Donate Now
  New Poll  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » Birth Control Experiences: Condoms (Page 1)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: Birth Control Experiences: Condoms
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For those looking into the different methods of birth control to find what's right for them, here's one of several threads where users can report their experiences with a given method so that other users can get a more personal idea of what using a given method is like when they're looking into what might work best for them.

If you have used or do use this method, please report on it in the following format:

Pros: List what you have experienced as the pros or benefits -- the good parts -- of using this method.

Cons: List what you've experienced as the downsides or cons of using this method.

Ease of use: Talk about how easy -- or not -- it's been for you and/or your partner to use, access and afford this method, how it's worked out in your relationships, etc.

Effectiveness: Talk about how well this method has protected you from pregnancy, and if it ever has failed, note that, including any explanation of how or why, if you know or suspect how or why.

Feel free to also add any extra notes, hints or tips!

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Alea
Activist
Member # 31146

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Alea     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pros: Easy to access, fairly inexpensive, prevent STD's, and you can tell when a condom fails.

Cons: Takes time to find the right type of condom for you - some can be uncomfortable, and they do dull sensation. I've found that sex without the right type of condom and lube can be worse than no sex at all. Sometimes, hunting for condoms can make my partner lose his erection - that can be a big downer, so make sure to keep them easily accesible.

Ease of use: Condoms look trickier to use than they really are. The biggest problem we've had with condoms has been telling which way they roll down when it's harder to see. If you start to roll a condom down the wrong way, it should be thrown away, and we've gone through a few condoms that way. On the plus side, condoms are really affordable. Especially if you order them off the internet - I've found plenty of sites that carry a wide variety of condoms at more reasonable prices than local stores, and they come discretely packaged.

Effectiveness: I've had condom failure happen once, the first time my partner and I had intercourse. The condom slipped off, and we think it's because we used too much lubricant inside the condom itself. In our experience, not using lubricant inside the condom has actually made for more enjoyable sex.

--------------------
Obscurity is the refuge of the incompetent.

Posts: 58 | From: Corvallis, Oregon | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Karybu
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 20094

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Karybu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pros: Easy to get, relatively cheap, prevents STIs, very easy to use with no side effects for anyone involved.

Cons: At times, it can be a bit annoying to have to pause to have my partner put a condom on, but that's minor. Finding the best type is a little bit of a hassle, but having a few kinds handy until you find one you like gets around that issue pretty easily.

Ease of use: It's never been a problem using condoms in any of my relationships - it's always just been assumed with anyone I've been with that a condom will be used, with the exception of one long-term relationship when we did stop using condoms after I'd been on the pill for awhile, and we'd both had the requisite two clear STI screenings. In general, I've found condoms extremely easy to use.

Effectiveness: I've only experienced one condom failure, breakage due to not nearly enough lube. Easily remedied, and I haven't had any problems since.

[ 01-02-2007, 08:38 PM: Message edited by: Karybu ]

--------------------
"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

Posts: 5799 | From: Canada/Australia | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
(Just make sure these are about personal experiences rather than general stats, okay?)

I've been using condoms off and on for around 20 years now: overall, of all the mothods I have used and do use, they remain my favorite one.

Pros: For me, pros have always included the awesome two-for-one of getting STI protection and birth control together, the inexpensiveness, how easy they are to find and use (see my hints below), the fact that when with a male partner, they allow birth control to be a totally joint responsibility, the fact that I can't feel them at all and they have zero side effects, that they're easily incorproated into sex play without being a buzzkill, and that they're easy to transport and keep around. I also have always appreciated -- crass as it may sound -- being able to have intercourse without semen running out of me for hours after. Too, I would actually attribute years of condom use and itroduction with helping to enable my sexual communication skills: I know some people don't like to talk to partners about birth control or safer sex, but for me, it's been a real bonus when it comes to how that effects my sexual satisfaction and that of my partner per communication.

Cons: My cons list is teeny with condoms. Now and then, I've had male partners who are worried that they'll lose erections between the time of having one and getting the condoms on, that they race to get it on and don't pay attention to rolling it all the way down or checking to be sure it's on, and suffice it to say, it's a bit of a drag to have to kind of Mom a partner per their condom use. I've also found that with partners with smaller penises, condoms will slip off, and while they've often in those spots been inclined to say that's about some super-shero vaginal muscles I must have, I'm more inclined to think they just needed to use a smaller condom, which also sometimes is not exactly the easiet thing to say to some guys.

