Apparently, some men clean and reuse their condoms. Yes, really. I can’t believe this is even a thing, but in case it’s not abundantly clear, here’s a reminder of why it’s such a bad idea.
- I have so many questions. How would you even go about cleaning a condom? Do you wash it in your sink with soap and water and leave it to dry on your clothesline? Put it in the dishwasher? Doesn’t it feel weird and wrong going back on? Wouldn’t it dry out and feel brittle? There’s no way that it still fits right. Also, wouldn’t the person you’re using it on wonder why it’s not a fresh one? Do you reuse it on different partners? Ew. The logistics don’t even make sense to me.
- It must happen a lot because the CDC found it necessary to tweet a reminder recently. They said, “We say it because people do it: don’t wash or reuse condoms! Use a fresh one for each sex act.” So I guess this really is something many guys do. If you think this is reasonable, you’ve clearly missed some important points about proper condom usage.
- Why would men do this? The only reason I can think of is to save money. If you have enough sex, I guess having to buy condoms can quickly add up. I get that people want to save money where they can, but some things can really only be used once. You wouldn’t reuse tissues or toilet paper, would you? Maybe guys are embarrassed to go to the store to buy condoms. This is silly because I’m pretty sure the store clerk doesn’t care that you’re buying condoms, nor does anyone else. Get over it. Even if strangers are judging you, is it worth risking an STD and unwanted pregnancy? Nope.
- Condoms aren’t as effective the second time around. If you don’t already know this, now you do. Besides the fact that it’s completely disgusting, reusing a condom can lead to breakage, slippage, and leakage, which can lead to pregnancy and STD transmission. So please, throw your used condoms away after you’re done with them.
- The CDC offers many helpful tips for proper condom use. Use a condom 100% of the time and put it on before any sexual contact. Don’t use expired condoms. Check for tears or holes before using it. Put the condom on the correct way by pinching the tip and rolling it down (which removes air from the tip and leaves room for ejaculate to prevent breakage). Be careful to avoid leakage when taking it off and dispose of it immediately. Use water-based and not oil-based lubricants on condoms because oil can weaken latex and cause breakage.
- There are other things you need to know about using condoms. For example, the rim of the condom should be on the outside so it looks like a hat before putting it on. If you accidentally do it the wrong way, don’t flip it around—get a new one. Another good tip is to push the condom to the other side of the wrapper before opening to prevent breaking it. Also, don’t store condoms near anything sharp. It’s important to wear the right size condom as well. And when putting a condom on and taking it off, do it only when the penis is erect to ensure proper fit and to avoid leakage and breakage. And finally, it’s OK to be skeptical of a guy that doesn’t carry condoms. Don’t let a partner pressure you into having unsafe sex.
- Proper condom use is important to prevent unwanted pregnancies and to fight the rise in STD cases. No child should be brought into this world unless it’s on purpose, and preventing STDs is crucial as well. According to the CDC, cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are at a record high, with more than two million cases reported in 2016, the most ever. They can be treated with antibiotics, but if undetected, they can cause health complications including infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, and an increased risk of HIV transmission. Proper condom use is essential for combating STDs and protecting yourself and your partners (it’s important to note that STDs can also be spread even without having intercourse).
- We need better sex education in general, including in schools and at home. Everyone should be educated about safe sex and proper condom usage. That’s why sex education in schools, as well as sex education at home, is so important. Even adults can take sex and wellness classes. Without knowledge of sex and everything involved with it, people can’t possibly learn how to make the right choices, and these idiotic misconceptions can be perpetuated.
- We also need greater access to low-cost/free condoms. According to Planned Parenthood, if you buy condoms in bulk they usually cost less than one dollar per condom. This is a small price to pay, in my opinion, for safe sex. If you’re really strapped for cash though, you can obtain free or low-cost condoms at Planned Parenthood centers, community centers, family planning centers, doctor’s offices, or college health centers.