Picture of How to Put on a Condom
This Instructable explains how to properly put on a condom, where you can get condoms (for free and for purchase), and a little bit of background info on condoms for those who would like to know a bit more about them.

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.***
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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:

Knit Condom
Condom Ecosphere
Novel Use for a Condom
Condom Light Party
Dual Waterproof Consumer Electronics - the condom
Creative Discontent: Part 2

Condom materials

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

Disease prevention

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.

Sexual Education
(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.

The data is clear and plentiful. Condom education is effective in decreasing STDs and HIV and did not give teens "a license to have sex" as opponents claim.


(Any information included in this step that is not cited below came from the the World Health Organization's document - The Male Latex Condom.)

[1] Condom. Planned Parenthood (April 2004). Retrieved on 11/19/2007.
[2] A History of Birth Control Methods Planned Parenthood (June 2002). Retrieved on 7/5/2006.
[3] Hatcher, RA; Trussel J, Stewart F, et al (2000). Contraceptive Technology, 18th Edition, New York: Ardent Media. ISBN 0-9664902-6-6.
[4] Wikipedia entry on condoms Retrieved on 2/26/2008.
[5] Effectiveness of male latex condoms in protecting against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections The World Health Organization. Retrieved on 2/26/2008.
[6] Ibid.
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IT look like a apple computer
leasho2 years ago
As a former Sex Education Counsellor of five years:
the step where you are rolling the condom down the shaft: You should still be pinching the tip of the condom while rolling the condom down the shaft to prevent air from going into the tip.
From the first picture of the instructable, you can actually see there's air in the tip.

If there is air, the chances of the condom breaking once the semen goes in is relatively high.

Great and definitely necessary instructable! (thumbs up)
Its way much better to apply some lube in the penis before the condom. the condom WONT came out, the lube allow the condom to place better in the penis. It will increase the pleasure on men and of you want, you can use some HOT Lube (Water base) for better pleasure.

For non circumsice men, please REED or GOOGLE before saying condoms are just for circumsice men. just have to add some others steps. here ask the same...
Sorry Dude. Your are open it by the hard way.

Have you question why condoms are join together in this way?


If you see, most of thing use the dot .............

Thats because if you are going to get laid (sex) and the light are off, you WILL NEVER find the small slit you mentioned (In my country condoms dont have it too); so the vvvvvvvvvv shape allow you to find it just by passing the finger thought it.. And with that shape you can easy open the package without the needs of nails, teeths, sissors, etc.
Tee11202 years ago
I think every guy has put a condom on the wrong way at sometime in his life. I will be honest and say I have numerous times lol My Ex actually got me this product take a look

There is a video at the bottom, watch it!
Androidk2 years ago
Hey parents Practice THIS with your kids. As soon as I was old enough to buy condoms, my dad gave me money to buy condoms, so I went to walgreens and got a box, and the next day he made me buy another box of condoms and the next day, and the next, and the next, For a whole month! Every time I went In, there was this hot chick behind the counter, and every time I went in, I could see her grin and do a little chuckle, And I could tell, in her head she was like,"those are definitely too big for him." Grr...
lil jon1686 years ago
do you have to be a certain age to buy a condom
Actually I think You have to be atleast 12, and is your picture a molotov cocktail?
Ora lil jon1686 years ago
No you don't.
I really love how New York City has its own official condom. I always thought a city with a more "progressive" reputation, like San Francisco, would be the first to do something like that, but as far as I know New York is the only city to actually have this kind of program. This leads to wonderful tidbits on a .gov site like: -Don't use two condoms at the same time to cover the penis—it can make the condoms slip off or break. -Change to a new condom if you have prolonged vigorous and/or anal sex -(If a condom breaks) Do not douche the vagina or anus. -You can urinate if the break occurs during vaginal sex. (I really hope they mean after the sex is over)
nyc condom.jpg
Yeah, the urinating thing is nasty but it is an effective last attempt at making sure you dont get pregnant (naturally washing the semen out).
Actually, I don't think it washes it out, but I think that the acidity kills it instead... but effective nonetheless.
Now, from what I've HEARD, it's pretty close to impossible to pee while you have an erection. That being said, I don't think any matter of trying to wash out the sperm will do you much good. Once an egg is fertilized, the damage is done. That's why you're supposed to use spermicidal jelly, birth control in addition to condoms, etc. If all else really fails, there's emergency contraception, which still isn't a sure thing.
Hi I agree with you 100%. It is impossible to pee since the "erection" which is done by the stretching or swelling of 3 individual muscles: corpus cavernosum (2) and corpus spongiosum "shuts" or constricts the ureter and although some guys can urinate (so I've heard and not very many), I assume its got to be extremely painful. Unfortunately, I disagree with the contraception methods "after" pregnancy I'm Pro Life. Everyone should assume their responsibility, although every person is a different universe.
Ok, I'm wierd then, I can pee with an erection... It doesn't hurt (that much) at all.
Ps- I agree with the "pro life" statement, It is your job to have a baby if you concieve(sorry if I spelled that wrong) and if you don't want a kid that much, then abstinense(same goes here) is essential.
I just want to make it clear that I didn't mention the morning after pill to spark a moral debate, I simply said it's an option. I completely agree with abstinence being the only 100 % affective method of birth control.
abstinence being the only 100 % affective method of birth control.

virgin mary.jpg
let's not bring religon into this... but good point.
let's not bring religon into this...

