We’ve all heard a lot about condoms--in middle school sex ed, in relationship gossip with friends, in discussions with our partners when things start heating up. A lot of what we’ve heard is right. Some of what we’ve heard isn’t, including these 6 myths below. Let’s set the record straight.
STDs don’t discriminate—unprotected heavy petting, anal, and oral sex won't likely get anyone pregnant, but they can all transmit STDs/STIs. If a penis is involved in your relationship in any way, even if you’re not having vaginal sex, condoms are your best friend for steering clear of STDs. If your sex sessions are entirely penis-free, then you can rely on female condoms and dental dams for protection.
According to a Glow Community poll, 36% of women believe that thinner condoms are more likely to break. Well, turns out they’re not! All condoms sold in stores are rigorously tested for quality and held to the same quality standards. Rest assured, thin condoms, used correctly, aren’t any more likely to break than thicker ones.
Myth 3: Lube Isn’t For Everyone
If you think that lube is only for people who aren’t aroused or don’t like sex, you are sorely mistaken. Sore because you should totally be using lube! A good lubricant during sex has so many benefits. Lube protects our most delicate membranes by reducing friction, and it can minimize condom breakage, especially during anal sex. Moreover, lube can cut down on infections like HIV and other STIs, and petrochemical-free lube (like the kind Sustain makes) can minimize the risk of bacterial vaginosis, which happens when the normal balance of good bacteria is disrupted. Oh yeah—and it just feels good. Go lube!
Nope! Turns out that mineral oil, a super common ingredient in hand lotions, causes ~90% decrease in the strength of condoms. Which means that your condom will break faster...which is not good. All condom brands work to get the word out on this one (case and point, check out this FAQ from Sustain), but the myth persists. If you want to use lube or lotion while also using a condom, make sure you use something that was made to be used with the condom. You can also buy condoms with lube on them, which keeps things easy.
Myth 5: Two Condoms > One Condom
The more, the merrier is just not a thing when it comes to condoms. Two condoms can create more friction, which increases the chances the condom(s) will break. If you want to be super safe, consider doubling up with a condom and another effective birth control method!
Myth 6: Your Man Definitely Needs Magnum
According to a Glow Community poll of women whose partners wear condoms, 40% said that their partner wears magnum size. Let’s take a step back. Who needs magnum? Sorry boys, but not many of you. Smaller condoms are the best option for about of 35% men, and standard condoms are best for 50% of men. Let’s do the math. That leaves 15% of men who actually need the largest size. No need to size up ;)