Sexual Health

Can condoms cause a UTI?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are extremely common and can be caused by a whole host of things from poor hygiene to simply having sex.

They occur when bacteria get into the urethra and can be extremely painful. Some people are more prone to developing a UTI than others and although they are not a sexually-transmitted infection, just the act of having sex can irritate the urethra and cause an infection.

Some people think that using condoms can cause UTIs. You are more at risk of suffering from a UTI if you use a condom with a spermicidal lubricant so it is safer to stay clear of products of this type.

Make sure your condom has non-spermicidal lubricant and always practice good hygiene. Only remove a condom from its packet when you are ready to use it and never re-use a condom.

It is also a good idea to make sure both you and your partner have clean hands when putting a condom on.

As condoms are the only contraception which offer protection from sexually-transmitted infections, it is still much safer to use a condom than to have sex without one. And remember that it is possible to develop a UTI from sex alone even when you’re not wearing a condom.

In fact, using a diaphragm increases a woman’s risk of getting a UTI and is not recommended for women who suffer from them regularly. It is thought the diaphragm prevents the woman’s bladder from completely emptying during urination, which is why a UTI might develop.

There are lots of things you can do to help prevent a UTI. These include:

• Drinking plenty of water

• Drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry capsules

• Eating lots of fibre to prevent constipation which can lead to a UTI

• Treating any constipation you do suffer from quickly by taking a mild laxative

• Always wiping from front to back if you are a woman

• Washing your genitals regularly

• Emptying your bladder after having sex

• Going to the toilet as soon as you feel the need instead of trying to hold it in

Are condoms vegan?

If you’re vegan, you may not realise that the contraception you use might contain animal products.

Most condoms are latex and contain casein, a protein which is found in milk. Casein is added to help make the latex smooth during the manufacturing process.

There are even some condoms which are made using lamb’s intestines, although these aren’t as common as they used to be. In fact, these lambskin condoms are not recommended for protecting yourself against sexually-transmitted diseases as they are porous, although they are effective at preventing pregnancy.

But don’t despair, there are lots of vegan condoms on the market so you can practise safe sex without compromising on your principles. You may also want to avoid condoms which contain casein if you suffer from a milk allergy as it is possible you could experience a reaction.

One way of avoiding casein is to buy non-latex condoms which offer just as much protection from unplanned pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections.

Funky Condom sells LifeStyles SKYN condoms which are made from polyisoprene and are vegan. Other non-latex condoms like Durex RealFeel are also made without casein and so are a good choice if you are trying to avoid using contraception which contains animal products.

Condomi condoms used to be recognised as vegan by the Vegan Society. However, after some changes to the manufacturing process, there have been claims that they are no longer vegan but Condomi state all their products are free from animal derivatives.

It is not just non-latex condoms which are vegan-friendly. Some manufacturers make latex condoms without using casein or any other animal products.

One of these brands is Kimono, a Japanese condom manufacturer which uses no animal or milk proteins. Funky Condom sells five products from Kimono, including Kimono Thin Maxx Large, Kimono Thin and Kimono MicroThin Large.

What condoms should I buy?

When you’re choosing which condom you should buy, there are a few things to think about.

What are your priorities? There is a wide variety of choices which all cater to different tastes and needs so it is a good idea to work out what is most important to you.

Here are some things to think about when working out which condoms to buy:

• Are you mostly concerned about safety?

Funky Condom sells a number of Extra Safe condoms with products from Pasante, EXS and Durex. These condoms are slightly thicker than standard condoms and have extra lubrication to minimise the risk of tearing and provide high levels of protection.

• Does size matter?

If you’re bigger or smaller than average, you might want to consider buying a condom which is better suited to your size. Wearing ill-fitting condoms can be uncomfortable and unpleasant and could also increase the risk of it slipping or breaking. There is a good choice of extra-large and snug fit condoms available to meet your needs.

• What kind of sex are you having?

While all the condoms Funky Condom sells are safe for vaginal, anal and oral sex, you may want to stock up on some flavoured condoms if you’re going to be using them for blow jobs. Many people don’t like the taste or smell of latex so buying one in a tasty flavour can make the whole act more enjoyable for both of you.

• Do you want to last longer?

If you’re concerned about coming too soon or you simply want to extend your lovemaking, you might want to consider buying some climax control condoms. With a lubricant designed to temporarily numb your penis and delay orgasm, these condoms will help your sex sessions last longer.

• Are you looking to heighten pleasure?

If you’re looking to maximise sensations, there are a few options open to you. Ultra-thin condoms will intensify feelings for the man and provide a more natural sexual experience. On the other hand, ribbed and dotted condoms will thrill and stimulate the woman and increase her chances of reaching a climax.

When you’re choosing condoms, the best thing to do is take a look at what is available. Don’t get stuck in a rut, try out a few different types and styles to discover which you like best. Many of the condoms sold by Funky Condom are sold in small quantities so you can try them out before buying larger packets of your favourites.

Do condoms protect against herpes?

Herpes is a highly contagious viral infection which remains in your body and can cause painful blistering on your genitals.

Once you have caught herpes, the virus will remain inside your body and can flare up again in the future. In general, outbreaks of genital herpes are worst in the first two years of being infected, with flare-ups becoming less regular and severe as time goes on.

Condoms can provide some protection against herpes, although it is important to take further precautions. Never have sex with someone while they have visible symptoms of herpes, always wait until the outbreak has cleared up.

Eight out of 10 people with the herpes virus are not aware they have the infection. Even someone who is not suffering from any symptoms can pass on the herpes virus but using condoms will reduce this risk, although it will not give you complete protection.

One of the reasons why there is still a risk even while using condoms is because they only cover the penis. Herpes can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact so touching someone’s upper thighs, anus and genital area can also lead to the infection spreading.

In a nutshell, if you’re planning to have sex then the best way you can protect yourself against herpes is to use a condom. Studies suggest that using condoms reduce the chance of herpes spreading by half.

But be vigilant and do not have any sexual contact with someone if you can see blistering around their private parts or inner thighs. You can also catch herpes though oral sex, so use a flavoured condom if you are unsure of your partner’s sexual health and history.

If you know that you have herpes, be careful to avoid sexual contact if there are any sores, ulcers or blisters visible or if you can feel the itching or tingling sensation which usually occurs just before an outbreak.

Which condom is best?

Asking which condom is the best is a bit like asking about the length of a piece of string.

There is no one answer as everyone’s tastes and needs are different and one person’s favourite might not work as well for another. The key is to find which condom is best for you.

One way you can find your favourite is to try out a few different types and see which you prefer. Funky Condom sells condoms from 11 different brands, including Durex, Trojan and Pasante.

Many of our products can be purchased in small quantities, giving you the option of trying out lots of different types before settling on your ideal one.

And remember, there’s no need to stick to a particular type of condom. You can buy lots of different types and choose whichever one suits your mood (or the mood of your partner) at the time.

At Funky Condom, we think all the condoms we sell are fantastic but here are some suggestions as to which type might suit you:

1. When you’re in the mood for oral sex
Flavoured condoms are a good bet for adding a bit of flavour and excitement to oral sex. They are safe for vaginal and anal sex as well and come in a wide variety of flavours. If you’re a chocoholic, you might want to try EXS Hot Chocolate flavour condoms, while if you’re feeling fruity there is Pasante Tropical.

2. If you want to last longer between the sheets
Climax control condoms are ideal for men you are concerned about premature ejaculation or who simply want to last longer before they orgasm. With a special lubricant designed to desensitise the penis, these condoms delay the moment of climax. Examples include Pasante Infinity Delay, Durex Extended Pleasure and EXS Delay.

3. For something a little bit different
If you’re looking for something which offers a little bit more than standard, there are a number of condoms which could be right for you. There are coloured condoms to suit any occasion, textured condoms which will stimulate your partner and latex-free condoms if you have an allergy to rubber. You can also buy condoms in fun packaging like EXS Smiley Face condoms.

4. If you’re looking for a bareback experience

Ultra-thin condoms are perfect for people who want to practice safe sex but don’t like the feeling of wearing a condom. Funky Condoms sells a number of super thin condoms which allow you to feel every sensation of sex but are still strong and effective. You might want to try Okamoto’s 0.02 Latex-free Hydro condoms which are half the thickness of regular condoms.

How condoms work

Condoms work by trapping sperm and semen so it doesn’t come into contact with your sexual partner.

A popular form of barrier contraception, male condoms are worn during vaginal, anal and oral sex. Not only do they stop your sperm from entering your partner when you come but they also help you avoid coming into direct contact with their bodily fluids.

Condoms are designed to protect the user from sexually-transmitted infections including HIV, gonorrhoea and chlamydia. They are also an effective method at preventing pregnancy and have a 98% success rate.

Most condoms available on the market are male condoms and are worn on the penis. To put one on, wait until your penis is erect and then roll the condom down the shaft.