I've not had many partners with sensation issues with condoms (and I've had none myself, though given that vaginal sensation is about general fullness, not subtle sensations, that's kind of a given), but I also tend to make a point of keeping the thinnest condoms on hand -- and having done a lot of trial and error --and using plenty of lube inside and outside of the condom. I have to confess, I tend to think little of sensation issues, anyway, since nearly any BC method dulls someone's sensation a little: hormonal methods dull women's sensation all the time.

Ease of use:No problems with this at all. Easy to get, easy to afford, easy to use in practical use.

Effectiveness: I've never, ever had a condom break, but like I said, I have had one slip off a few times over the years. This does not seem to happen, however, when condoms are the right size for the wearer. I've never become pregnant when using a condom properly.

On to the extras!

One of the easiest ways I've found to figure which way the condom will ulroll is bascially to make a little "o" with my forefinger and tumb, put the ring of the condom over it, and then to tug down on the tip with the other hand. If it starts to runroll easy, it's the right way: if not, then it needs to be unrolled the other way. If I open and start the condom, too, not only can I put lube in the tip for a partner who might not know how much better that makes things, but I can also incorporate putting the condom on my partner into sex play, so it doesn't feel like a buzzkill for anyone. Partners with any problems keeping erections when putting condoms on are, IME, generally helped a lot by engaging in some sexual play at the same time as condom application, like some anal or perineum sensation, or even just massaging the base of the penis or testicles at the same time.

I know a lot of users have had some problems getting male partners to use condoms, but for me, just being very chill and plain about it -- in other words, you open it, get it ready, put it on or hand it over with a smile without any questions about using condoms -- has almost always assured me of glad and willing cooperation with condom use. Only at times when I've been or seemed less confident have I had any issues.

Too, the thinner the condom, the better the feel for a male partner AND the less likely to break a condom is. Big bonuses to remember. same goes for extra lube: not only does that help protect a condom, more lube has always made things feel better for everyone in my experience.

Long story short? I heart condoms best of all. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
-Lauren-
Activist
Member # 25983

Icon 1 posted      Profile for -Lauren-     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pros: easily attained, protects against STI's, and there's some way it makes me feel better knowing I'm with a partner with whom it isn't a big deal.

Cons: Ditto on the partner sometimes losing an erection when hunting, though that's easily remedied by keeping the condoms close at hand, or having me get 'em and put 'em on. The pause in intimacy is no big to me, since I like things to transition slowly anyway.

Ease of use: Simple as pie once you got it down. I like to unroll the condom just a teeny, tiny bit over a finger or two to make sure it's being rolled the right way. Add a bit of lube and ready to go!

Effectiveness: I have NEVER had a condom failure. Not a one. I'm very confident in this method, and use the pill just for cycle control/skin problems more than for protection. No pregnancy scares for me.

(And to those "they're not comfy!" naysayers? Same goes here as for manual sex; skin generally is rougher than latex, and I've found my girly bits feel more sore after going bareback than with a condom with plenty of lube. So extra points to the condom for enhancing pleasure in my case!)

Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KittenGoddess
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 1679

Icon 1 posted      Profile for KittenGoddess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've been using condoms since I became sexually active. My partner and I have used them for all forms of sexual contact over that time.

Pros: Cost and ease have been huge pros on this for my partner and I. Especially if you order online, the way we do, condoms are extremely affordable. You can even get some of the "pricer" brands just as affordably as the brands that are easily accessible in drug stores and the like. Cleanup is a snap with a condom. And I'd also agree that once we found the condoms and lube that suit my partner and I best, I actually found sex to be MORE comfortable. I've also always been thrilled with the fact that condoms weren't something you had to do all the time (like hormonal methods)...only need them during sex.

Cons: Very short list here. Neither myself or my partner have really had much problem with dulling of sensation when we were using the right condoms. That said, with a condom that wasn't our preferred brand, we didn't always love the feelings...though that's more of an argument for finding the brand/cut that's best for you than it is a criticism of the method. I suppose another con is that they do always have to be kept on hand, which can be an issue if you're waiting for an order to come in the mail.

Ease of use: Super easy once you know the procedure.

Effectiveness: My partner and I have only had one condom mishap. We were trying out a female condom and the ring slipped inside. Even in that instance, I didn't have a pregnancy scare because I was backing up with the pill at the time. But we've never had a breakage or slippage with a male condom. I feel very confident in this method.

Extra tips:
Condoms don't have to be a downer. My partner and I actually enjoyed the quest for the perfect condom! Lots of places have "grab bags" of condoms available for purchase. Sure, the price is a few cents higher, but you get like 10 brands or something that you can try out. We had fun trying out the different brands and then discussing what we thought of each one. It's sort of like doing restraunt reviews...but without the food. So by framing it in a fun way, it didn't have to be embarassing or a pain. It was fun!

