personal info such as your e-mail address or phone number, we won't post the comment, but we will send it along to him.)