It is a good idea to lightly pinch the reservoir tip before putting it on to avoid air getting trapped. Withdraw from your partner as soon as you have climaxed and hold the condom so it doesn’t slip off while you are pulling out.

As your condom will contain sperm, it needs to be disposed of carefully. Some people choose to tie them in a knot and wrap them in tissue before throwing them away.

You can also buy female condoms which are inserted into the vagina before sex and also stop the exchange of bodily fluids.

Funky Condom sells a large selection of condoms to suit different tastes and purposes. Ribbed or dotted condoms are made with textured latex which stimulates your partner and increases the likelihood of them achieving an orgasm.

Some condoms numb and desensitise the penis to help the wearer delay orgasm and last for longer. Known as climax control condoms, they work by using a lubricant containing benzocaine which temporarily dulls sensation and can help prevent premature ejaculation.

Extra safe condoms are made from thicker, tougher material than standard condoms. They are the ideal choice for sex workers, people who are HIV positive and those who are very concerned about their sexual health.

You can also choose from a number of styles and sizes. These include snug-fit, large coloured and flavoured condoms as well as ultra-thin ones which allow the wearer to feel more sensation during sex.

Do condoms have sizes?

Many people think condoms are a one-size-fits-all solution but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

Penises come in all shapes and sizes and so do condoms and it is worth trying out a few different brands and styles to find the one which is perfect for you. In the UK, the average man’s penis is around six inches long and standard condoms are created to fit the majority of British men.

However, sizes do vary depending on what brand you choose. For example, condoms made by Japanese manufacturer Okamoto are slightly smaller than those made by US or British firms.

Funky Condom also sells a variety of larger and smaller condoms to suit people whose manhood is far from average.

If standard condoms often slip around on your penis or you feel like they are loose or baggy, it could be worth trying a tighter fitting variety. There are a number of great options on the market including Pasante Trim, EXS Sung Fit and Lifestyle Snugger Fit.

A closer fitting condom is not just for men with smaller than average penises. Many people find they enjoy wearing a snug size more than a standard one so give one a go and see whether it floats your boat.

One way of checking which condom size is right for you is by measuring your girth at its widest point with a tape measure. Those with a circumference measurement of less than 4.7 inches (119mm) will usually be more comfortable with a closer-fitting condom.

However, if you have a circumference of more than 5.1 inches (130mm) then a larger condom may be the best bet for you.

Larger sized condoms are the perfect choice for well-endowed men who may feel uncomfortable or restricted in standard size condoms. If you have a large penis, trying to force it into a condom which is too small could be a risky business as you are increasing the chance it could split during intercourse.

Funky Condom sells a range of condoms in large sizes. Our collection includes Durex XXL, Pasante King Size and Trojan Magnum.

Many of our products, including EXS Magnum Large and Lifestyles King Size XL, can be ordered individually so you can try a few out for size before committing to buying a larger pack.

When were condoms invented?

Condoms are older than you think with historians believing men have been using them to prevent pregnancy for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

No one knows exactly when the first condom was invented. Evidence of early condom use is sketchy but many people think that ancient people used sheaths on their penises as a form of birth control and some even believe they are depicted in ancient cave paintings in Les Combarelles in France, which date back between 10,000 and 13,000 years.

Archaeologists have found condoms made using animal membranes dating back to around 1640. One of these ancient examples, discovered in Sweden, was made from a pig’s intestine and was found with an illuminating instruction manual written in Latin.

Back in the 17th century, condoms were re-used again and again and were viewed purely as a way of preventing an unplanned pregnancy. However, there must have been some awareness of sexually-transmitted diseases as the condom’s instructions advise washing the device in warm milk in between uses to try and stop the spread of infection.

Condoms from the time of the English Civil War were uncovered in the foundations of Dudley Castle and were made from animal and fish intestines. They were believed to have been used by soldiers fighting for King Charles I.

The use of condoms became more widespread in the 18th century but this form of contraception attracted opponents as well as fans. In 1708, John Campbell, the second Duke of Argyll, unsuccessfully fought to have them made illegal.

And in 1717, Daniel Turner, a prominent doctor, complained that condoms encouraged men to have sex with multiple women but did not protect them against the spread of syphilis.

However, modern manufacturing techniques have seen condoms become safer and more reliable than ever before. The origins of the condom we know and use today dates back to the moment Charles Goodyear invented the rubber vulcanisation process in 1839.

His breakthrough saw the first rubber condom produced in 1855 and companies started creating the contraceptive devices using mass production techniques. At this point, condoms were still reusable items and many people still continued to use products made from animal skin as they were cheaper and offered greater sensitivity.

Further advances were made in 1912 when German manufacturer Julius Fromm came up with the idea of making condoms by dipping glass moulds into a rubber solution. When latex was invented in 1920, condoms became more like the products we know and love today and were more affordable as well as disposable.

Safety testing for condoms was introduced in the 1930s after a biochemist carried out an experiment with 2,000 condoms in 1935 and found that 60% of them leaked when filled with water. Then in 1957, Durex invented the world’s first lubricated condom.

Since then condom manufacturers have been finding more and more ways to make condoms thinner, safer and more pleasurable to use. Check out some of the different varieties available today in Funky Condom’s online store.

Do condoms prevent HIV?

Condoms are the only form of contraception which offers protection against HIV.

If used correctly, condoms are effective at preventing the spread of HIV and are the best way to protect yourself from this virus and other sexually-transmitted infections. However, there is always a slight risk that a condom could split or slip during intercourse.

Using condoms will not offer you complete protection against a sexually-transmitted disease which is something to bear in mind if you are having sex with a partner you know is HIV positive. However, the failure rate is low and condoms offer the safest way of having sex with someone who may have HIV or another sexually-transmitted infection.

There are a number of ways you can make sure the sex you’re enjoying is as safe as it can be.

1. Check your condom is in date – All condoms have an expiry date so if you’ve had one hanging around in your wallet or bedside drawer for a while, make sure it isn’t past its use-by date before you use it.

2. Look for the European CE mark - All condoms sold by Funky Condom go through a strict set of tests to ensure they meet safety standards and are suitable for use. There are a number of symbols which indicate whether a condom meets a high benchmark for safety including the European CE mark and the British Kitemark.

3. Never re-use a condom – Don’t be tempted to use a condom again even if you didn’t ejaculate into it. Always use a new condom every time you have sex and put it on before you have any sexual contact.

4. Make sure your lubricant is water-based – Oil-based lubricants can actually increase the risk of your condom breaking so only ever use a water-based lube.

5. Withdraw as soon as you climax – Once you’ve come, it’s time to leave. Withdraw from your partner straight after you orgasm and hold your condom so it doesn’t slip off. Dispose of your used condom carefully after use.

How to use lube

Lube isn’t just for people who are a bit dry down below.

Using lubricant can add a new dimension to your sex life and heighten pleasure both for you and your partner. Lube makes sex more comfortable with smoother and easier penetration and heightened sensation.

As well as adding it your condom, you can use your lubricant to give your partner a sensual massage and get both of you in the mood for more.

Here’s the Funky Condom guide on how to use lube:

1. Choose the right lube for you

When it comes to lube, you’re spoilt for choice. There are lubes which warm, lubes which cool and ones which will make you tingle in all the right places. You can also buy flavoured lubricants as well as natural products which will soothe sensitive skin. To find the one you love the most, you might need to experiment and try some out. Water-based lubes are usually the best to choose as they are safe to use with condoms.

2. Keep it handy

Store your lube somewhere handy where you can get to it quickly when your passion is running high. If you’re likely to be making love in the bedroom then your bedside drawer is probably ideal. The last thing you want is for the mood to be lost while one of you goes off to hunt for lubricant.

3. Warm it in your hand

Put a coin-sized dollop on the palm of your hand and then rub your hands together to warm the lube up. You may want to apply it to the penis first before adding a drop into the condom and then spreading more lubricant onto the condom itself.

4. Try other pleasure spots

Don’t be afraid to use lube on other parts of the body. Smoothing lube into each other’s erogenous zones is great foreplay and can make sex even more pleasurable and exciting.

5. Add more if you need to

If you’re enjoying a marathon sex session, you might need to add some more lube as you go. Just stop for a moment, pull out and add a little more lube before going back to business. Just make sure you don’t apply too much as you want sex to be slippery and sensual rather than sloppy.

How condoms are made

When you use condoms, you are trusting them with your sexual health but how are they made?

The exact process will vary depending on the manufacturer but all the condoms sold by Funky Condom follow a strict set of procedures to ensure they meet international safety standards.

The following steps are used by Durex to make its latex condoms but other firms may follow a similar process:

1. Chemicals are added to the latex to make it strong and durable. It is then heated to reduce the risk of causing an allergic reaction and to increase its reliability. The latex is then tested.

2. The latex is moved into large storage tanks which are temperature controlled.

3. A line of clean glass formers are then dipped into the tanks so they become coated with a thin layer of latex. They are then dipped a second time before going through a hot oven so it hardens and sets.

