The entire process is shown on a foam model that was borrowed from a professional sexual educator. As a result, this Instructable contains no inappropriate photos, and is safe for anyone to view. That being said, I'll still give the following warning:
***This Instructable contains information of a sexual nature. While this information is publicly available in middle school classrooms, at local health centers, and at sexual health websites on the internet, the author recognizes that some may believe that this knowledge may not be suitable for all audiences. If you are offended by the subject of sexual health, then please, cease reading this Instructable and navigate to another website so that those who wish to view this information may do so.***
Step 1: Condoms 101
Rather then sift through the broken pieces of fact intertwined with fiction in my head that I can remember from my days in sex ed class, I'll take most of the background information on condoms from the World Health Organization's document The Male Latex Condom, Planned Parenthood's page Condoms, Wikipedia's entry on Condoms and from the links and references contained in those documents.
Definition and usage
A condom is a device designed to prevent the passage of fluids between individuals during sexual intercourse. It provides a barrier that physically blocks the transmission of semen during intercourse. Condoms are used to prevent pregnancy and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. 1
Condoms have been used for over 500 years. In the early twentieth century, with the invention of disposable latex condoms, they became one of the most popular methods of contraception. 2 Condoms are now used during sexual intercourse and other sexual activities where and individual or more than one individuals require an effective protective barrier between themselves and something else.
Because condoms are waterproof, highly elastic, and very durable, they are also used in a variety of unconventional applications. See below for examples:
Novel Use for a Condom
Condom Light Party
Dual Waterproof Consumer Electronics - the condom
Creative Discontent: Part 2
Most condoms are made from latex, but some are made from other materials such as lamb intestines (called lamb skin condoms) or polyurethane. Lamb skin condoms prevent the transmission of semen during sexual intercourse, but do not adequately protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
As a method of contraception, male condoms have the advantage of being inexpensive, easy to use, having few side-effects, and of offering protection against sexually transmitted diseases. With proper knowledge and application technique, and use at every act of intercourse, users of male condoms experience a 2% per-year pregnancy rate. 3, 4
The most frequently cited condom effectiveness rate is for typical use, which includes perfect and imperfect use (i.e. not used at every act of intercourse, or used incorrectly). The pregnancy rate during typical use can be much higher (10-14%) than for perfect use, but this is due primarily to inconsistent and incorrect use, not to condom failure. Condom failure, the device breaking or slipping off completely during intercourse is uncommon. 5
Laboratory studies have found that viruses (including HIV) do not pass through intact latex condoms even when devices are stretched or stressed.
In Thailand, the promotion by the government of 100% condom use by commercial sex workers led to a dramatic increase in the use of condoms (from 14% in 1990 to 94% in 1994); an equally dramatic decline in the nation-wide numbers of bacterial STD cases (from 410,406 cases in 1997 to 27,362 cases in 1994); and reduced HIV prevalence in Thai soldiers.
The most convincing data on the effectiveness of condoms in preventing HIV infection has been generated by prospective studies undertaken on serodiscordant couples, when one partner is infected with HIV and the other is not. These studies show that, with consistent condom use, the HIV infection rate among uninfected partners was less than 1 percent per year. Also, in situations where one partner is definitely infected, inconsistent condom use can be as risky as not using condoms at all. 6
Allergy to latex condoms
Latex allergies are very rare among the general population. While 1-2 billion condoms are used per year in the USA, the FDA only received 44 reports of allergic reactions associated with condom use between October 1988 and end of 1991. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that the population risk of an allergic reaction to latex is 0.08% and the nature of the reaction tends to be very mild. Concerns about latex allergies should not inhibit sexually active people who are at risk of exposure to pregnancy and STDs using condoms, since the risks associated with unprotected sexual contact are far greater than those from exposure to latex.
(why this Instructable is important)
One argument used against condom education and condom distribution programs is that providing condoms and condom education will increase condom use among teens and those groups targeted with the education programs. Many feel that condom distribution and education is a "license to have sex" especially for teens. Studies are surveys about the subject prove otherwise.
- Five U.S. studies of specific sex education programs have demonstrated that HIV education and sex education that included condom information either had no effect upon the initiation of intercourse or resulted in delayed onset of intercourse.
- Five studies of specific programs found that HIV/sex education did not increase frequency of intercourse, and a program that included development of skills to negotiate safer sexual behaviors actually resulted in a decrease in the number of youth who initiated sex.
- A World Health Organization (WHO) review cited 19 studies of sex education programs that found no evidence that sex education leads to earlier or increased sexual activity in young people. In fact, five of the studies cited by WHO showed that such programs can lead to a delay or decrease in sexual activity.
- In a recent study of youth in Los Angeles, an HIV prevention program focusing on condom use did not increase sexual activity or the number of sex partners. But condom use did increase among those who were already sexually active.
(Any information included in this step that is not cited below came from the the World Health Organization's document - The Male Latex Condom.)