Similarly, and as others have said, putting a condom on doesn't have to be a downer either. By incorporating it into sex play, it doesn't have to be a break in the action. Also, I'd throw in a vote for thinking about condoms positively in your own head. Just like laughter or happiness are infectious...so are good thoughts about condoms. So because I think about them positively, my partner will as well. (And just for the sake of saying, I think about putting on a condom like standing in line at a candy store...you know you can't have the candy until you've waited in line and paid. So, you stand in line in anticipation of getting that wonderful candy. Same deal with condoms...activity can't start until you've waited in line (i.e. put the condom on).) If you think about it in a sexy manner, it'll be sexy.

I'll also put in a plug for spending the time to find a good condom that fits both you and your partner well. It may take some trial and error, but it's well worthwhile. (The same can be said for lube as well.)

Another suggestion is to start simple and if you decide you want something fancier, give it a shot. My partner found that he can't stand studded condoms (thought I didn't mind them) and I can't stand ridged condoms (though he didn't mind them)...so we stick to plain ones instead.

As a final note...it's a BAD idea to use those condoms with the extra head room (like Inspiral) for oral sex. That extra room blows up like a balloon in your mouth. I almost choked to death when I made the mistake of trying oral with one of those. So while those are fine for intercourse or manual sex...not so much for oral.

--------------------
Sarah Liz

Posts: 7316 | From: USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LadyLuck77
Activist
Member # 31504

Icon 1 posted      Profile for LadyLuck77     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pros: Condoms are very easy to access and afford. They make sex a "cleaner" experience. You don't have to worry about a flood of semen later. They have zero side effects (barring a latex allergy for some people), and they can be conveniently stowed almost anywhere (of course, under proper conditions).

Cons: For me, I haven't experienced ANY cons about condoms until recently. But they are just all mental hang-ups, which this site and Heather have really helped me through. I've had a recent partner complain about them, because he really doesn't trust them, mainly due to a torrent of misinformation he had been given. So I've been a little freaked about using them in regards to total protection, even though I have no real reason not to completely trust them. But, in my next relationship, I will use a back-up method, so it's really a non-issue.

Ease of use: I personally find them very easy to use. The nicest part is that you don't have to take a pill every day, at the same time, to be covered -- you only must remember to put one on right before sex! Once you have the steps down pat, it takes no time at all to install a condom. Also, in some cases, which I am NOT recommending, I have noticed that you can take small liberties and not put one on "perfectly" (in my experience, the partner forgetting to squeeze the reservoir tip), and the condom still held up it's end of the bargain. Again, I am NOT recommending this. And besides, in that relationship, the male...well, didn't last very long in intercourse, so there probably wasn't enough time, pressure or friction to make the condom break due to improper use.

Effectiveness: Well, I've used them off and on for about twelve years now, and I'm still not pregnant. What's funny is that for the majority of those years, I didn't take special pains to make myself or my partner use them correctly (for instance, I NEVER used extra lube until about a year ago), and they still didn't fail me! So I would definitely consider them effective. I have never had one slip. I did, however, experience one break. But I am almost positive that this was due to an expired condom that my then partner had for YEARS, just hanging out in a drawer. (This was before EC, and it was at a "safer" time in my cycle, so fortunately I did not experience pregnancy.)

[ 01-03-2007, 03:29 PM: Message edited by: LadyLuck77 ]

Posts: 71 | From: USA | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Beach Girl
Neophyte
Member # 32103

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Beach Girl     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pros: protects against both pregnancy and STIs, easy to find, inexpensive/free (from a youth clinic), no prescription needed, keeps semen outside of me - I also don't like having it drip out for hours after

Cons: creates garbage that sometimes has to be hidden from parents, often put on the wrong way and then have to be discarded, easy to misuse resulting in lower effectiveness, some men lose their erection from putting one on/having one on

Ease of use: I have always found condoms relatively easy to use, afford, and find. One difficulty I've had is that my partner had touble maintaining an erection once the condom was on. Over time he overcame that problem for the most part, but we still had to make sure we started having sex the moment the condom was on.

Effectiveness: I have always used condoms along with the pill, but I have never had a condom break.

Posts: 10 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
summergoddess
Activist
Member # 11352

Icon 1 posted      Profile for summergoddess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pros:protection against pregnancy and STD's, keeps sex a bit cleaner, affordable & easy to locate

Cons: can reduce an erection at times or parents finding it in trash cans.

