It might have been back at school (think biology class and that banana) that you first learned about putting a condom on a penis but even as fully-fledged, sexually active adults it’s still good to have a refresher now and then.

Condoms are a must-have accessory when it comes to sex that is pleasurable and safe. They’re your best defence against sexually transmitted diseases (some of which can lead to cancer or AIDS) and unwanted pregnancies.

Some people find putting a condom on awkward but it doesn’t need to be –the more confident you are, the more relaxed the both of you will feel.

How to use a condom


Step 1

It might sound obvious but always check the expiration date on the wrapper (printed on the back of the foil or the back of the box). This only takes a second and once you’ve checked it’s in date and safe to use, you can relax and get started. As soon as the penis is hard it’s time to put a condom on.

Step 2

Push the condom down away from the side you are opening (so you don’t rip it!) and carefully tear the packet at the serrated zigzag edge. When you’re handling the condom keep it away from sharp nails and jewellery – you don’t want to damage it and have to spend time finding a new one, or even worse, accidently tear it and then realise it’s your last one.

Step 3

The condom can only easily roll on in one direction, so make sure it’s the right way up. The ‘pointy hat’ part needs to face away from the tip of the penis before you put it on.

Step 4

Squeeze the teat end of the condom so that there’s no air in it (the condom could split if air is trapped inside) and place it over the head of the penis. If you are uncircumcised, you will need to pull back the foreskin before you place the condom on the head of the penis. The condom should fit snugly over the whole penis with no baggy spots so make sure you wait until you’re fully erect.

Step 5

Carefully roll the condom all the way down the shaft to the base. If the condom won’t unroll it’s probably on inside out – start again with a new condom, as there could be semen on it.

Step 6

Rub some Durex Water-Based Lubricant onto the outside of the condom. Using lube is important to help prevent tears and breakages caused by friction – even if you’re using a pre-lubricated condom, you can still use extra pleasure gel to enhance the sensation for your partner.

Step 7

Now you’re ready for sex, confident and relaxed that you are being safe! If the condom rolls or shuffles up during sex you just need to roll it back down so that the ring sits at the base of the penis again, but if it comes off completely, you need to take your penis out, retrieve the lost condom and put on a new one using the steps above. A condom that is used and put on correctly shouldn’t break or tear. Why do condoms break? If the condom is sliding off during sex often, try some others to find the right fit for you. Durex make a wide variety of types so you can find one that feels right for you.

Step 8

Before you pull out and while you’re still hard, hold the condom at the base of the penis to make sure it doesn’t slip off while you do. You can take the condom off when your penis is completely out of your partner. Tie a knot in the condom so that the contents don’t spill out then wrap it in a tissue and put it in the bin. Not sure which condom type is right for you? We've got a guide that includes different condom sizes and varieties.