4. The condoms are then removed from the glass formers and washed before pharmacologically-safe powders are added.

5. Durex then store their latex condoms for two days to allow the material to mature.

6. The condoms are put through an electronic testing machine which checks each item thoroughly for any flaws, imperfections or holes.

7. The condoms are then put into a machine which carefully inserts them into the correct foil packaging.

8. If the condom is flavoured or lubricated, the lube or flavouring is injected into the packaging at this stage of the manufacturing process.

9. The foil packaging is sealed using heat and marked with an individual batch number and expiry date.

10. The individual condoms are then put into boxes, ready to be sold.

Durex also carries out a number of tests to make sure its products meet safety standards. As well as electronic testing which is carried out on every single condom it produces, more than two million condoms each month are filled with water and suspended for a minute to check there are no leaks. A sample is taken from each batch to identify any potential problems and if any of the condoms fail a test, they are all thrown away.

A sample of condoms is also inflated with air to check their strength and elasticity. Each month this test is carried out on around 500,000 condoms every month.

What condom size am I?

What condom size am I?
It’s easy to be fooled into thinking that condoms are a one-size-fits-all kind of product.

But there’s no need to suffer wearing a condom which is tight or uncomfortable. And wearing a condom which is too loose increases the risk that it may slip off during sex.

Luckily, condoms come in different sizes and styles to suit your shape. While regular condoms are likely to fit most men, you may want to try another kind on for size.

When it comes to finding out your condom size, girth matters more than length. Measure the circumference of your penis using a tape measure.

Remember to measure your penis while it is erect as that is the size it will be during sex. Loop the tape measure around your penis at its thickest point before taking note of the measurement.

As a general rule, if the circumference of your penis is less than 119mm (4.7 inches), you may find you prefer the feel of a closer-fitting condom like Lifestyles Snugger Fit or EXS Snug Fit. Regular-sized condoms are perfect for those with a circumference between 119 and 130mm (4.7-5.1 inches).

And if your girth has measured more than 130mm (5.1 inches), a larger condom may well suit you best. Funky Condom stocks a number of larger condoms including Durex XXL and Trojan Magnum.

You might think that wearing the right size condom doesn’t really matter. But research shows that picking a condom which is too big or small can cause it to slip off or split.

Men are more likely to pick a condom which is too large for them because they are embarrassed about looking for a smaller-fitting condom while they are out shopping. By buying condoms online from Funky Condom, you can spare your blushes and spend time browsing the site for a product which is right for you.

What is a condom?

What is a condom?

Condoms are a form of barrier contraception which prevent unwanted pregnancy and the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases.

While there are many different condoms available, the basic principle is the same. Male condoms are worn on the penis and stop semen from coming into contact with your sexual partner.

There are also female condoms, which are pouches worn inside the vagina and inserted before sex. Like male condoms, they stop sperm and semen from entering the vagina and can also be used during anal sex.

Most condoms are made using latex, although there are alternatives available for those who suffer from a latex allergy. Funky Condom sells a range of non-latex condoms, including those made from polyurethane which is strong, durable and effective at transferring heat giving a sexual experience which feels authentic.

Condoms are the only form of contraception which offers protection against sexually-transmitted diseases like HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhoea as well as unwanted pregnancy. They are 98% effective against pregnancy if used properly.

It may take a while for you to find the perfect condom for you but you can have lots of fun while you try some out.

As well as regular condoms there are a number of other styles including:

• Textured condoms – Ribbed or dotted, textured condoms are designed to heighten pleasure for your partner and stimulate their erogenous zones during intercourse

• Utra-thin condoms – These condoms are thinner than usual, allowing the wearer to feel more during sex so it is a more natural experience

• Flavoured condoms –
Often used during oral sex, these condoms are also safe for vaginal and anal intercourse. They come in a wide variety of flavours so you can choose one that satisfies your appetite.

• Coloured condoms – Put some colour into your sex life with condoms in a wide variety of shades. From sleek and stylish black to novelty glow-in-the-dark condoms, the choice is yours.

• Irregular sizes – If you’re bigger or smaller than average, you can find a condom which fits you like a glove. From snug fit condoms to XXL sizes, Funky Condom will stock a condom to suit you.

• Extra safe condoms - Slightly thicker than standard condoms, these come with extra lubricant and are designed for people who are particularly concerned with their sexual safety.

• Climax delay condoms – Some condoms come with a special lubricant inside the sheath which temporarily dulls sensation and delays ejaculation. Designed to extend lovemaking, these are ideal for people who want to last a little bit longer between the sheets.

How effective are condoms?

When you use a condom, you want to know that it is safe and effective.

The good news is that statistics show that they are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. This means there is still a small chance you could become pregnant when using condoms but the odds are massively stacked in your favour.

To put this into context, no method of contraception is 100% effective at preventing pregnancy except for swearing off sex altogether. And condoms are the only way you can protect yourself from sexually-transmitted infections so are essential if you are sleeping with more than one person or have a new sexual partner.

If you’re just looking to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, there are a number of other choices available but some are less effective than condoms while others can cause unpleasant side effects.

They include:

Contraceptive cap – a silicone cap which women can insert into their vagina to stop sperm reaching their cervix – 92-96% effective

• Diaphagm – This works in a similar way to the cap but needs to be used with a spermicide – 92-96% effective

• The pill – This is an oral contraception which is taken by the woman to stop her ovaries releasing eggs each month. Some people may suffer side effects including mood swings and headaches – more than 99% effective

• Contraceptive implant – This is an implant which is inserted into a woman’s arm and uses the hormone progestogen to stop the release of eggs. It lasts three years but it can cause a loss of sex drive, headaches, nausea or acne for the first few months – more than 99% effective

• Contraceptive injection – There are three types of injection which can stop a woman getting pregnant for eight, 12 or 13 weeks, depending on which type you have. It can cause weight gain, headaches and mood swings in some people – more than 99% effective

• IUD/coil – The coil is inserted into a woman’s womb and stops sperm and eggs surviving so a fertilised egg will not implant. They last between five to 10 years but there is a risk of infection and the woman’s body can expel the coil - more than 99% effective

These other forms of contraception all rely on the woman taking steps to prevent an unwanted pregnancy while condoms can be carried by either partner to ensure they are protected during sex.

Do condoms work?

Yes, condoms work and are the only way you can protect yourself from both sexually-transmitted infections and an unplanned pregnancy.

If a condom is used properly, it will be effective 98% of the time and even when mistakes are made or the condom has split, it will still prevent pregnancy on 82% of occasions. To make sure your condom works as it should, make sure you put in correctly.

Check your condom is not inside out – it should look like a small pointy hat with the peak pointing away from your penis. The rim should be on the outside and the condom should roll down easily on an erect penis.

If you are struggling to unroll it, it may be inside out. In this case, the safest thing to do is to throw it out and use another one.

Condoms are an effective method of birth control but they also prevent the spread of a number of diseases including HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhoea. If you have sex with a partner who has herpes or genital warts, it is still possible to catch the infection if you come into contact with areas of infected skin.

Using condoms also helps prevent the spread of the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is extremely common in the UK and those with it often don’t suffer from any symptoms. HPV can increase a woman’s risk of developing cervical cancer.

Make sure you buy condoms which have been safety tested and purchase them from a reliable retailer like Funky Condom. Once you have your condoms, store them in a cool, dark place.

Storing them in direct sunlight or in a warm, humid environment could cause damage and make your condom less effective. If your condom seems dry, stiff or unusually sticky, then throw it away and use another one.

Are condoms safe?

Condoms are the only contraception which offer protection against the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs).

Although using condoms is the safest way to have sex, no method of contraception is completely effective, apart from celibacy. As abstinence is not most people’s cup of tea, condoms offer a convenient and simple way of protecting your sexual health and preventing pregnancy.

When used correctly, condoms are 98% effective. There is a small chance your condom could slip off or break during intercourse. If this happens, it may be a good idea to visit a sexual health clinic or your GP for emergency contraception to prevent an unplanned pregnancy or to be tested for a sexually-transmitted infection.

At Funky Condom, we want our customers to enjoy sex without worrying about pregnancy or disease. Here are our top tips on making sure your condom is safe:

• Check the expiry date – condoms become less effective once they are past their use-by date so make sure yours have not expired before you use them.

• Store them properly – Keep your condoms in a cool dry place as keeping them in hot, humid conditions can dry them out and increase the risk of them splitting during intercourse.

• Do not open condom wrappers with scissors or your teeth – Take care when you open a condom wrapper so you do not tear it.

• Don’t use oil-based products with latex condoms – Using oil-based lubricants or products like moisturisers or Vaseline can make latex condoms less safe. If you really want to use these products, choose a polyurethane condom instead.

• Use a water-based lubricant – Using a water-based lubricant can reduce the risk of a condom splitting.