Right. Wouldn't want to offend anyone. God forbid.
Your religion has just as much capability to offend as much as you are offended by other religions. God also scorned poor math skills and cyber-marketing.
My religion? (I don't think of myself as having a religion, really. I would say I am a spiritual person, but that spirituality isn't applied onto any religious framework). Or are you using "you" and "yours" as a less pompous "one" and "one's"? I ask, fearing you suspect I'm one more intolerant, narrow-minded person, making the world that little bit more of a frustrating place to live. That is something that, every day, I try very hard not to be. I don't know. Maybe if you or some other person reads this, you or he/she will be given a little boost in your/their hopes that just maybe the world's heading in the right direction, and that maybe we're all going to be alright, seeing as the world is occupied by just one more considerate, rational, compassionate human being. I hope that doesn't come across as grandiose or vain.
Or you can make your own religion like me, Im Madakoprist! as are 2 other people my brother and my uncle. Just pick what you like in a religion, and build around it till its a whole religion with your preferances... or would that be a cult?
It was just a joke about the story, no one is preaching here.
I know.
Except that few people have the willpower to not go all the way - so at what point has the "abstinence method" failed? This is the biggest problem with teaching kids to wait "for love" or whatever. The abstinence method fails a lot, but those who preach it want it both ways - they just say that if it failed, they didn't use the abstinence "method" and so the rate is still 100%. If you take into account that every single pregnancy is due to a failure of the abstinence method, even before the use (or not) of condom, cap, pulling out, pill, etc. it should show you just how useless it really is. Since the stats are fake, what can you do? Answer, carry a condom. Abstinence - a nice idea for parents. In reality, give your kids a condom, and tell them that you'll be mad if they get caught screwing, but you'll be sad if they end up pregnant or dying of AIDS. p.s. Jesus had an older brother. Explain that, after you explain your proof that Genesis is factually correct.
I just said that it's the ONLY 100% effective method of birth control (and preventing STDs and all that crap). I completely advocate education and using condoms as stated in my first post on this instructable, which apparently turned this into a huge freaking debate, which I'm tired of commenting on. If you want to talk about will power. I'm a military spouse, and a faithful one at that. It's not that hard, I just pretend sex doesn't exist for months at a time. :)
Abstinence fails every time your kids have sex. Condoms fail perhaps once every hundred goes. That's a huge difference. Keri, I'm not having a go at you at all.
Ya know I just thought of somthing, There is a VERY under the counter drug called the abtinance pill, it kills the blood vessels in the penis causing an erection to be permanently be impossible... Rubber bands and popsicle stick splint!
And my response was that abstinence is a terrible 'method'!

It doesn't work. Any horny teen tasked with not thinking about sex is doomed to fail, in the same way that few people can not think of an elephant when told not to think of an elephant.

Sex happens. Even your grandparents discovered it before you did. Telling kids simply not to partake is foolish in the extreme. (Doesn't work for drugs too well, either, but there is little option there.) With sex, teach them how to use a condom. Sure, it might fail once every 100 times or so, but abstinence fails *every time* someone has sex.
I just thought of a elephant
LOL! Ok, we're on the same page. You're just not getting me. What I'm saying is encourage your kids not to have sex, since thats the only way they can guarantee they won't have any issues. However if they do have sex, use a condom. I just had some friends in high school who had no idea what was going on and through education, they were able to make better decisions. My grandma agrees, they didn't teach them that stuff back in the day and she thinks it was a huge mistake. We're cool, I promise. I'm just getting annoyed having to keep coming back to this instructable. I'm absolutely done posting on it right now.
Keri, you are neglecting the greaestt aid to abstinace! Any teenager will be able to describe it to you...
And the erection is OUTAHERE!
thats funny
Thanks! I try. :]
lol! You know, I had that in the back of my mind when I was writing that comment.
An aspirin held between the womans knees is pretty efective...for abstinence, and birth control...multi-tasking!!!
I disagree, one could hold an aspirin between the knees and still have many positions for sex!
Fortunately, it's not your job to choose what other people do.
ha ha.. you not weird, you have an advantage over me...!
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