Using condoms every time you have anal sex is very effective HIV prevention. Unlike PrEP, they also protect you from many other sexually transmitted infections.
Not all condoms are the same – they come in different sizes, and different brands will have a different feel. It’s worth taking some time by yourself to try lots of them out so you can choose the ones that are most comfortable for you. Make sure they’re in date – there should always be an expiry date on the packaging.
Take some time to practice when you’re by yourself so you’ll feel confident when you’re with a partner. Make sure the fit feels right – if you’re having trouble rolling it down or if it’s uncomfortable then it’s probably too tight. It if feels baggy, it’s too loose and could slip off.
Using two condoms won’t make them any safer –in fact that can make them more likely to break so don’t double-bag! Using lots of lube will reduce friction and enhance comfort. Don’t put lube inside the condom as that can make them more likely to break too. When using latex condoms make sure the lube is water based as anything oil based damages them.
Using a condom to cover shared sex toys can help prevent infections. If you are sharing sex toys with someone, make sure you change the condom each time the toy is passed from one person to another.
There are lots of helpful videos on line if you’ve never used a condom before. Perhaps you want to try something more advanced? We asked adult performer Gabriel Phoenix for his tips on putting on a condom using your mouth.
Learn more about HIV prevention and how HIV is transmitted.