• Never try to use a condom more than once – Once a condom has been used, wrap it up and throw it away. It is not safe to use a condom again.

• Do not use spermicidal lubricant – Spermicides are chemicals which kill sperm and used to be a popular lubricant added to condoms. While it is still available, research has now found that spermicide is not effective at preventing sexually-transmitted infections and could actually increase the risk of catching a disease.

What should I do if I have used an expired condom?

If you discover you have used an expired condom after intercourse, don’t panic. Although condoms do expire, they don’t stop working as soon as they are past their use-by date.

Using an expired condom will still have given you more protection than using no condom at all. Check whether the condom has split and if it has remained intact, simply check the expiry date of any remaining condoms and replace any which are out of date.

If your condom has split and you are worried about an unwanted pregnancy, you can use emergency contraception. The morning-after pill can be bought from most pharmacies and is also available for free from your GP or sexual health clinic.

There are two types of emergency contraceptive pill – Levonelle, which must be taken within 72 of unprotected sex and ellaOne, which should be taken within 120 hours of intercourse. Women can also have an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted into their uterus within five days of sex to prevent pregnancy.

If you are concerned about your sexual health, consult your doctor or visit a specialist clinic.

How to put on a condom

Putting on a condom is simple but it’s important to get it right.

Not putting a condom on properly could stop it being effective and lead to an unplanned pregnancy or sexually-transmitted infection.

Here’s how to put on a condom in three easy steps:

1. Open the foil wrapper but be careful not to tear the condom inside – do not cut the packaging with scissors. If you’ve had the condom a while, check the expiration date before you use it.

2. If your condom has a reservoir tip, pinch the tip to make sure no air is trapped inside and place it against the tip of your erect penis.

3. Roll the condom down along the shaft of your penis, making sure there are no air bubbles.

Make sure your condom is the right way round before putting it on. The rim should be on the outside so the condom resembles a little pointy hat and it should unroll easily. If you do put the condom on inside out, take it off and use a new one - don’t be tempted to just put the same condom on the right way round as it may already contain some sperm.

Once your condom is on, you may want to add some extra lubrication. Applying additional water-based lubricant can make sex more comfortable and it also reduces the risk of the condom splitting and increases sensitivity.

When using a condom, you need to make sure you put it on before your erect penis touches your partner’s vagina, anus or mouth as your penis can often release pre-ejaculatory fluid, sometimes known as pre-cum, during foreplay.

Make sure your condom stays rolled down on the shaft of your penis throughout and hold the condom at the base when you pull out to ensure it doesn’t slip off. Tie a knot in the condom to make sure none of the sperm comes out and dispose of it as soon as you can.

I Went to Ibiza and all I Got was this Lousy STD

The summer holiday season is just about over, but a new season could be just beginning…the season of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Yes, thousands of Britain’s will be swapping the departure lounge for GUM clinic waiting room after being tremendously irresponsible abroad.

A survey of 3,000 individuals, carried out by the Co-operative Pharmacy, found that 1 in 3 people had unprotected sex with a new partner, while they were away on holiday. You would be wrong to think that this daft behaviour was saved for just the young and inexperienced in ways of life – A hefty 1 in 6 people in their 50’s would have a holiday fling or one night stand. The middle-aged participants of the survey were also the least likely to use contraception with a new partner…Tut Tut.

Additionally, One in 10 of those questioned said they had had unprotected sex because they were drunk while a fifth said they had done so because they did not have any condoms to hand. One in eight of the women questioned said they felt too embarrassed to ask about contraception when they were with a new partner.

Sexual health agencies are urging holiday makers to pack condoms before they set off on holiday, as some condoms available abroad don’t always comply with the relevant European health, safety and environmental protection laws. All our condoms here at Funky Condoms are CE marked so make sure you stock up if you are heading away on a late holiday.

Why don’t you try out Pasante Tropical Flavoured Condoms to give you holiday something extra fruity - With a choice of creamy coconut, yummy mango and tasty pineapple you wont even need to leave your hotel room to get a taste of something exotic. Be safe when you travel abroad and be sure to seek medical advice if you do end up having unprotected sex for whatever reason.

Grievous Bodily Herpes

In a week full of convictions for the callous rioters that ripped through the streets of England last week, news was released of an altogether more bizarre and ground-breaking conviction. Traffic officer, David Golding was jailed for 14 months for passing on the sexually transmitted infection herpes to his girlfriend.

In the first ever case where an individual has been jailed for passing on herpes during the hearing in which the 29-year-old admitted causing grievous bodily harm by giving the infection to his then partner, Cara Lee, 23. Northampton Crown Court heard that Golding had kept his infection a secret during the couple’s relationship in 2009. After finding out she had been infected in March of 2010, Ms Lee moved out and reported Golding to the police.’.

Judge Michael Fowler told Golding: ‘Because it was in a relationship, it was particularly mean and one which amounted to a betrayal – a betrayal in a relationship in which you professed love…The injury you caused by this infection is at least or more serious than an injury leaving a scar because it carries continued recurrence, extreme discomfort and consequences for relationships she will have in the future.’

But sexual health experts and charities have called the decision to imprison him ‘outrageous’. Sexual health experts said herpes was not serious enough to amount to grievous bodily harm under the Offences Against The Person Act and will further stigmatise herpes.

Dr Colm O’Mahoney, sexual health consultant at the Countess of Chester Hospital said: ‘This is outrageous. Will children now be prosecuted for “giving” their friends chickenpox? Most people who have genital herpes don’t know it because, even if they do get recurrences, it is such a trivial genital infection that they don’t notice it.’

In Britain, about 6million people have genital herpes and up to 40million may have picked up herpes simplex (a cold sore) on the face. If you don’t want to end up like the unfortunate Mr Golding, be safe and use this week’s ‘Condom of the Week’ when having sex. This week I have chosen Durex Extra Sensitive Condoms, these condoms are feather-light to give you an intimate and natural experience.

Virgin on the Ridiculous

My first sexual experience was not a pleasant one. My boyfriend at the time was not a virgin and so gave little consideration that I was one. How can I say this the best way? Okay, it was like a child trying to fit his little square block into the tubs circular hole. After a five minutes of banging against the wrong opening and finding the others not that receptive either, they just take the lid off the tub and angrily rams his square in there.

Yes, my first time was awkward, embarrassing and a bit more painful than I would like and I think maybe it was because my impatient partner didn’t know how to have sex with virgin. This made me very unwilling to have sex with him again, so (here is where you get your violins out) he cheated on me and we broke up. I wasn’t particularly bothered because after my first time fiasco I swore I was never gonna bother having sex again. If that was what all the fuss was about then they could keep it. If I wanted to have 10 crap and unsatisfying minutes I could just watch Antiques Road Show.

Thankfully, I found the joys of sex once again, but it may not have been so difficult for me if my first time partner was more considerate having sex with a virgin. So for anyone out there who will be having sex with a virgin girl I have a few tips for you.

1.) DON’T FORCE IT: There is a reason your partner is a virgin, she is obviously waiting for the right person and even if it is an outdated view in today’s society, it is still her choice. Pressuring her into having sex will make her feel cornered and trapped. Prince Charming never forced himself up against Cinderella and asked her for a quickie in the palace coat room did he? So be patient.

2.) DON’T JUMP STRAIGHT IN: Don’t go putting your hand down her pants before your even anywhere near the bedroom as that is sure to put her on edge. Try and make her as relaxed as possible. A massage is a good idea, but remember there are more places to massage other than the arse and tits.

3.) TALK TO HER: Make sure you know what she is comfortable with before you proceed to full sex. It might be a bit much to expect entrance through the back door, but don’t expect her to want it only in missionary with the lights off. You wont know unless you ask.

4.) BE WILLING TO STOP: It might be looking like the deed is going to happen, but remember it’s a women’s prerogative to change her mind. She may find that she isn’t ready after all. Additionally, you may find that during the act she may need to stop or need a break. Even fully relaxed, the first time can be painful and uncomfortable and it may become overwhelming even a tad frightening so be sensitive to that.

5.) BE SAFE: It is going to be a total bummer if on her first time you give your girlfriend a sexual transmitted disease, and even worse if you go and get her pregnant. So don’t be silly and wrap up your willy, which leads us to ‘Condom of the Week’ time. This week I have chosen Durex Maximum Love Condoms – with extra lubrication they should be a good choice.

I know if may seem that I have left out how to have sex with a virgin male, so here it is…don’t expect it to last to long!

Is Mills & Boon a Danger to Your Sex Life?

It is a strange thing to ask, but the raunchy novels you associate with your nan (gross I know) might be having a negative impact on your love life. According to the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, steamy stories like those from Mills and Boon should come with a health warning. The journal article claims that romance novels are somewhat to blame for unprotected sex, unwanted pregnancies, unrealistic sexual expectations and relationship breakdowns. I assume they have caused a catastrophic increase in the cases of burning loins, particularly in barns.