Ease of use: it has been easy for me and my partners to put on before sex and take it off afterwards. It had been so important for me to have condoms with all three of my partners, but after a few months with my current partner, we discontinued use of condoms due to lack of full enjoyment, and that I was going on a hormonal birth control which is the Pill. However, I do want to say that it worked out for all of my sexual relationships.

Effectiveness: It had been very effective in protecting me from STD's/STI's and pregnancy.

--------------------
~Jules

Posts: 369 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jakgirl
Neophyte
Member # 31598

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jakgirl     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pros: Once you're used to them and how to put them on, they're fantastically simple to use. My partner and I use them along with the pill as birth control, and have no complaints there. Plus on my school's campus, they're free!

Cons: Texture and smell. I don't know if my nose is just weird or something, but I'm not a fan of the way they smell. And the texture thing: my partner has said that without exception, it feels better sans condom. Neither of these things are anywhere near significant enough to make us stop using them, but they are what they are.

Ease of use: So far as access and affordability, there aren't any problems - like I said, free condoms to students whenever you care to grab some. And my partner and I have made it clear to each other that we prefer to use them, as well as a backup method, so using them hasn't been a problem between us. The challenge was figuring out how to use them for the first times - there was a series of splits, condoms coming off, condoms not going on...but it improved with practice.

Effectiveness: I've been using them with the pill for a bit over three months now, and have had no issues with effectiveness.

Posts: 10 | From: West Coast | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Inferi
Neophyte
Member # 29171

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Inferi     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pros: They're incredibly inexpensive, especially considering what a little wonder they are. I've been able to find them sold virtually anywhere, even convieniently in the store across the street from me.

Cons: No real problems with them, though the smell of latex isn't terribly arousing, i might say. According to my boyfriend, they do dull sensation to an extent, but nowhere to the point one can try to make a legit excuse about it so as not to wear one.

Ease of use: The only problem we've had with this is that both my boyfriend and I are nearly blind without our glasses, so trying to find out which side is the right side to roll it on is always fun without them.

Effectiveness: I've only had one fail. It popped because we had forgotten to add lube to the outside. Thankfully, I was taking BCP in conjunction with the condom.

Posts: 29 | From: San Antonio, TX | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MissSmarty
Activist
Member # 28387

Icon 1 posted      Profile for MissSmarty     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Heather you said:
"Too, the thinner the condom, the better the feel for a male partner AND the less likely to break a condom is."

Just wondering, why is that? I have always assumed that a thicker condom means a stronger barrier, thus more protection. I trust your right, just seems odd.

Posts: 118 | From: Texas | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The thicker the condom, the more friction it creates, thus the more likely it is to break. [Smile]

Thinner condom = less friction.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 568

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Gumdrop Girl     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pros: Condoms are cheap and simple. And so gosh darn versatile! I get them free. You can too!

Cons: I had one incident of failure. In HUNDREDS of attempts, one failure! That's less than a percent, but still, it was enough to drag me into the student health center for EC.

Ease of use: Totally idiot-proof for me. Had a partner who wasn't as adept as I would have liked at the start, but we were both n00bs. Otherwise, I just pull one out of my purse, and its use is understood. Haven't had to negotiate; the guys have been very compliant to its use.

Effectiveness: While I was using them exclusively, I never got pregnant (still nulliparous, gravida=0). And as far as the test results have shown, I'm not harboring any infections.

--------------------
LA County STD Hotline 1.800.758.0880
Toll free STD and clinic information, and condoms sent to your door for Los Angeles County residents.
1 in 3 sexually active people will be exposed to a STD by the time they turn 24.

Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CondomMan
Activist
Member # 32823

Icon 1 posted      Profile for CondomMan     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pros: From a male perspective, this birth control method is one of the easiest because you don't have to put a whole lot of thought into it beforehand. Can work with anyone, including people you've met only recently. Doesn't take discussion or planning with your partner, so you can save that conversation for another day. Shows your responsible. Comes in a rainbow of colors [Big Grin]

Cons: There's a learning curve which can easily frustrate young men, including myself, due to a lack of adequate education on the subject. Starting out on this learning curve meant having to deal with loss of sensation and increased risk.

Ease of use: Once you get the hang of it, it seems second nature. It can even be a nice addition to the process with all the different types of condoms out there (e.g., green condom for Saint Patrick's Day). I think most couples start out with condoms because of they are an immediate solution to a subject that otherwise usually requires planning (birth control)

Effectiveness: I mentioned the learning curve earlier, which can drastically affect the effectiveness of condoms. You don't have to put a lot of thought into bringing them with you before activity, but you do have to take care and precaution during activity to make sure you put the condom on right and are using it correctly.

