Why not wear 2 latex condoms???

Question

Hi. I have an extremely healthy (and frequent) sex life. I practice safer sex all the time. The main issue for me is: Do I wear 1 or 2 condoms? I wear 2 condoms 90% of the time, and occasionally wear only 1 when I feel adventurous. Given the possibility of condom failures, I theorized that putting on 2 would provide an added level of safety in case something happens to the outer one. So far, no problems. Also, it gives me substantial peace of mind w/o getting worried. Question: If 1 condom enough, and wouldn't 2 be better?? If so, why not recommend that people always wear 2 instead of 1? Thanks.

Answer

I do not know of any studies that examine the effectiveness of using two condoms (some people refer to it as "double bagging"). I do not advise people to double-bag for this very reason; we don't know if it actually reduces condom failures. It's possible that two condoms do protect you further, but I don't know if the two condoms reduce effectiveness. For instance, it's possible that two together actually cause greater friction, thus damaging the integrity of the condom. What I do know is that it will decrease sensitivity to the penis during sex.

Working in HIV prevention, I struggle with getting people to use one condom. If people use one condom most or all of the time, then I am encouraged. If we start telling people that they need to use two condoms, they might become discouraged and not use them at all. And what does this tell us about the reliability of one condom? I would assume that manufacturers would make condoms thicker if they thought it would help.

For now, if using two condoms makes you feel more comfortable, go ahead. Using one correctly is just as important. If people out there have any feedback on this topic, I'd be more than happy to read it and/or post it.

RMK