Condoms 101

What are condoms?

Well, we’re pretty sure you’re aware of what condoms are. But where to they fit in?

If you’re on PrEP or using TasP do you need to worry about using condoms? Well, honestly that’s entirely up to you. As long as you are making informed decisions about your sexual health you should choose the tools that work for you. Just because you use one, doesn’t mean you can’t use the others. As Ru Paul says, you can use every colour in the crayon box.

Why condoms?

Condoms have been a staple of HIV prevention since the outbreak of the pandemic. Condoms are cheap (often free), relatively easy to use, and effective. But! Condoms aren’t forgiving.¬†unlike TasP or PrEP – condoms need to be used during your sex session. TasP and PrEP allow you to separate your HIV prevention from the act of sex. Condoms only work if they find their way out of the drawer and onto your cock.

What about STIs?

If you’re using PrEP and TasP you need to be aware of other STIs.

If you’re using condoms you STILL need to be aware of other STIs.


Wait, what?

Condoms don’t protect against ALL STIs. Herpes, crabs, and other bugs can spread from person to person even if you’re using condoms.

The STIs condoms can protect against don’t always do that either. If you enjoy oral sex you’ll probably never have used a condom or other barrier method when getting orally fixated.

Recent evidence also shows that gonnorhoea¬†can be spread by smacking tonsils, so no matter what your chosen method of protection is – you’re bound to get an STI along the road at some stage.

Are they safe?

Condoms are very safe to use. There are essentially no risks in using condoms unless you have a latex allergy – in which case alternatives are available. It’s important to pick the right size wrapper for your tool. If you find condoms uncomfortable to wear, you might have the wrong size (try them all out, and have fun doing it)

Condoms are the cheapest and most readily available way to look after your sexual health, however, hey don’t do the trick for everyone. Condoms also leave the majority of the power in a sexual dynamic with the insertive partner, and they only protect you if you take it out of your pocket and slip it on.

If condoms are the best way for you to protect yourself it’s important to keep up a regular testing regime. For sexually active gay men, or other men who have sex with men it’s a good idea to get tested every three months. Seasonal testing is a great way to keep your schedule ship-shape.

You can also use a test-reminder service like Time To Test to schedule a reminder direct to your phone or email.

What if I forget, slip up, or the condom breaks?

No biggie!

If you only use condoms, and have a slip up (who hasn’t) – don’t panic! You can access PEP to protect yourself from HIV.

If you’ve used PEP more than once, PrEP might be worth looking into.