--------------------
Condoms Rock!

Posts: 52 | From: Los Angeles | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lily89
Neophyte
Member # 36839

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Lily89         Edit/Delete Post 
Pros: Condoms are very easy to get (they are availble in tons of stores). Noticable if it breaks. Don't cost too much and if used properly, no worrying about pregnancy. Plus, who doesnt love the protection from STI's?

Cons: Sometimes it may take a while to figure out exactly which type of condom is best for you. For instance, I find that I don't like durex condoms...and my boyfriend doesn't like a certain type of Trojan condoms. But once you find out which condom suits you and your partner best, there aren't really any other problems. The only other thing to remember is that they can break, though I have only had that happen to me twice....its pretty easy to catch for the guy though

Ease of use: After using them for a while, putting them on is relatively easy and not time consuming.

Effectivness: As long as you put it on properly, I find condoms to have great effectivness. Coupled with birth control, pregnancy is hardly a worry for me

[ 02-02-2008, 10:48 PM: Message edited by: Lily89 ]

Posts: 29 | From: United States | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
libertatissacra
Activist
Member # 35773

Icon 1 posted      Profile for libertatissacra     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pros: Extremely easy to get. Even the little mini-mart next to my building sells them. Fairly inexpensive. Protection against both STDs and pregnancy. Easy to use. Doesn't require any planning beyond dropping by a store and picking up a few.

Cons: They can interrupt activity a little until/unless you get a little creative. Sometimes in the time to find them, open it, unroll it, and get it on, a guy can lose his erection. Also, I find that the lubricant on many condoms is a little irritating sometimes, even when paired with plenty of water-based lube out of a bottle. And I have to say, I do prefer the sensation without a condom a little better. It's not a huge difference, but I do like it a little better, and my partner does as well. Also, I dislike how with condoms, you're paying by the amount of times you have sex, in effect, whereas with something like hormonal birth control alone, one monthly cost covers all the sex you want to have. Condoms aren't terribly expensive, but when you're having a lot of sex and using a condom every time, it does start to add up.

Ease of Use: Once you and your partner know how to put one on and have worked out a way for putting it on to not interrupt foreplay so much, they're very easy to use. And working out the afore mentioned stuff really isn't rocket science. It just takes a little practise.

Effectiveness: I've only had a condom slip a little (and even when this happened, it didn't slip all the way off; just maybe halfway down my partner's penis) once, and that was because he didn't withdraw right away (so his penis was pretty soft by the time he pulled out) and neither of us remember to hold the base of the condom while he withdrew. But I was on hormonal birth control as well, so it wasn't any enormous cause for concern.

Just a sidenote: I know my list of condoms cons is a little on the long side, but really, I do think condoms are great. It's just that I've recently found that at least for sex within a committed, monogamous relationship, I do slightly prefer to use other methods of birth control.

--------------------
"America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between."
-Oscar Wilde

Posts: 115 | From: San Francisco, CA | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eonone
Neophyte
Member # 13596

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eonone     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pros: Cheap, easy, readily available. Only need them when you want to have sex, and he gets to clean up the mess afterwards. I also have difficulties sometimes with my vaginal muscles relaxing enough even for manual sex, but the slick condom, paired with lube, really helps make things more comfortable. Also, it's visible protection. I don't even have a second thought about it.

Cons: The only problem I've ever had is with some lubricated condoms, when you have to stop and pick out the pre-lubed bits that have gotten gunky from sitting in the package. (Durex Performax, which is generally our favorite, is unfortunately bad about this.) It can also be annoying to figure out how to unroll the thing.

Also, why companies insist on making "for her pleasure" condoms strawberry-flavored is irritating, but that's really not important, just an observation. Instead of having more pleasure, I worry about strawberry-induced yeast infections. On a related note, flavored condoms still taste like flavored latex.

Other than that, no cons to report. Some people talk about their partner losing an erection/it being a buzzkill, but my partner can manage to wait the two minutes it takes to get one on, and even if we weren't using condoms, I'd still have to fumble in the dark just as long to find lube.

Ease of use: Very easy to use. I had some trepidation about using condoms at first (and breaking into sex at all), but after reading the handy how-to package insert, we eased into getting comfortable with condoms by using them first with "dry" sex, which is a lot more comfortable for him with a lubed condom on, as well as safer. After doing that for a little while, condoms weren't a scary thing. We were used to them, and incorporating them into vaginal intercourse was easy peasy.

