In honor of STD Awareness Month, we’ve decided this Method Monday to feature the only method of birth control available on the U.S. market that protects against both pregnancy and STDs (a.k.a. STIs). You know it, you love it, you probably think of it every time you hear the phrase “safe sex.” It’s…the condom!
The condom comes in two forms—external (which we refer to as the male condom on Bedsider) and internal (which we call the female condom)—and both protect against STIs. We did a Method Monday post about the condom for vaginas recently—check it out if you haven’t already—so this Monday we’re focusing on the condom for penises. So what is there to know?
- It’s available in flavors, so you can use it more pleasantly for oral sex. That’s good news since some STIs can be transmitted via oral sex.
- Two is not better than one when it comes to condoms.
- We won’t say that using a condom feels exactly the same as not using one, but it’s hardly like wearing a rain coat. (Some folks even say they feel great and/or that they help guys last longer.)
- Condoms may not be one size fits all—but we have it on good authority that the normal ones can fit around a human head. And then there are condoms that are designed for the well-endowed, like Magnums. In other words, if he says he’s too big, he’s not trying hard enough.
- Most condoms are made of latex (and most people are not allergic to it), but if one of you has a latex allergy, there are other options.
- 30% of young adults in the U.S. say they know little or nothing about condoms, and 11% of folks who had a condom fail said it was because they used a sharp object to open the wrapper.
- Which brings us to our last point: condoms work best if you use them right. We’ve got information on how on Bedsider—or, if you have an iPhone, download Condom Pro, a game we made to help you get some practice.
Last year, New York City health workers gave out 37.2 million condoms. That works out to an average of 70 condoms every minute of the year. The city got into mass-scale condom distribution to help prevent the spread of debilitating and deadly diseases.
On the other hand, the condoms are also used to mark people for arrest on prostitution charges.
One arm of the government is giving people condoms. Another arm is confiscating them from the very people who are most vulnerable to catching bugs and passing them along. How, precisely, does this make sense?"
Good piece in the New York Times about the condoms as evidence issue, with some quotes by me as well as Sienna Baskin from the Sex Workers Project.