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3 Things you should do to keep your condom from breaking

Through my work at Lucky Bloke, where I'm CEO, I empower couples to navigate safer sex - whether it be the tough conversations with (new) partners or even the tricky talks between parents and their teens.

Q: My boyfriend and I have used condoms about six times, and three out of those times the condom broke. We always make sure there is space at the tip but it still breaks. Could he be too large for condoms? Or maybe our sex is too energetic for condoms? Signed, Confused in Brooklyn

A: This is a great question, and the answer covers the basic and most important issues related to choosing the condom that is right for you and your partner.

Condoms undergo rigorous testing and can withstand a surprising amount of thrust and friction. With proper use, condoms rarely break. It is not likely that your sex is too rigorous for condoms. Following these tips next time you use a condom will ensure that you are having a safer and more pleasurable experience.

1. Choose the right condom size

This is where most people have an issue with condoms. Condoms are not one-size-fits all. The R&D department at Lucky Bloke found that 70 percent of people who dislike condoms are wearing the wrong size. And using a condom that is too small is not only uncomfortable for the penis in question, it increases the risk that it will break.

There are three main size categories: smaller condoms, medium or standard condoms and larger condoms. If you are unsure what size condom you should try, consult this handy condom size chart and enjoy exploring different condoms in the size category that provide a much better fit.

2. Put the condom on correctly

A condom does not go on like a sock, in which you pull it on all the way on so that it's snug at the tip. Like you mentioned, there needs to be a little bit of room at the top in order for there to be a place to catch and hold ejaculate. Otherwise, sperm will be forced down the sides of the condom and leak out the bottom. Far from helpful.

So you need to leave about half an inch or the width of what you can pinch between your thumb and index finger. Many condoms are built with a reservoir tip making it easy to pinch in place as you roll the condom down to the base of the penis.

When rolling on a condom, make sure you place it right-side out. To use sex educator Megan Andelloux's tip: Hold the condom at the tip with two fingers and ask yourself, what kind of hat does it look like? If the answer is, "The kind of beanie you'd wear because it's cold out" (the roll is pointing down), then it's facing the wrong way. If the answer is "a sombrero" (the roll is pointing up), then it's time to party.

3. Use more lube

Using additional personal lubricant is an often overlooked yet essential aspect of condom use. Even though you are using "lubricated" condoms the lube included is simply not sufficient. Lube not only enhances sensitivity, it also helps to reduce the chance of your condom breaking. I recommend adding a few drops of lube on to the erect penis before putting on a condom, as well as applying to the outside of the condom, especially if you are using ultra thin rubbers.

Make sure the lube you apply is compatible with the condom material. Never used oil-based lube with latex condoms. Water-based and silicone lubes are compatible with both latex and non-latex condoms. Not sure what lube you might like best? Have fun exploring a variety of top-quality lubricants with these ultimate lube samplers.

Photo credit: Jaroslaw Wojcik/E+/Getty Images
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