Effectiveness: I've never had one break or slip, or any pregnancy. Once the condom did seem to move around a lot and be loose around the tip, but that was only with manual stimulation, and probably because I had unrolled the condom too far in trying to figure out which way to put it on. We just put on another and haven't had a problem since.

Other notes:

Condoms have another added perk of note- a mutuality in our sexual relationship that's carried over and into the rest of our relationship. Going to the store and having open conversations about condoms and safe sex in public, (not that we're shouting about our sex life, but saying, "It's your turn to buy") discussing what we liked or didn't like, whether we want to try something new- all of that really adds to the bond that we share. We always shop together and split responsibility, and there's no shame in purchasing condoms when the person I love is right there beside me, throwing a pack of gum onto the counter and grinning. (Plus, shopping for condoms and discussing sex gets him ready for a weekend of it.)

Also, condoms have helped him keep from getting there too soon- though we've still had to get a ring to go around the base of his penis, which he doesn't mind and says he can't feel, and it keeps the condom from slipping off (not that it ever has) and makes me feel 101% secure about it.

I'd intended to go on hormonal birth control after trying condoms out for a while, but liked them so much I'm happy to stay with them. [Smile]

--------------------
"Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." -Homer Simpson

Posts: 24 | From: Texas | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LadyMac
Neophyte
Member # 37851

Icon 1 posted      Profile for LadyMac     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My boyfriend and I are very new to sex (read: tonight will be the 4th time!), but we've been using condoms since we started (in conjunction with the HBC I've been on for a few months) and I guess I'll share my experiences and one question.

Pros: Cheap as free! We get them free at our college's health center. We've also made it a game to put them on: I hold the tip while he rolls it down, which keeps him horny [Wink] We haven't tried intercourse without a condom, but I think it feels silky and great.

Cons: He is uncircumcised, and we're having difficulty figuring out the best way to deal with the foreskin. We followed the directions we've read everywhere (pull it back, put it on, and let it go back up), but it never stays like that and we end up with a big bag hanging off the end of his penis. Is there some other way to do this? We've tried not pulling it back, but it pushes back anyways when we put the condom on. Would a larger condom help? (we've measured and he qualifies as "above-average", so we're not worried about it being too big). This isn't really a big deal, but last time it started hanging off while he was inside me and it felt strange, so we stopped and got a new one.

Ease of use: As pie, except for the foreskin thing.

Effectiveness: It's sort of early to say for sure, but so far we haven't had anything even remotely worrisome (the HBC backup and "first-time-iness" helps ease the mind, too).

Overall: I'm a fan, but I'd like to know if we can do something about the foreskin thing!

Posts: 7 | From: 45 degrees north latitude | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kulutues
Neophyte
Member # 38724

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Kulutues     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Of course you women have virtually no qualms with condoms.
Posts: 24 | From: Delaware Valley | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Leabug
Activist
Member # 27966

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Leabug     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Kulutues- how about making a productive post then, and telling us why you do have qualms with condoms?

--------------------
Lea

Posts: 2332 | From: Canada | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kulutues
Neophyte
Member # 38724

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Kulutues     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As far as I can see my post was as productive as possible considering its intention.

My qualm with condoms as a man would be the obvious one. In my experiences even both man and woman would refer to their use as a necessary evil, but still those women knew a man was in the position to feel less enthusiastic about them for obvious reasons.

Posts: 24 | From: Delaware Valley | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This series of threads is limited to self-reporting, by people of any gender, of actual experience with various methods of birth control.

All methods have pros and cons, and these threads are inteneded to allow actual users of them to voice either or both in order to help those who have not used a given method yet, or who are shopping for a method or methods and want to see what actual experiences with them have been like for those who have used them. Please limit responses here to that, in the format proivded.

You've mentioned in another thread, Kulutues, that you have never used condoms yourself nor been sexually active with a partner yet, therefore these threads aren't going to be ones where you can yet contribute. Theoretical discussions about a given method, ideas about what a method might be like to used based on hearsay rather than personal experience, or other issues should be discussed elsewhere at the boards, please, not in this area.

[ 06-03-2008, 10:38 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kulutues
Neophyte
Member # 38724

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Kulutues     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Okay. Just think of that post as me being a messenger for what other people think and say then.
Posts: 24 | From: Delaware Valley | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Other people are completely capable of speaking for themselves and have here for ten years. We prefer to let them do that on their own.

Please now allow this thread to remain on topic as I've asked.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kulutues
Neophyte
Member # 38724

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Kulutues     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I mean for those who are unaware of the site and there'd be no way their experiences would reach this thread. It seems quite convenient really if I relate how multitudes of others feel in addition to those here.