In the latest edition of the journal, psychologist Susan Quilliam says that in the more standard romance novels sees the “heroine being rescued from danger by the hero, and then abandoning herself joyfully to a life of intercourse-driven multiple orgasms and endless trouble-free pregnancies in order to cement their marital devotion"…completely unrealistic.

According to Quilliam, a large number of issues seen in therapy rooms are influenced by romantic fiction. She believes that romantic fiction readers are more likely to ignore rationality in favour or romanticism…idiots. This could lead readers not to use contraceptive because they wan to get swept up in the moment.

I know the topless landscaper rarely (if ever) pauses to put on a condom before he takes the frustrated golf widow in the rough, but it’s just silly not to wrap up your willy. So don’t be like Stavros, the STD riddled landscaper and use a condom. This leads us on to the regular feature, ‘Condom of the Week’ and this week I have went for EXS Max Protection Condoms - Not only do they offer you extra protection, they are also completely odourless for a more pleasant and less distracting experience.

Rules of Engagement

We have all heard the saying ‘Two’s Company Three’s a Crowd’. For a lot of situations this is true, such as a tandem bike ride, camping in a two-man tent or having a go on a see-saw. But the ‘three’s a crowd’ rule doesn’t have to apply to the bedroom. Yes I’m talking about threesomes and as De La Soul said ‘three, that’s the magic number’.

However, there are some rules and distinct etiquette that should be followed when considering or engaging in a threesome. It really is not ok to present yourself naked with the willing third party on the sofa as you wait for you unaware partner coming back from her reccy for a pint of milk…you might find yourself wearing it. SO what rules should you follow when it comes to a three-way? Well that’s what I’m here for, to help you.

COMMUNICATE: I know it may seem pretty obvious, but you will be surprised at how little couples actually communicate. Don’t let embarrassment stop you saying something that you find yourself wishing you had revealed standing naked before the bed. Also make sure you discuss what is okay for your partner to do and what isn’t okay to do. Like a lady of the night often won’t engage in passionate kissing because it is too personal, you may not want your partner to do the same. Or maybe your partner does a special move just for you that always finishes you mortal combat style and you don’t want them using it on anyone else.

DON’T BE AN IDIOT: Whatever you do, make sure the majority of your time is spent on your current partner. You absolutely do not want to turn over and realise your other half has left the room completely and you might find your clothes on fire or that your body wash had received a hefty does of chilli powder. Place yourself in your partner’s shoes and appreciate how you would feel if the shoe was on the other foot. If you think a dummy might be in danger of being epically spat out, don’t do it.

STAY ACTIVE: If you find yourself not being the main focus of attention for a few moments, don’t just sit there twiddling your thumbs, maybe get out a game of sudoku…stay involved. Touch her, touch him or touch yourself…there is so many things right there for the grabbing it would be a real shame if just one of your hands were empty.

DON’T BE SELFISH: If you climax first, don’t just roll over and have a little nap, help to please the other participants. It might be slightly awkward if the other two are trying to keep things going but are getting interrupted by your snoring.

BE SAFE: The most important rule of them all especially with all those genitals and accompanying fluids flying around. Although it may be hard to remember you should use one hand to stimulate one partner and the other hand to stimulate the other partner. And you must, must, must use a separate condom, femidom or dental dam when having penetrative sex with the separate partners. So ‘Condom of the Week’ time and this week I have chosen Night Light Glow Condoms which are some spectacularly fun glow in the dark condoms.

Good News Everyone

Finally it seems like some of you guys out there are no longer being silly and wrapping up your willy and some of you gals are no longer pulling stupid stunts and protecting your…well you know where I’m going with that. Earlier this week the Health Protection Agency announced that, for the first time in a decade, there has been a drop in the number of new sexually transmitted infections in England.

Hurray, you dirty dogs are finally being a little bit more responsible instead of dipping your dipstick in any old oil well without even wiping it off or knowing the last time the oil was changed (how is that for a metaphor). The Health Protection Agency says although the reduction is small - only 1% down from the 424,782 cases diagnosed in 2009 - it is still a significant step in the right direction.

So down to the nitty gritty…here are the stats:

• CHLAMYDIA: For the first time in a decade the rates of Chlamydia remain stable with 189,612 newly diagnosed cases last year. Additionally, more young people aged 15-24 were going in for Chlamydia screening with 2.2million being carried out in England last year, an increase of 196,500 from the previous year.

• GENITAL WARTS: New cases of genital warts were down by 3%...good news because that s**t is with you for life.

• SYPHILIS: Cases of one of the more exotic STIs, syphilis were down a pretty impressive 8% on the previous year.

• GONORRHOEA and HERPES: Unfortunately levels for both of these STIs were up in 2010. Gonorrhoea went up by 3% from 15,978 diagnoses in 2009 to 16,531 in 2010 and genital herpes increased by 8% from 27,564 to 29,703.

Unsurprisingly, young people under the age of 25 remain the group experiencing the highest rates of STIs overall.To reduce the risk of STIs, experts (and myself) advise using a condom when having sex with a new partner for the first time and continue to do so until both parties have been screened.

So this brings us nicely to Condom of the Week and this week I have chosen Trojan Ultra Ribbed Condoms. With gentle raised banding in all the right places, these condoms are guaranteed to give pleasure all round.

Dark Age Education

I was shocked by the news that surfaced from Florida this morning. Apparently, 13 groups will receive a $150,000 grant form Florida’s Department of Health to promote and teach the state’s teen abstinence program. The program will ‘teach’ (more like preach I think) that abstinence is the only sure way to “avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems” and that “sexual activity outside of the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects”. Excuse my language when I say BOLLOCKS.

Abstinence programs are stuck very much in the dark ages as well as not being particularly effective. Tell a teenager not to do something, and what do you think the first thing they are going to do is? And take George (cuckoo-banana) Bush’s abstinence programs in Africa to reduce the spread of AIDS…well thanks to Bush AIDS levels have never been higher, yay for abstinence!!

It seems to me that these $150,000 grants would be much better served in offering teenagers realistic advice about safe sex instead of hinting that sex is something dirty (I mean it can be dirty, filthy even, but only in a good way). That money should be used to provide teenagers with the knowledge and even the means to have safe sex, if and when they choose to have sex. Get with the program Florida.

Of course it is important to have sex only when you are ready and of consenting age. So when you do choose to have sex make sure you’re doing it safely and use one of my many ‘Condom of the Week’ selections. This week I have chosen Beyond Seven Condoms Lubricated With Aloe ; sometimes sex, particularly first time sex, can cause discomfort, but these condoms have a generous coating of lube that contains natural aloe extract to soothe that discomfort.

The More You Know

Even after ten plus years as a sexually active heterosexual female, the male penis is still a bit of a mystery to me. As wonderful and necessary as they are, I have to admit I find them a tad weird, just stuck on there like they are. Still, even though (to me) I find a uncircumcised flaccid penis, looks a little bit like a nun in her habit, I still enjoy having them in the world (my boyfriends in particular…way to go buddy).

So I know very little about the human penis, apart from the fact it can be swung around in a rather hilarious manner like a helicopter blade, so I decided to educate myself. Thanks to the wonders of the internet and the wonderful people at the NHS, I found out 4 things about the penis that I think everyone (male, female or other) should know.

1.) THE PENIS IS NOT A MUSCLE: While we have all seen videos of men lifting paint cans with their manhood, but contrary to popular belief the penis is not actually a muscle. In fact it the ‘love muscle’ doesn’t contain any muscles at all, that’s why it is very difficult to move when erect. When a man gets a little bit excited blood flows to two cylinder chambers that causes the penis to swell and stiffen.

2.) PENIS LENGTH IS NOT RELATED TO FOOT SIZE: See a man with size 16 feet and you probably think no wonder he is walking with a limp. Well that limp is probably just the result of a poor muscle; according to a study published in the British Journal of Urology International there was no link between shoe size and penis length, in all age groups.

3.) THE PENIS IS BREAKABLE: I’m sure that statement has a lot of men grabbing their crown jewels in horror, but it’s true, even though there are no bones in the penis it can still be broken. If an erect penis is violently twisted the blood chambers can burst causing rapid and excruciating swelling. Intercourse with the woman on top is believed to cause a third of all causes, when the man slips out of his partner and his penis is violently bent. So be careful there cowgirls.

4.) SMALL PENISES MAKE BIG ERECTIONS: You might be having a cheeky giggle at that small penis now ladies, but it could be the penis that has the last laugh. A study published in the Journal of Sex found that men found that shorter penises increased by 86% when erect, nearly twice that of longer penises (47%).

So now you know all about the penis make sure during sex that you’re not silly and wrap up that willy. This seamlessly leads me seamlessly to ‘Condom of the Week’ and this week I have chosen Crown Colour Condoms; coming in a rainbow of colours to add a little bit of extra fun to those sexy times. They also feature a super smooth water-based lubricant, reservoir tip and provide super sensitivity and safety at a super cheap cost. You wont get them cheaper anywhere else.