 Condom. Planned Parenthood (April 2004). Retrieved on 11/19/2007.
 A History of Birth Control Methods Planned Parenthood (June 2002). Retrieved on 7/5/2006.
 Hatcher, RA; Trussel J, Stewart F, et al (2000). Contraceptive Technology, 18th Edition, New York: Ardent Media. ISBN 0-9664902-6-6.
 Wikipedia entry on condoms Retrieved on 2/26/2008.
 Effectiveness of male latex condoms in protecting against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections The World Health Organization. Retrieved on 2/26/2008.
Step 2: Getting Condoms
(As far as I know - no one is making them on their own, but if they were, I'd hope that Instructables would be the first place they would post about it!)
Let's start with the free options because free is usually better...
Many institutions and governing boards provide condoms free of charge to their members or the public. If you go to a school of some sort, be it a middle school, high school or college, you might have access to free condoms at the school's health department or office. Although the federal government has all but denied the existence of condoms entirely, some city and state governments and organizations make condoms available for free in a variety of ways.
New York has the NYC Condoms program. Check out the hundreds of locations where you can get them at: New York City Free Condom Locations
A group called WeHolife.org lists free condoms in the Hollywood/Santa Monica Area: http://www.weholife.org/freecondoms.htm
In San Francisco the Stop Aids Project makes condoms readily available at numerous locations: http://www.stopaids.org/resources/free_condoms/
Casa Segura in Oakland gives them away during weekdays:
And finally, the Aids Action Committee of Massachusetts organized the following page listing places to get free condoms in the Boston metro area: http://www.aac.org/site/PageServer?pagename=info_freecondoms
Regardless of what city you live in, if you're determined to get a free condom, you'll probably be able to find one. Check out bars, clubs, health clinics, schools, health departments, hospitals, health service buildings, and even sex shops. Many cities have organizations specifically trying to give you condoms.
Most of these places should give you condoms regardless of your age. School programs and school based health clinics often offer condoms to their students, but require them to go through a brief sex-ed class before students get access to them.
If you'd like to buy a condom rather than get it for free then you've got to head to a store. Drug stores, online condom stores, liquor stores, corner stores, bodegas, gas stations, sex shops and even bathrooms in seedy bars are all good places to buy condoms. You'll probably pay a premium for them if you buy them in small amounts from everywhere besides large drug stores and online condom wholesalers, but when you need a condom, you need a condom.
Probably the biggest obstacle to buying condoms is yourself. As a young male I remember how embarrassed I was to buy condoms the first few times. The actual act of buying the condom wasn't half as bas as I was afraid it was going to be, but then again, I guess that's how irrational fear works.
- Don't be embarrassed to buy condoms. If you're buying condoms, you're likely having sex, and generally speaking, sex is supposed to be something that you're happy about having.
- If you're feeling self conscious, buy other items with the condoms to make your purchase feel more normal and routine. You can also have an older sibling or friend get them for you too.
- The checkout people are happy that you are buying condoms. Don't worry about getting judged by them, they're usually pleased that they can have the opportunity to facilitate someone's pleasure.
- If you're really worried about the process of getting condoms in public you can always order tons of them online. Not only are the prices better, but you can have them shipped to your door in a non-nondescript box and no one has to know about it.
Step 3: Take One Out of the Package
Check out the expiration date on the condom and make sure that the condom is still good for use. The condom pictured below was purchased in the winter of 2008, and as you can see, it doesn't expire until August of 2012 - pretty good shelf life.
Look at the corners of the condom wrapper. There should be a small slit in the side of the package. Tear along this line and rip off one entire side of the wrapper. Do this step with your fingers and not with your teeth since you don't want to tear the condom.
Once the strip is ripped off, remove the condom from the wrapper and proceed.
Step 4: Identify What Goes Where
That means that you've got to apply the condom with the rolls on the outside, and the latex on the inside.
Think of it like the brim of a sombrero. Your head goes inside the hat and the brim curves up around the edges. The condom is the same way. The condom needs to be placed on the penis so that the roll of latex (brim) are facing up.
See photos below for additional info on which side is the "top" of the condom.
Step 5: Apply the Condom
Keep unrolling the condom as far as possible, recognizing that the condom may not unroll completely before you get to the base of the penis (or penis like object).
If the condom is feeling comfortable at this point, then you are ready to use it safely.
Ideally the condom should fit snugly on the penis and have a little extra room at the tip for the semen to collect in during ejaculation.
Some problems that arise during application of condoms can range from users putting condoms on inside out, the penis not staying errect during application, using too large of a condom, using too small of a condom and probably many other untold things that have happened to condom users over the years. Whatever troubles you may be having, rest assured that you most likely not alone, and that with some further practice, you'll be able to use a condom in no time.
Step 6: Remove the Condom
Do not attempt to reuse the same condom.
Step 7: Dispose of the Condom
Simply wrap it up and throw it away.