How to put on a condom

We have broken this guide down into different sections. There first section is our step by step guide, following which there are links to images and videos, all explaining in different styles and media the same process: How to put on a condom correctly.

Take me straight to the links to images and videos...

Before we go any further just a quick mention that we do have some related guides:

So without further ado, on to the first section…

How to put on a condom – a step by step guide

1. Practise

The first thing we’d suggest is that if this is to be your first time having safe sex then it would be a good idea to practise putting on a condom by yourself before you get to the real thing. Although it is not that difficult, the condom putting on experience is important: You don’t want to take any risks with putting the condom on wrong!

2. Prepare

You will need to be careful opening the condom wrapper (or foil as it’s otherwise known). Normally condom foils have at least one side that has a jagged edge that makes it easier to rip the foil open. You do need to be careful not to rip the condom as you do this – best not to use sharp nails or teeth! It can be difficult to open the pack if you already have any lube, either natural or artificial, on your hands. To avoid this possibility it can help to make the first little rip in the condom foil before you get into the swing of things (and before your hands are 'lubed').

Want a top tip? Spread a little lube (preferably some sort of warming variety) on the head of your penis before putting the condom on.

Erect penis without condom

3. Get erect

The penis has to be erect before you can put on the condom (or at least mostly erect). So you may want to get into the swing of things first (not that you need an excuse to get on with some foreplay right)! This is another reason that you may want to have opened the foil in preparation – so that when the moment arrives to put on a condom there is no undue delay whilst you find the box, open the wrapper…

Erect penis with condom on glans

4. Start putting the condom on

Place the condom against the head of the penis. You may find that it helps to pull back the foreskin (if the penis is uncircumcised) before placing the condom against the head of the penis. Now, at the most important stage in how to put a condom on, you need to remember two things:

  • First, you need to make sure that you are putting the condom on to the head of the penis the right way round. This is especially important because you may get semen on the outside of the condom if you try to put it on the wrong way round and turn it over when you realise it won’t unroll. (For this reason, if you do place the condom on the head of the penis the wrong way up you should not then turn the condom over and use it but should instead discard the condom and use a fresh one)

    The easiest way to be sure that you’re putting the condom on the right way round is to unroll the condom a very small amount: The roll should be on the outside of the condom. Before unrolling, whilst holding the teat you should be able to see the flat inner section of the condom passing under the rolled outer ring (well, that’s if the lights are on). If you are in the dark it may help to try gently putting your finger on the inner rolled edge of the condom. If you can feel the gap at the base of the rolled condom then you know that side needs to be facing up on the head of your penis. Once you have placed the condom onto the head of the penis you will be able to tell whether it is the right way up because it will only roll down the penis the right way round.
  • Second, hold the condom by the teat, squeezing it. This squeezes the air out of the teat which is important as the teat needs to be empty now – it will later be filled with semen.

Condom rolled half way down penis

5. Start rolling

Start rolling the condom down the shaft of the penis, whilst making sure that the teat remains largely free of air.

Condom rolled to base of penis

6. Get to the base

Roll the condom down the shaft of the penis all the way to the base. If, on reaching the base, there is still rolled latex, leave this rolled at the base (rather than trying to unroll more latex and having it bunch up around the shaft of the penis).

7. Afterwards

When you are done you should withdraw the penis whilst it is still erect (or at least semi-erect) and whilst holding the base of the condom around the penis so that the condom doesn’t slip off.

(Images from Warbler, shared under creative commons licence)

Videos showing how to put on a condom

  • YouTube video showing how to put on a condom (well ok, in this video the condom is actually being put on a cucumber, but it gives you the idea…)

Links re how to put on a condom

  • Condom Essential Wear is an NHS site providing information on condom use and safe sex. This link is to a guide on how to put on a condom.

You don't want it feeling too small, or looking too big!

  • Get the right size... have a quick look at our condom size guide and our condom size chart which should give you the info to ensure your Johnny looks and feels the part!