From the time most of us become sexually active, it’s hammered into our heads that condoms have two primary uses: birth control and STD protection.
While you might decide to move on to other methods of birth control once you're in a long-term relationship, there are good (and fun!) reasons to stick with condoms long-term, too.
If you’re in a committed relationship, both you and your partner are STD-free and you’re using another form of birth control, condoms can still come in handy for a variety of situations, both practical and pleasurable!
We all have that one friend we call “Fertile Myrtle” who insists she got pregnant — twice — while she was on birth control. Not all methods of birth control are created equal and no single method of birth control is 100% accurate all the time.
So for women who track their menstrual cycle it can make sense to double up on birth control if ovulation seems eminent.
Even if you’re super confident about your birth control method, it doesn’t hurt to have condoms on hand. Certain medications can make the Pill less effective, so you might need to rely on another form of birth control for a period of time.
Likewise, if you vomit shortly after taking a birth control pill, it makes sense to use condoms at least until your next cycle starts just to be sure you’re protected.
For women who are planning to have a baby, using condoms in the interim between stopping your primary method birth control and when you start trying to conceive might make sense.
While you can certainly start trying to make a baby as soon as you stop most forms of birth control, many doctors recommend waiting at least one menstrual cycle after you stop using hormonal birth control to allow your cycle to regulate. This will help you be able to more accurately pinpoint ovulation and conception.
Condoms aren’t all work and no play, though! Like any type of sex toy you might be interested in experimenting with as a couple, there are a number of ways you can use condoms to enhance your sex life. Yes, really!
If control is an issue — or if you simply want your sexual encounters to last a little longer — condoms can help slow things down a bit. Two condoms which have been designed specifically for prolonging sex are Durex Prolong and Trojan Extended Pleasure. Both have a desensitizing lubricant on the inside to encourage climax control.
Even if you don’t have an issue with premature ejaculation, you might want to try prolonging sex with condom use if you have a long refractory period (the time it takes to recover after an orgasm before you’re ready to have sex again).
Ribbed or studded condoms are generally designed to provide different pleasurable sensations for women — but some condoms provide extra stimulation for men too! Pleasure-shaped condoms like Naked are designed to make you forget you’re even using a condom by maximizing your pleasure.
And if you’re a fan of G-spot stimulation, a textured condom in combination with a lube designed to increase the size and sensitivity of the G-spot might be just the ticket to mind-blowing sex.
If your amorous adventures take you beyond the bedroom — maybe you like to get it on while camping in the great outdoors — condoms can be a good idea when having to clean up a mess might inhibit your fun.
But even if you’re a homebody, keeping a selection of condoms on hand can be good for those times when you don’t want to deal with the mess afterward. Using a condom means no wet spot and no “tickle from the trickle” to deal with!
For women, hormone fluctuations and certain medications can affect the body’s natural lubrication no matter how aroused you might be. Lubricated condoms can provide a little extra lube when you need it and make sex more pleasurable for both of you while minimizing any discomfort from a lack of natural lube.
Of course, regardless of your reason for using condoms, the most important quality of any condom is proper fit! Finding the right size and fit to enhance pleasure for both of you might require you to experiment a little, but this is probably the most fun you’ll ever have doing research!
If you’ve never experienced how condoms can increase your fun in the bedroom, it might be time to jump back in and get to experimenting. Whether you and your partner are in it for the protection or for the pleasure, there are plenty of reasons to consider reintroducing condoms to your relationship.
And for goodness sake, if you ever worry that your partner has a wandering eye, this is the time to double down for your own good in the safe sex department. A condom can save your life when it comes to disease. Having a few extra condoms by the side of the bed can mean the difference from a life of explaining your ex's antics vs. making that deadbeat a distant memory.
And don’t just stop at one type — try them all, and see what works best! Pretty soon when they’re asking you to do “that thing they like,” they might just mean rolling on their favorite wrapper.