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9 Steps for Correct Condom Usage

A quick refresher because you, like my side piece, probably don’t do all of them.

Photo: Celina Albertz, Unsplash

I was already on top, but he was the one who grabbed the condom out of the drawer next to my bed. You know, that drawer. The sex drawer. The one that has your lube and your blindfolds and your handcuffs and your cock rings and your condoms. Okay, maybe yours isn’t a drawer. Maybe yours is a little box. Or a big box.

He ripped the condom open with his teeth.

“Wooooah babe!” I said with my eyes wild. “Don’t you know you can damage the condom like that?”

“Girl,” he clapped back, “Don’t YOU know I’ve been opening condoms for years?”

Incorrect condom usage as the main with a side of mansplaining — just what I ordered.

I snatched a different, un-teeth-opened condom out of my drawer and asked him to tell me every single step for correct condom usage. He looked at me like I was crazy. I looked at him like I could do this all day.

He knew that I worked in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for a living, teaching kids about healthy relationships and consent. But what he didn’t know was that his three-times-a-week, super casual, hit-it-and-quit-it side piece was making a pit stop at her kids’ SRHR school this morning on her way to ecstasy. Whether he liked it or not, he was gon’ learn today!

Step 1

I watched as he checked the expiration date, made him read it out loud to me.

Step 2

He pushed the condom to the opposite side of the wrapper before he tore it open (with his fingers, not teeth) from the perforated edge.

Step 3

He figured out what side of the condom was right side up so that he didn’t attempt to slide it down the wrong way.

Step 4

I winked at him as he grabbed himself to ensure his penis was fully erect before putting on the (male) condom.

Step 5

He rolled it all the way down his shaft, as far as it could go. He grabbed the tip to remove any air bubbles and make sure there was space for the ejaculate later on.

At this point, I decided to ask him a couple probing questions to make him share a bit more about the aftermath. Needed to be thorough, you know.

Step 6

He said he’d check the condom during the act whenever we changed positions, make sure it wasn’t broken.

Step 7

He talked about removing himself fully out of my vagina after he ejaculated, not just hanging out in there with his little guys swimming around in the condom waiting to see if today would be their lucky day. He reiterated that his penis should still be slightly erect when removing the used condom.

Step 8

He would twist and tie the used condom into a knot to prevent any leakage, then throw it away in the trash can — not flush it and clog up my toilet.

“Pro tips…,” I finally chimed in. Based on his stellar performance on this pop quiz thus far, I’m certain he already knew what I was about to say. But hey, since we were already doing this…

“Condoms can only be used once, and always use a water-based lubricant so you don’t compromise the latex. You can’t use two condoms at once — either two males or two females or a male and a female condom together, and the correct steps for female and male condom usage are largely similar except where you put them.

“Last step to actually using this thing properly,” I said smiling. Step #9. The most important step:

“Do you have a consenting sexual partner with whom you’d like to use this condom?”

His eyes were rolling but his lips were smiling. He didn’t have to say anything for me to know exactly what he was thinking. He was thinking: you didn’t think I would pass your little test, huh? He was also thinking: you go through all of this with 13 year-olds?!

“Well,” he moaned, “Would you finally like to have sex with me?”

I said yes and jumped on him.

Now every time he comes over, he opens the sex drawer and hands me the condom.

Nicole Banister is the Founder & Commissioner of My Basketball Team, a digital storytelling platform that shares short stories about relationships and intimacy submitted anonymously by people around the world. Nicole also works for a global nonprofit organization where she stewards multinational partnerships that ensure kids have access to youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services.

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Nicole Banister

Nicole Banister

I host a celebrity interview series on Instagram Live. But every now and then, I write.