Put it Back in Drive!

No matter where we go these days we are confronted by sex, whether it is in a suggestive sausage advert or turning on the TV and watching the umpa lumpas from Geordie Shore eating face (I can take the p**s because I am a Geordie, but I am not orange, an idiot or riddled with disease). So anyway, we are confronted by sex wherever we go so it seems strange to say that many people are suffering from a low sex-drive.

While it’s safe to say sex is not the be-all and end-all of a relationship it is rather important; nothing will hurt the security of a relationship like a low libido will. It will cause insecurity in your partner and low self esteem with yourself. But if you do have a low sex drive you don’t have to put up with it. There are certain factors that contribute to a low sex drive so listen up while I tell you what they are so you know what to avoid.

• Obesity: In overweight men the fat cells produce the female hormone oestrogen, which reduces sex drive. So put down the fork and get on the treadmill.
• Stress: Everyone is so busy and stressed they don’t make time for sex. So leave work at the office now and then and go home and engage in an entirely different kind of ‘business time’.
• Lack of Sleep: Having too little sleep is one of the biggest killers of sex drive so get to bed early a couple of nights a week so you can stay up late the rest of the week.
• Alcohol: Too much alcohol can permanently affect the libido, and not in a good way. An orange juice every now and then has more benefits than just as one of your ‘5-a-day’ if you know what I’m saying.
• Depression: One of the leading hallmarks of depression is a low sex-drive, however anti-depressant medications also have an adverse effect on sex drive. Don’t be shy and visit your doctor to see what can be done to improve the situation.
• Poor Diet: Processed foods are not good for the health in general; they can make you feel sluggish and poorly. Get some good fresh food in you and you will be raring to go.

So follow the advice above and you will be gagging for it, but before you hop in the sack, don’t be silly and wrap your willy. Yes that is right it is time for ‘Condom of the Week’. This week I have chosen the Protex 002 Non-Latex; it is one of the world’s thinnest non-latex condom and is made from a material that transfers much more heat during sex than latex. So get that car out of park and get it into drive.

Nut Crushers

We have all seen those nature shows when you see some kind of monkey bash on some nuts with a rather large rock to crush them. Well boys that monkey with the rock is your ridiculous drainpipe jeans and the nuts are, well your nuts.

It’s safe to say your super skinny jeans look completely ridiculous (the skinnier you are the worse they look) I do not want to know that much about a guy I don’t know. I don’t want to be able to count the change in your pockets, know what mobile phone you have and I certainly don’t want to see the detailed outline of your penis and testicles that have been contorted into a bizarre percentage sign by the tight crotch of (what look like your sister’s) jeans.

Not only is it a terrible look, but it can also have some quite serious implications other than clammy balls (eurgh). Now although there is no significant evidence that suggests that tight jeans can have an effect of male fertility and sperm count, there is evidence that is can contribute (or even cause) a nerve condition called meralgia paresthetica. Also known as the ‘tingling thigh syndrome’ because of the prickling, tingling, numbness and/or burning sensations felt throughout the leg, it is caused by pressure on a nerve in the pelvis. The lycra-inserted denim of today’s tight jeans can cut off the sensory nerve that runs from the pelvis surface through the thigh and this can eventually compress the nerve if pressure is continuously put on the thighs.

Eye-wateringly tight pants have been implicated in a whole host of other medical conditions in both men and women, including has bladder infections, vaginal yeast infections, contact dermatitis, and even blood clots in the legs. It can also interfere with motility in the bowels, causing abdominal pain after a meal.

So how about every once in a while you loosing the pressure on your genitals and give them something nice and comfy to wear. So in the case of the men and their poor penises we arrive at ‘Condom of the Week’. This week I have went for Durex Natural Feeling Condoms, which are lubricated with an ultra smooth, water soluble lubricant for a comfortable and natural feeling.

Don’t be silly, wrap up your willy (just don’t consistently crush the bejeesus out of it in tight jeans)

Sisters Doing if for Themselves

Sometimes men seem to get a bit of a raw deal when it comes to sex. They are expected to have the stamina of a marathon runner, find the (possibly mythical) G-spot while stimulating the clitoris and caress the nipples, and while they are doing all this they are expected to find a free hand to expertly find, unwrap and correctly apply a condom.

So thinking about it, us women can be a bit harsh on men in the bedroom, pouncing on any little mistake. It isn’t fair really. We girls should take some the pressure off the men in our life once in a while.

It seems generally accepted that men should take care of the condom situation, but I say women should take their share of the responsible and use a female condom. Before I researched how they were used, they were a bit of a mystery; I thought it would be like sticking a windsock up inside you and then getting your partner to make love to it.

However, I was wrong; it turns out they are soft and comfortable for both partners and provide superior heat transfer and sensitivity. So now all you need to know is how to use one…here is my step by step guide:

1.) Carefully open the condom package carefully; don’t use your teeth, scissors or a knife, because that’s stupid (if you don’t know why it’s stupid, you definitely should not be having sex).

2.) You will see that the female condom has two rings. The outer ring covers the area around the opening of the vagina. The inner ring is used for insertion and to help hold the sheath in place during intercourse (if you don’t like all this talk of rings, you should absolutely no be having sex).

3.) While holding the Female condom at the closed end, grasp the flexible inner ring and squeeze it with the thumb and second or middle finger so it becomes long and narrow. Now gently insert the flexible inner ring into the vagina and move into position.

4.) Right girls, now you’re gonna have to put your index finger up in there (and don’t complain…you expect your boyfriend to put his penis up in there don’t you?) to push the condom up as far as it will go. Make sure the sheath is not twisted and that the outer ring of the condom is outside the vagina.

5.) You’re now good to go; gently guide your partner’s penis into the opening of the condom because if he enters in the side between the condom and the vaginal wall then you aren’t protected against anything.

6.) To remove the Female condom, twist the outer ring and gently pull the condom out.

There you have it, so women you don’t have any excuse to share your part of the condom responsibility, especially when I tell you that my ‘Condom of the Week’ is the Pasante Female Condom.

Taking Your Orals?

Maybe you are a little bit of a novice when it comes to oral sex and that’s OK, but it means that you could have some inaccurate misconceptions that are stopping you enjoy this wonderful thing to its full potential. As with any sexual act there are positives and negatives and you should be fully educated on these points; sexual health may seem a boring concept, but it is important. So bear with be if you can be bothered and we will get ourselves educated about oral sex.

• In men, oral sex helps to relieve stress and as a result can help the risk of colon cancer.
• The chances of the dreaded premature ejaculation and even more dreaded erectile dysfunction are greatly reduced during the act of oral sex. Woo-hoo.
• According to Associated Press reports (listen up men this one is for you), when women perform fellatio more than two times a week they can swallow semen that may reduce the risk of breast cancer.

• The main negative of oral sex is that there is still a risk of contacting sexually transmitted diseases. Many may think that because genital-genital contact is not involved that there is no risk of infection. So make sure your having safe oral sex.

Any kind of sec your having you should be having it safely, which leads me nicely onto Condom of the Week. This week I have chosen Pasante Cooling Sensation Condoms; they are designed with raised ribs and coated in a special lubricant with cooling effect to increase the intensity of sexual pleasure for both partners. They are suitable for oral, vaginal and anal sex.

BC- Before Condoms: Part 2

Last week I promised you some more bizarre contraception methods from the past that were genuinely believed to prevent pregnancy. I wonder what our male ancestors thought when babies were popping out all over the place; were they puffing their chests out and strutting through the village, proud that their sperm was super strong to get past the lemon-soaked sponge or were women getting accused of cheating left, right and centre because ‘the wife always ate bees before she had sex with me…’ I can tell you that they certainly didn’t realise the obvious, that the contraceptive didn’t work, because there are many more weird contraceptive methods, and by this I don’t mean an empty crisp packet or Milky Way wrapper…ouch.

• Of you wanted to get into a women’s knickers in the dark ages, saying something was ‘magic’ was your free pass. What other reason cold there be for ladies strapping weasel testicles to their legs in an attempt to prevent pregnancy?

• Any woman will know that even now diaphragms were not the most pleasant things. So women everywhere should spare a thought for their Ancient Egyptian counterparts; as a rudimentary diaphragm they used honey mixed with crocodile poo. Who figured out this worked? That’s what I want to know.

• You think the T-1000 from Terminator 2 was the scariest use of mercury, think again. In 11th century China, after sex to prevent pregnancy women used to drink shots of mercury…I’m sure the sterility, brain damage and minor cases of death soon after was all pure coincidence.

• Did your grandma ever tell you that flat Cola can cure anything; sore tummy or dirty jewellery…then get out the Cola. Really want to have sex, but don’t have any crocodile poo or weasel testicles nearby…then get out the Cola, except it’s not for drinking. Yes it is what you think; not so long ago it was thought that douching the vagina after sex with Cola would prevent pregnancy. It just sounds sticky.