And, I've allowed this to remain on-topic, doing exactly what the opening post asked. Honestly, you guys here are really odd sometimes.

Posts: 24 | From: Delaware Valley | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Leabug
Activist
Member # 27966

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Leabug     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
[Kulutues, as Heather said, the whole point of this thread is to describe your OWN experience with a specific birth control method. This IS derailing the topic because you are perpetuating a discussion that has little to do with the purpose of the thread. And might I add, it's awfully rude of you to insult the mods here; they work their butts off volunteering here for free and deserve more respect than what you're giving. If you have complaints or want to discuss this further, take it to e-mail instead, as per site rules- you can use the Contact Us form linked at the bottom of each page.]

--------------------
Lea

Posts: 2332 | From: Canada | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Leabug
Activist
Member # 27966

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Leabug     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
And to bring this back on topic...

Pros: Condoms are cheap, easy to find, and very effective when used properly and for all genital contact. I also like that it makes cleanup quite a bit easier, as it helps reduce the amount of spilled fluids involved. And there's a lot of variety in condoms too, though some kinds are just meant for fun and not protection, like flavored varieties. I don't find that they feel a whole lot different, as long as plenty of lube is used- dry condoms are no fun, and can break. I also like that condoms are a way in which my partner can contribute to safe sex responsibilities so it's not just all on me.

Cons: I'm 22 but still live at home as I'm a poor university student, so it can be kind of hard to find a good place to store condoms that my sister won't find. The last thing I need is teasing from my nosy little sister. I'd also never recommend trying the ones that promise a "warming sensation"- I had to run cold water over my bits after trying one of those, they really do burn quite a bit if you have sensitive skin.

Ease of Use: My partner is uncircumcised, so when we first started using them, we found it a little bit tricky to put them on. We didn't have trouble with him losing his erection because we tried to make the whole application process "sexy" by having me help out and such. The whole problem was very easily fixed though- he just took a bunch of the condoms home and practised on his own when there was no pressure, and now he's pro at using them.

Effectiveness: I haven't become pregnant yet, and we haven't had any breakages or slipping either. The trouble is making sure we've got the condom on before any genital stuff starts- it's easy to get carried away, and if we hadn't both tested clear for STIs already, that would definately be a concern as far as effectiveness goes. Really though, it's all human error- condoms themselves are pretty darn effective when used right.

--------------------
Lea

Posts: 2332 | From: Canada | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kulutues
Neophyte
Member # 38724

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Kulutues     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Your post responding to what you believe is an off-topic post is more off-topic than anything I wrote. But I guess this one here is off-topic too? I have to respond somehow. Fact remains my second post in this thread did exactly what the OP asked and it was wrong to single it out.
Posts: 24 | From: Delaware Valley | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 25425

Icon 1 posted      Profile for September     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
[Kulutues - again, if you have any beef with how this site is run, the way to voice that is by sending us a message via the "Contact Us" button at the bottom of the page.]

--------------------
Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
EVivian
Activist
Member # 38998

Icon 1 posted      Profile for EVivian     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I hate to see such an interesting thread end on such an offtopic note, so without further ado, my experiences. I realize they aren't much different than anyone else's, but here they are nonetheless!

Pros: First of all, I frankly like being able to /see/ my protection. I intellectually know that the pill works, but it still makes me a bit nervous trying to prevent pregnancy without a physical barrier. At college, condoms are also free, as is lube (which not only makes them feel better, but makes them less likely to break). All of the different types are also fun and interesting (yeah, I may be weird, I know), and I still look forward to an opportunity to try a glow-in-the-dark one!

Cons: Taking the time to throw on a condom in the heat of the moment is a slight bother. One of my partners had trouble staying erect for this act. The same partner was also unable to reach climax while wearing a condom (or thought so at least- I proved him wrong once, but it was only once out of dozens of experiences). This didn't affect my physical pleasure, of course, but I was slightly disappointed by this.

Ease of Use: Fairly straightforward. I've never had a problem with getting a partner to use them, though some of them have certainly complained.

Effectiveness: Over three and a half months of using them exclusively (and very regularly), I only ever had one break. No pregnancy resulted from anything during that period, so they worked in that regard at the very least!

Posts: 71 | From: USA | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hekate
Neophyte
Member # 40082

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Hekate     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've started taking birth control pills and will probably stop using condoms after one month on them, but here's my opinion of them.

