In the Philippines, religion, social perceptions, and accessibility to condoms are just a few of the barriers to condom use. On the other hand, the figures suggesting a rise in HIV infections gives more urgency to the need to use condoms and practice safe sex. An article in Rappler bemoans the continued low use of condoms despite the many efforts of advocacy groups such as LoveYourself. In 2013, only 37% of sexually active Filipinos use condoms, 13% of which believe that HIV is not transmitted through unprotected, or condom-free, sex. This suggests that information and advocacy programs, though present, have not fully covered key population sectors, such as the youth, of which only a quarter are equipped with sufficient knowledge about HIV/AIDS and protecting oneself from getting infected, at the collegiate level. Equipping ourselves with knowledge is no longer a luxury or a privilege but a necessity.
“Condoms, when used correctly and consistently, are highly effective in preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections,” the World Health Organization (WHO) stressed.
You don’t need to know rocket science to figure out how to use a condom. However, as easy as it sounds to just put them on and do your business, several steps and precautions should be followed to ensure that they serve their purpose which is to prevent the spread of HIV or other STIs
While these things are made to protect us, they’re not made of steel. To make sure that they’re in good condition when you use them in action, know the following commandments on condom use:-
- Make sure that they’re placed in a cool dry place and please check the expiration date before putting them on – These things maybe designed for durability but they’re most definitely not indestructible to wear and tear. Be mindful of its expiration date, there’s a chance that they’ll break or be brittle if they’re way past the date they should be used.
- Keep one near you – You never know when you need one. We may try to abstain doing the deed, but just to be safe, when something unpredictable transpires it’s best to have one nearby.
- Consistently use it – Never take a gamble when to use it. One unprotected encounter may cost you a lot.
- Follow the instructions when opening it – There’s a reason why the edges are not aligned, it’s so you can easily open it. So, next time you want to be sexy and open it with your teeth, think again. Our teeth are sharp and it can damage the content.
- Use condoms with proper lubricant – Yes, these things are lubed up. However, if it dries up during friction, breakage is the next thing that’ll happen. Don’t use oil based lubes like lotion and petroleum jelly as they make condoms prone to tearing. Go for water based lubes.
- Put in on the way it should be put on – Don’t forget to pinch the tip of the condom to remove the air so when you excrete your load, it’ll go directly to that small sac. The same way you should properly put it on, removing it properly is also necessary. Pinch or roll the small sac and carefully pull it out to prevent leakage.
- Throw it away properly – Keep it classy. Wrap it up in tissue and make sure that you tie the end with a knot. And, in this case, never wash and recycle for obvious reasons.
How to put on a condom
During sexual intercourse, condoms are worn to prevent the transmission of the virus through the transfer of semen from one guy to another. The first step in the process is getting the penis erect. And the rest is easy as:
- Carefully open the packet, taking care not to tear the condom wrapped in it.
- Hold the tip of the condom between your forefinger and your thumb and while making sure that no air is trapped in, slowly roll it down the shaft of the penis while it is erect
- If it doesn’t roll down, then you’re probably have it inside out. Get another condom as it may have precum or semen on it.
- Make sure that you still have it on while having sex. If it comes off, it’s best to get another one.
- After ejaculation, make sure that your trap the semen on the tip before sliding it off the still erect penis.
- Wrap it up and throw it away.
Yes, you may be thinking that it’s embarrassing to buy rubber at your nearest convenience store.
Nowadays, there are numerous types of condoms available in the market from the material used, sensation, to functionality. Aside from it being a contraceptive, condoms now serve other purposes to give people who buy them more options. Back then, condoms were just vanilla or plain, now, there are different flavors that help spice up your sexual encounters with your partner. As for the material, the most common is latex which is safe and durable. There’s also no excuse not to wear them because of the size because condoms come in different sizes. They’re also elastic and can fit just right with any penis size.
Some popular brands that are available in the market right now are Contempo, Trojan, LifeStyles, Durex, Kimono, Feel, and Line One Laboratories. Majority of condoms in the market are made of latex and polyurethane, the latter for people allergic to latex. To keep up with the various needs of people, manufacturers have released condoms that differ in size, shapes, thickness like flavored condoms, ultra thin, ribbed, and the come in different colors including glow in the dark.
It’s a common misconception that condoms are pricey and are expensive that’s why people opt to avoid using it. Condoms in the market are priced from 40 and up. Purchasing and using condoms is a smart move; money wise and health wise. Condoms can be easily purchased from major pharmacies such as Mercury Drug and Watsons, convenience stores such as Mini Stop, 7-11, and Family Mart, and supermarket chains such as Robinsons.
Why use condoms?
There are many reasons why you should use a condom during sexual intercourse. Aside from contraception and the different types of condom that enhance and further stimulate the intimate activity, it’s a safeguard from life threatening diseases like STIs and HIV. There has been an alarming increase in the HIV cases every month.
If you are sexually active and doing casual sex, it won’t hurt to wear condoms as there are condoms that are designed to cater to various needs including those that are so thin that they’re barely there. There’re also condoms that are ribbed that produces more friction. So there is really no reason for you to be afraid of wearing them. Lastly, it does not only save yourself but it also saves others. If you do not know your status, it’s advisable to get tested and always practice safe sex. With the rampant increase in STI and HIV, a simple gesture of wearing one can protect you from most infections. The frightening fact about this is not everyone is open to get tested.
In times like these where there’s a spike in the number of people testing positive with HIV, the best way to keep our status negative is to practice safe sex. Hygiene clinics and health centers are some of the places you can get free condoms and lube. And of course, you can go to any LoveYourself clinics to get them. While you’re there, might as well get tested and know your status.