• Ancient condoms were made of oiled silk paper and lamb intestines (hopefully rinsed).The first rubber condoms were as thick as a bicycle inner tube and had a thick seam running down one side…sounds comfortable!

So now you know how bad it could be (even with condoms) you should be grateful for all the delightful condoms we have available today. This leads nicely on to Condom of the Week, and this week I have chosen the Pasante Duel Pleasure Condom. Along with the condom, you get a little extra sachet of lubricant to increase the sensations by getting things all nice and slippy.

BC- Before Condoms

I know there is a lot of grumbling that goes on when it comes to using condoms during sex. Inaccurate claims that it feels better without; it ruins the mood, blah, blah, blah. We should all be thanking ourselves lucky that we have condoms as an effective contraceptive method, because throughout the ages of history our ancestors weren’t so fortunate. Check out some of these bizarre contraceptive methods that came before the magical (it doesn’t actually perform real magic) condom.

• The Ancient Greeks tried to prevent conception by squatting after sex and pounding themselves relentlessly on the abdomen. That sure beats cuddling.

• Ancient Egyptian women used sea sponges soaked in lemon juices and vinegar inserted into the vagina (ouch) to keep those troublesome sperm at bay; they could be reused to clean the pyramid floors.

• Back in 23-70 AD, Roman nobleman Pliny the Elder believed that if you took two small worms from the body of a certain species of spider and attached them, wrapped in deer skin of course, to a woman's body before sunrise, she would not conceive. Sounds totally reasonable to me.

• St. Albert the Great (1193-1280) advised women to eat bees as an effective contraception procedure. Alive or dead I do not know, but wither way I don’t think it would build up my appetite for love.

• Casanova, the world’s most famous panty raider, used the empty rind of half a lemon to prevent his well-shared sperm from setting up home. I’m understandably sceptical of this method.

• Finally, in the 6th century is was widely believed to avoid conception, a man should wash his penis in vinegar or brine before having sex and that a woman should wear a cat's testicle in a tube across her navel.

That’s all for now as it’s time for Condom of the Week; you should have a new found appreciation for the little latex miracles now. If you’re lucky I may have some more bizarre historical contraception methods for you next week. This week I have went for Fair Squared Ribbed Condoms to link into my foray into eco-sex yesterday. They are made from natural fair trade rubber from a sustainable source in South India and the condition under which the rubber is sourced ensures that the farmers get a fair deal. Farmers are paid a fair price and use the extra fair trade premium to invest in improvements to their community.

Make it Quick!

Romantic, slow and sensual love-making can be a great thing; rose petals scattered everywhere, candles burning and some Sade on the stereo. But, sometimes don’t you just think I can’t be bothered. You spend all that time getting the atmosphere right and making your partner feel special with romantic massages and foreplay that you’re starting to get a little but tired. It’s getting late and you have that early meeting in the morning and you’re thinking I really should get some sleep; how am I gonna get out of this one? You can’t play the headache card as it is totally cliché and anyway you wouldn’t mind a bit of a release anyway. You just don’t want to wait hours to get it and be like a zombie the next day. That meeting is pretty important; you’re up for promotion.

So bring on the quickie, by preferring a quickie sometimes means no disrespect or lack of love for your partner, but this isn’t about love—it’s about lust. It’s all about the pleasure you can get from, and the desire you can have for, the person you are with. If you feel insulted because your partner wants you this way, then get a grip; the quickie is still a form of intimacy, just a little but shorter.

Just because it is a quickie, doesn’t mean it is any less satisfying. Consider it in terms of a cheese sandwich. Add some lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise to that sandwich and by-gum you have a sandwich, but sometimes you appreciate the virtues of having a sandwich with nothing but cheese; quicker to make but just as satisfying.

Just because it is a quickie, doesn’t mean you can skip those few second it takes to put a condom on; quickie sex should also be safe sex. It would seem a shame if ten minutes of pleasure caused a long term infection with a sexually transmitted disease. This brings us nicely onto Condom of the Week and this week I have chosen Durex Deluxe Condoms; the premium non-latex condom which represents a new dimension in closeness and are the diamond standard in thinness. Take an already amazing experience to a whole new level with our crystal-clear condoms as they promote a transfer of body heat for ultimate feeling and sensation.

Sad Sacks

It’s not unusual for women to feel a little down in the dumps after a bit of the slap and tickle, especially if they have had to get all ‘When Harry Met Sally’ just so it would be over. But, a recent survey has shown that up to one third of women say that they have experienced a touch of the blues, even after satisfactory sex. The condition, known as post-coital dysphoria to the big-brains, affects 10 percent of women regularly and symptoms include feelings of sadness, anxiety, regret (unrelated to waking up next to the crypt keeper after a night of heavy drinking), restlessness and irritability after a sexual encounter.

Some people have mixed feelings when it comes to sex, be it from their upbringing, or from the fire and brimstone attitude that religion often brings to sex. This means that an individual may experience feeling of guilt and frustration after a sexual encounter. It is at this point that I should be thankful I was brought up without religious influences and grew as a well rounded atheist.

So what causes the post-coital grumps? Researchers can’t be sure, but the hormonal shifts that occur after orgasm, that can also cause post-sex headaches, could be to blame. Additionally, it could be issues within the relationship that cause the negative feelings; maybe you’re just subconsciously disgusted by your partner.

Depressing or not, make the sexual encounter a safe one; it could get a whole lot more depressing with some sexually transmitted infections or unplanned pregnancy. Leading seamlessly to Condom of the Month; this week I have chosen the Durex Intense Sensation Condoms. These beauties feature hundreds of raised studs for extreme pleasure for both you and your partner. Who could be depressed after that?

An Education

“Where fun comes to thrive”
That’s the tag line of new social networking site for Chicago University, UCHICAGO HOOKUPS. Set up by an as yet un-named University of Chicago the site allows students of the university to find casual sexual encounters. Maybe they should change the tagline to ‘Where sexual disease comes to thrive’.

The site claims that chastity is curable if detected early and that a promiscuous person is someone who is getting more sex than you. I surely can’t be the only one that thinks these claims are quite frankly, tacky and ludicrous. They promote the idea that someone who chooses not to have sex is a prude and a person who has lots of random sexual encounters is a ‘legend’. These views are nonsense; a person who has lots of sex has no more value than someone who chooses to abstain for whatever reason.

More than 200 people have already signed up for the service and according to the site their users are already seeing success in finding no-stings attached sexual encounters. The site creator claims that he is trying to change the stereotype that University of Chicago students are boring and sexually deprived. If he is lucky, he can change the stereotype to students that are riddled with sexually transmitted disease.

Surely, it would be better if he site was promoting safe sexual encounters as opposed to glamorising a promiscuous lifestyle. So this leads onto ‘Condom of the Week’ time. This week I have went for something different with the Pasante Non Latex Dental Dams. They are a sheet of ultra-thin polyurethane for use during oral sex to reduce the risk of infection. It is not only penetrative sex that should be safe; oral sex should be safe too.

Good Old Fashioned Fun

So a survey of Singapore men has revealed that men are worried about getting older. Well happens to all of us I’m afraid (well not Peter Pan, but he did have a child-obsessed and murderous pirate after him). When you grow up you finally realise how strange and unsettling the relationship between Peter Pan and Captain Hook actually is. Anyway I totally digress; Singapore men are not only worried about aging, but also about what they can do to improve their sexual health.

The reason why Singapore men are so concerned about their sexual health as they see it as a vital indicator of their general health and well being. If general health was judged by the ability of a man to get an erection, every drunken man on the planet would be considered close to death (until he sobers up at least).

Less emphasis needs to be put on the importance of the ‘stiffy’ and instead, men particularly, need to be encourages to talk about their sexual health issues with a health care professional, instead of filling in surveys on the internet. As far as I’m aware an internet survey can check your prostate for you. I know there is nothing pleasant (for most men, anyway) about two rubber-gloved fingers probing around in there, but it is important.

As ever if you are having sex, geriatric or otherwise, make sure you are doing it safely. So that brings us nicely to ‘Condom of the Week’ and this week I have went for Trojan Twisted Pleasure Condoms. They are designed with a special Twist at the closed end to help stimulate both partners in their most sensitive areas. Enjoy adding a little twist to your (safe) sex lives.

No Withdrawals!

Let’s talk idiots! There are plenty of idiots out there as the withdrawal method of contraception is believed to be the most common form of contraception used today. The withdrawal method “works” by a man pulling his penis out of the women’s vagina before he ejaculates. Morons love this method because it is all natural and there is no extra cost involved. Well tell me this idiot, how much do you think it costs to raise a child for 18 years? It is something you had better start thinking about as the withdrawal method has an average failure rate of 19%. It’s also damn messy, ejaculating all over the place.