Pros: Easy to use, I only have to think about it when we're having sex. It doesn't change any sensations for me. I get free, colorful condoms from Planned Parenthood every time I visit.

Cons: I don't have problems, but my boyfriend has issues with the condom getting stretched out even when we use lots of lube after a few minutes. My friend told me we're supposed to change the condom every 45 minutes, but after like five it's stretched out and he loses even more sensation. Also, once the condom slipped off and neither of us noticed, and he went inside me, and now he knows what sensations he's missing with the condom on, so he has developed a bad attitude towards them. He never fights me on it, but he does hate condoms now. We've had problems where as soon as the condom goes on, he has a problem maintaining an erection, but if I talk to him sweetly about it he does get over it.

Ease of use: Very easy for us, despite his occasional negative attitude about them. Never fights me or argues against them, but does complain. Planned Parenthood makes them easy to get. I will admit, he puts them on, so I actually don't know how to do it...

Effectiveness: It has slipped off a few times, but I think it was because we forgot to put more lube on. Might have been an issue when we used to try putting lube inside the condom. As long as we're good about lube it works just fine and I have yet to get pregnant.

Over time my boyfriend has figured out a way to not lose his erection while we look for condoms. When he figures we're about to have intercourse, he gets up and grabs the condom and lube and puts them next to us until we're ready. When I'm ready to start, I hand him the condom. Only problem is when I keep the sex play up while he's getting the condom out, he gets distracted by what I'm doing.

There's a Cold Stone ice cream place near the sex shop, so he makes getting the condoms and lube fun for me by taking me out for ice cream or shakes before we go shopping and watches me be silly in the sex shop. Not really related to condom use, but it does make getting the condoms fun.

Overall, I like condoms, but my boyfriend does view them as a necessary evil.

Posts: 9 | From: California | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
StrangePudding
Activist
Member # 40765

Icon 1 posted      Profile for StrangePudding     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Pros: They add that extra layer of protection. I've been on the pill for over two years because of cramping issues, but I've used a condom for every act of penis-in-vagina intercourse that results in ejaculation. It makes me feel a lot better about having sex if I can also have that extra little bit of protection against pregnancy. I don't want a child for a few more years. They're also lubed, which I like because I think my boyfriend is often uncomfortable using lube unless I'm actually hurting, but sometimes it just feels nicer.

Cons: They're actually more expensive than my birth control pill (I get it for free through my parents' insurance! [Embarrassed] ). Also, although we've never not used a condom for an ejaculation, we have had a few minutes of non-condom sex. It does feel different, and I think a lot better for my boyfriend. We also had a little bit of trouble finding the right size. The very first condoms we used were free, but they didn't fit my boyfriend's penis quite properly. It took a little experimentation and luck to find the right kind.

Ease of use: They've always been easy to get at a Target or other grocery stores. My boyfriend is a lot better at putting them on than me, but they're pretty easy to use for both of use.

Effectiveness: Well, I haven't gotten pregnant! We've never had a broken condom, due to proper application and probably also the fact that we use lubed condoms. We've also never had a condom slip off in my vagina, although one of those free ones did slip off while we were changing positions, and then it was no more sex until a trip to the store!

Posts: 222 | From: USA | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
StrangePudding
Activist
Member # 40765

Icon 1 posted      Profile for StrangePudding     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Another con, I saw a lot of people saying that the smell of latex is kind of a turn-off, which I agree with. However, I think even worse than that is the TASTE of latex. If we ever want to have oral sex in addition to intercourse, we have to make sure we do it before a condom goes on because afterward we both taste like latex.
Posts: 222 | From: USA | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
*MM*
Neophyte
Member # 39232

Icon 1 posted      Profile for *MM*         Edit/Delete Post 
Pros: I enjoy the extra lubrication condoms provide during sex. Also, the fact that he can ejaculate with out ... erm ... making a mess run out of me afterwards is definitely nice. Helpful to use if I'm on antibiotics or have missed pills and need back up.

Cons: My boyfriend doesn't really like them very much, so "perfect usage" (using them every time) can be tough. I also use birth control, so luckily they aren't our only protection. The pause/wait prior to intercourse can be annoying.

Ease of use: They definitely are simple and pretty straight forward to use. They also are very affordable and can often be found for free -- unless your partner requires a larger size (like mine does), in which case there isn't much of a selection.

Effectiveness: No problems in this department!

--------------------
It's nothing but time and a face that you lose, I chose to feel it and you couldn't choose, I'll write you a postcard, I'll send you the news from a house down the road from real love ... Live through this and you won't look back. -Stars

Posts: 27 | From: usa | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

  New Poll   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3