Kicking off seven days of safe sex, how fitting is it that Valentine’s Day marks the first day of National Condom Week? What an excellent reminder for everyone who’s active to always plan ahead and use protection!
Safety is essential all year round, but during February, a condom crash course is a smart idea if “making whoopie” is on the menu. Let’s face it, there’s more to Valentine’s Day than cards, chocolates, and champagne. Let’s talk about the other big C – condoms – and kick off this week with a bang.
Use It or Lose It?
Condoms don’t last a lifetime. They have a shelf life with an expiration date that’s there for a reason. Effectiveness will diminish once the printed date passes. If your box has been in your possession longer than you’d like to admit, check the date before using an old condom with your date. It’s worth the fresh purchase for your peace of mind.
Here are three additional reasons to toss your condom rather than take a chance:
- If you’ve opened one but didn’t use it yet, a condom left uncovered and exposed to who-knows-what is not only a bacterial balloon but it’ll get dried up and decrepit. Let go of your “exposed” condom and buy another that’s still wrapped ‘till you’re ready.
- Sex can be mind-blowing, but don’t let it take over your mind completely. In a careless attempt to “bag it up,” you may do so incorrectly. Perhaps you put it on inside out, tugged so hard it tore, or dropped it on the dirty carpet. This is not a condom you want to consider. Grab another and get back to, “Where were we?”
- Wallets are meant for cash, cards, photos, and (if you’re lucky) phone numbers. They’re not the ideal environment for condoms that can get crushed or otherwise compromised. So, if you get lucky, slide on a condom that hasn’t been warming up in your wallet since you put it there as a teen.
All in all, when in doubt, throw it out. But replace it with another before you score.
Safety with a Smile
Need a reason to run out for a new box of condoms or a strategy to get your partner to be protected? Add some fun and flair to your bedroom bliss with a splash of color. From neon to prints to glow-in-the-dark-to pretty pastels, condoms come in more ways than one. Liven up the mood as you make the sex safer.
You can also add some condom creativity with flavored condoms, ‘ribbed for pleasure’ prophylactics, even condoms with fun wrappers to lighten the mood. Variety is the spice of life, so switch ‘em up and keep things hot.
Most condoms we see at stores are made of latex (essentially, rubber). But if you’re allergic, using one could make your safe sex efforts excruciating. There’s no need (or good reason) to forgo condoms altogether when there are some available alternatives that are reliable and recommended.
- Polyurethane: Made of plastic, this is a safe swap that works well in the event of an allergy to latex.
- Polyisoprene: Made of synthetic rubber, you’ll get a similar feel without the fear of an allergic outbreak.
- Lambskin: Made of sheep intestines, these help prevent pregnancy, but don’t necessarily protect against STDs. So only use if you and your partner have been tested and are clean, and remain monogamous.
Now that you’re more condom conscious and aware of the dos and don’ts of “doing it,” you can safely celebrate National Condom Week without worry. Remember to restock on condoms of all sorts, keep them stored properly, and use one every time you engage with a partner. So much for chocolates when, “Life is like a box of condoms!”