The withdrawal method is doomed to fail eventually during sex (before ejaculation) the man produces pre-ejaculatory fluid, which does contain sperm and even potentially HIV. Yes that’s right as well as not protecting against pregnancy, it also doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted disease and if by some miracle you are a regular reader, you will know I’m an advocate for safe sex.

It can only mean one thing; it’s condom of the week time. This week I’m directing my recommendation to those that use the withdrawal method and trying to tempt them away with jaw-dropping variety. It’s the FunkyCondom Variety Super Mix; you get 48 condoms offering many different sexual experiences; increased pleasure, increased sensitivity and increased stimulation are all on offer and there is even the tuxedo black condom available for the more formal occasions. They do say variety is the spice of life after all.

Phone Sex

We are such a nation of technophiles, thinking that technology has the solution to all our problems, and if it doesn’t have the solution we need now, it soon will. The NHS sexual health team from the Wirral are getting on the technology bandwagon (like everyone else) and have launched their own mobile phone App (like everyone else).

The App gives young people information about contraception, save sex and provides information of sexual health clinics in the area. Additionally App users can play a "SexFactor" game (what a clever reference to popular culture) to improve knowledge and understanding of sexual health issues. Jumping on the social media bandwagon, a Facebook page is also available to help advertise the campaign.

The main aim of the campaign is to encourage the youngsters (not too young I hope) in Wirral to go for regular Chlamydia screenings as one-in-eight young people tested are found to have the disease. Chlamydia is the silent ninja of sexual transmitted diseases as it shows no symptoms and can lay dormant and undetected for several years, but can cause health problems and affect fertility. The sneaky little bas***d.

Apparently, they young generation won’t learn anything about sexual health unless it is beamed to them via some form of mobile media. Of course there would be no need for an App if they were taught more about the importance of condoms. Wear a condom and your risk of catching a sexually transmitted disease is nominal; this leads me nicely onto ‘Condom of the Week’. This week I have went for Trojan Fire and Ice condoms they have Dual Action Lubricant (warming and tingling mix) on both sides of the condom that provides thrilling sensations of pleasure for more passion and excitement.

Ditch the phone Apps and stock up on condoms. Technology is not always necessary but safe sex is.

It's Good For the Skin

Get your dirty filthy minds out of the gutter people; I’m not talking about what you think I’m talking about. I haven’t rubbed that on my skin and for the foreseeable future I don’t plan to; I’m talking about sex. Sorry nuns and (some) priests, its official: sex is good for you.

Having a healthy sex life is not only healthy for a relationship but it is also healthy for the individual; hurrah, an excuse to ‘get busy’ even more. Regular sex has been shown to make you look younger, feel happier, lose weight, boost the immune system, reduce stress and blood pressure, help maintain a healthy heart and live longer. So throw the apples out (well don’t because that’s obviously a waste) and instead have sex once a day to keep the doctor away.

So here I go again: if you’re going to have so much sex make sure you’re doing it safely and use a condom or another form of protection. So yes it’s that time again; it the condom of the week. This week I have went for the Durex Pleasure Curve Condoms. Their unique shape gives a new angle on pleasure with its advanced condom design. Curved latex provides a new fit, with less restriction and more friction! Hurrah! The pleasure Curve's free-feeling fit stimulates both partners’ most sensitive areas. Depending on how it is worn the users can experience varied and new sensations and Durex reliably informs us that the Pleasure Curve outperformed twisted and spiral designs in consumer research.

So people in the words of Marvin Gaye ‘Let’s Get It On’, however, just because it is good for you doesn’t mean that you can accost anyone on the street and suggest a good old rogering; that’s sexual harassment and possibly even solicitation, so learn the boundaries.

Say What!!!

A friend once worriedly asked me if it was normal that his ejaculate was watery after oral sex and a lot ‘thicker’ after conventional penetrative sex. Being a fair few years ago I was a lot more immature at the time, so of course I told everyone we knew and he was ridiculed non-stop about it for months.

The point I am making is that we will tell our friends all sort of embarrassing information about our sex lives and sexual health, risking unknown amounts of ridicule instead of discussing such things with a health care professional.

What is worse? Revealing a nasty looking (and nastily placed) rash to the people, although you love them, that will jump on any possibly opportunity for long term mocking (you would do the same). Or speaking to a health care professional, who has seen it all and then some, in confidence and then finding a solution that not only gives you peace of mind, but doesn’t end up with you sporting a cringe-worthy nickname for the next 6 months. It seems pretty obvious the right choice to make…unless you want to be called ‘Hot Rod’ for the foreseeable future because ‘it’ is as red as a fire engine and has a fair amount of heat coming off ‘it’ when you pee.

It wouldn’t be a piece about sexual health if I didn’t plug a condom I think you should be using this week when having sex. This week I have put the responsibility in the hands of the women, because ladies is isn’t always fair to expect the man to handle protection now is it? The Femidom is a condom made specifically for females; non-latex, soft and comfortable, they line the inside of the vagina and provide superior heat transfer and sensitivity. They can be used with any lubricant, including oil-based.

So wear a condom and if their are any problems in the downstairs department save your self a hell of a lot of stress and visit a doctor or nurse and not those loveable morons you call your friends.

The Love Bug

According to Hallmark it’s the most romantic week of the year, the week we celebrate the birth of baby St. Valentine in the manger…or something; and millions of people around the country have been catching The Love Bug. Nope it’s not a new found respect and love for your partner, its GENITAL WARTS. The British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) is urging people to be vaccinated against this preventable sexually transmitted disease as figures show new cases have risen by a third in the UK over the last decade…you dirty beasts.

There has been a vaccine against genital warts since 2007; it is not yet available through the NHS, but it should be, because you dirty dogs and your genital warts are costing the NHS a whopping £46 million a year. A further £4 million is spent treating the serious associated conditions.

There currently is a vaccine, available on the NHS, for girls aged 12-14, called Cervarix that protects against cervical cancer, but not genital warts. Yesterday BASHH took its campaign to parliament to make MP’s (and we all know how MP’s like to go at ‘it’) aware of the support and need for the vaccine Gardasil to be made available on the NHS as it protects against both genital warts and cervical cancer.
Until politicians see sense, it may take a while, protect yourself and others when you against all sexually transmitted diseases when you have sex and use a condom.

Riddle Me This

I’ve heard it before and I’m sure I’m not the only one, those few words:

“But baby it feels better without”

Does it? Are you sure about that boys and girls? A soldier never goes into battle without his fatigues, just as you guys and girls should never go to pleasure town (that’s have sex to those of you who can’t read between the lines) without sufficient protection.

Boring you say!! Well tell me this, how do you think 3am feedings feel? Having a ‘mini me’ not only sucking on the once pert breasts you used to love but also on your wallet. What do you think gonorrhea feels like? What about Chlamydia? Or even the dreaded genital herpes? You’re stuck with that one for life you know; at least you can kick the kid out when it’s 18. I joke but over the past decade there has been a dramatic rise in the diagnosis of STD's especially amongst the horniest of age groups: the 16-24 year olds.

Still want to take the risk? Well you’re stupid, because you don’t have to. Try some Pleasure Plus condoms, they are scientifically developed (so you know they’re good) to increase pleasure for both of you. If this is still isn’t good enough for you try one of the many super thin, yet super strong condoms that are on the market at the moment. Crown-skinless condoms are a popular seller and the closest thing to wearing nothing at all, in fact you might even forget you’re wearing it, which could prove embarrassing.

Protection, especially these days, does not have to mean less pleasure. In fact it’s often the opposite and as an added bonus you won’t be forever known as ‘The Riddler’ because you’re riddled with disease. Buy condoms here, cheaper than you can anywhere else and save yourselves the embarrassment, you know it makes sense.

Get Mouthy

As good as it is some people have the idea that oral sex, not being full sex, isn’t really sex at all. I’m talking to you here Clinton, you cigar toting little scamp. Just because it’s not full sex doesn’t mean it’s completely safe; if anyone knows that Clinton does. If he had put something on the end of it (does Jeremy Kyle own that saying now?) he wouldn’t have been made a fool of in front of the entire planet by some crusty scrapings taken from Monica’s dress.

Being caught out as a horny, cheating scoundrel is not the safety I’m talking about here (although my point on that is still valid); it’s the dreaded sexual transmitted disease. During oral sex body fluids are still exchanged; how sexy does that sound by the way:

“Here darling do you want to exchange some bodily fluids?”

Whenever bodily fluids are exchanged there is a risk of the transmission of disease including HIV and surely a little oral pleasure is not worth that.

So as with having any kind of sex, be safe. Go for regular screenings for sexually transmitted diseases and while you are waiting for the all clear have oral sex safely. There are barriers that you can get for oral sex on the lady bits and for men there are so many fun options. Turn out the lights and pretend your Johnson is a light saber with some Night Light Glow in the Dark condoms Or maybe try the EXS Bubblegum flavour condom; wonderfully authentic so remember not to chew, OUCH!

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