There may be reasons as to why some young people don’t like using condoms, even though we know that using condoms correctly and consistently can help protect against HIV and STIs. And, as today is International Condom Day (14th February), there’s no better time to bust some condom myths!
Recent Public Health England statistics show that both the BAME community and gay men were among the groups that had the highest rates of new STI diagnoses in 2017.
‘Condoms are a very effective way to take care of your sexual health as they provide a barrier that stops sperm, viruses and bacteria getting from one person to another,’ says Phil Samba Health Improvement Specialist for queer men of colour at Terrence Higgins Trust.
‘The right condom is out there for everyone, it’s not one size fits all. There are flavoured latex-free ones, ribbed ones, thicker ones and thinner ones – there are condoms which will not only fit, but increase sensations and enhance pleasure for both you and your partner(s)..’
There are so many inaccurate myths out there that are preventing people from using condoms and this International Condom Day we believe it’s time to start exposing them for what they really are – poor excuses!
Here are just a few that we’ve heard recently….
‘Condoms are too small for me’
This myth has been around for the longest time and it becomes funnier each time we hear it. Your condom is too small? Well, get a bigger one! To find out the best option for you, use the Condom Quiz on the It Starts With Me website and order a free condom and lube pack.
There is a right condom out there for everyone. Penises may come in a whole range of different shapes and sizes – but condoms do too. For example, if you do find XL condoms too big, then you should try a smaller option they are usually marketed as snug, trim or close fit.
‘It doesn’t feel the same with condoms’
From Durex, to Pasante to Skyn nearly every brand of condoms out there have an ultra thin option. If you feel uncomfortable using condoms, try ‘extra-thin’ or ‘ultra-thin’ condoms. Some of them feel like you’re not wearing a condom. Studies have shown that standard, natural or thin condoms are no more likely to break than thicker ones (including during anal sex).
If you’re experiencing discomfort when using condoms then try taking our condom quiz, after taking the quiz you can also sign up to get your hands on our FREE condom pack.
‘Using two condoms provide better protection against STIs’
This could not be any more wrong! Using two condoms does not equal extra protection and that’s a fact! Doing this could actually make you more exposed to STIs and make the condoms less effective. With both condoms rubbing against each other, more friction can occur between them. This makes it more likely that one or both of the condoms can tear.
So please stop wasting your condoms, one will do the trick!
‘Putting on condoms interferes with my erection’
Condoms should be as convenient as possible, so if they are affecting your performance in the bedroom then that’s definitely a problem!
If this is the case for you then there are two things you can do. You can incorporate putting on the condom during foreplay and/or you can try gripping the base of you or your partners penis before you put it on – this traps the blood, helping to keep the penis hard. It also might be worth trying a brand that has larger condoms, such as Trojan Magnum or Pleasure Plus, as you may find these be less restrictive around your penis.
‘If your allergic to latex you can’t use condoms’
Yes, you can’t use latex condoms, but there is absolutely nothing stopping you from using latex-free ones. There’s a latex free option when you order free condoms and lube from the It Starts With Me website. Most condoms are made from latex, which some people are allergic to. If condoms make you (or your partner’s) skin irritated or itchy, then try non-latex or latex-free condoms, which you can literally find any and everywhere, so no excuses!