Many people think putting on a condom is basic knowledge. Condoms are 99% effective when used correctly. Condoms are only about 80% effective when not used correctly or consistently. 

15 Steps to Putting On a Condom 

1. Ask for consent 

NEVER ASSUME CONSENT. Sexual body language does not = consent. The lack of “no” does not = yes. Be sure to have a confident and enthusiastic “yes!” Consent can be reversed or taken back at any time. 

2. Discuss safer sex

So you’re deciding to use a condom to protect against STI’s and pregnancy. (Congrats!) Have an honest talk about safer sex with your partner incluing last STI test, secondary form of birth control, and more. 

3. Acquire condoms 

Don’t find yourself in need of a condom and not have one. There are many different kinds of condoms: ribbed, thin, and studded. Be sure to find out if you or your partner has a latex allergy!

The majority of penises do not need a magnum condom. Don’t buy magnums to impress! Your partner will know if you really don’t need the magnum (embarrassing). You may risk the condom being too loose and falling off, and this defeats the point of wearing a condom. 

4. Store condoms in a cool dry place 

While many people have learned to always keep a condom in their wallet or car, heat can damage condoms. While it is always safe to be prepared, make sure you never leave condoms in places where the condom can get damaged. Heat can deteriorate condoms in hard-to-detect ways. 

5. Check expiration date of condom 

Do not assume that the condom is still good.  Many people don’t realize how long they have had their condoms. Check the expiration date of each condom. 

6. Check for integrity of condom

The condom wrapper should still be intact. Check for holes, tears, and any damage. Air bubbles inside a condom wrapper can help you identify if the condom wrapper has been damaged. If you can’t feel the air bubble by pressing the condom wrapper, fold the wrapper in half, and the air bubble will be easier to identify.


7. Tear the wrapper, not the condom

Push the condom aside inside the wrapper, so you don’t tear the condom when opening wrapper. Be sure to open the condom wrapper using the perforated edges. 

8. Check condom positioning 

Some people say “party hat” and others say “baby bottle” when describing what the condom should look like when it is in the correct position to be rolled onto a penis. An easier way to tell (especially if you’re in the dark) is to unroll the condom once to see if it unrolls easily. If not, the condom needs to be flipped to the correct position. 

9. Put on condom

Put on condom ASAP. Precum is involuntary and may contain sperm. This is why the “pullout method” and “just the tip” doesn’t work.

Only put on a condom on an erect penis. As you put the condom on the tip of the penis, use one hand to pinch the reservoir tip before rolling down condom. Roll down the condom to the base of the penis. Do not stop pinching the reservoir tip until after condom is fully on. The reservoir tip is used to collect all precum and ejaculate. If you don’t pinch the tip before putting the condom on, ejaculate will have nowhere to go and may be ineffective in preventing STIs and pregnancy.

If you put the condom on a penis incorrectly, do not reverse condom and try again. Use a new condom! 

10. Have sex 😉 

Assume ejaculation has occurred, and that there is semen in the condom.

11. During withdrawal, hold base of penis before penis goes flaccid 

If the penis loses its erection, the condom may fall off, possibly inside the parter, defeating the purpose of wearing a condom.


12. Turn away from partner before removing condom 

Do not take off condom near partner as ejaculate may get on partner, increasing the risk of STIs and pregnancy.


13. Discard condom in trash can 

Most sewer and septic systems can not handle condoms. For sanitary purposes, many people tie the ends of the condom or place inside a tissue before disposing in the trash.

14. Urinate

Prevent UTIs (Urinary Tract Infection). It is especially important for people with a vagina to urniate after sex as their urethras are shorter than people with a penis, causing higher risk for UTIs.


15. Wash up!

Try showering with your partner. Talk about what you liked or didn’t like about your intimate experience together. At the very least, wash your hands.


Common Condom Issues

Issue: Condom falls off

Solution: Condom is too big

Issue: Condom breaks/tears

Solution: Use more lube 

You can put a drop of lube inside condom to enhance condom-wearing pleasure. Don’t forget to put lube on your partner too! 

Issue: Taking off condom during sex

Solution: Don’t do it

It is also very important for partners to watch as one puts on a condom to assure a condom is in place and used correctly.

Issue: Flavored condoms

Solution: Only use these during oral sex