Condoms and Lube
Thanks to funding from Manchester Pride, LGBT Foundation is able distribute safer sex packs throughout Manchester's 'Gay Village'. Each pack contains 2 condoms and 2 sachets of lube, along with information about testing services and accessing PEP in case you have a concern about HIV exposure.
We use the term ‘safer sex’, as no sexual activity can be 100% risk free. However for anal sex, if condoms are used correctly with plenty of water based lube, the majority of STIs can be prevented.
Don’t forget that infections can also be passed on through oral sex, so barriers such as dental dams or condoms can be used for extra protection.
Additionally, regular sexual health check-ups are the best way of looking after your sexual health. If you are having sex with multiple new sexual partners we recommend a check-up as often as every three months.
Some tips for condom use:
- Find a brand that suits you and experiment with types, e.g. size, shape, and flavour.
- Store the condoms in an appropriate place (away from sunlight and heat).
- Make sure the condoms haven’t passed their sell-by-date
- Check that there is a ‘CE’ or ‘Kitemark’ on the packet
- Open the pack carefully, making sure that you do not damage the condom
- Only use one condom at a time – if the condom comes off during sex, discard it and use a new one
- Use a new condom each time and for each sexual partner
- Apply the condom before any sexual contact
- Use plenty of water or silicone based lube – do not use oil based lube as this will damage the condom
- Condoms should also be used on sex toys
Using condoms to make dental dams:
- Open & unroll the condom, cut off the top of the condom and down the side of the condom, and use the latex rectangle for protection during oral sex
- Dental dams prevent the spread of STIs such as herpes, genital warts and HIV during oral sex
- Only use one side of the dam and use a new dam for every time and every different partner
- Use your hands to place the dental dam over the area before putting your lips, mouth or tongue there
Some tips for using lube:
- Do not use oil-based lubricants such as baby oil, petroleum jelly, body lotions, massage oils or butter during sex as they damage latex condoms.
- Use water-based lube such as the lube provided in LGBT Foundation’s Safer Sex Packs.
- Silicone-based lube will not damage condoms, but may damage silicone sex toys.
- If you are using medication which needs to be put on either the penis or anus, it may damage the condom – please check with your doctor or pharmacist first.
- If you have unprotected sex or you feel your method of protection has failed, contact your Sexual Health Clinic or GP as soon as possible for advice and support. If you feel you may have been exposed to HIV you may be able to access PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) but you need to do this as soon as possible after exposure, preferably within 24 hours but no later than 72 hours.
- Do not re-use condoms! If you do re-use a condom, it will not offer the same protection against pregnancy and STIs and it will be more likely to break. The Safer Sex Packs provided by LGBT Foundation contain two condoms and two sachets of water based lube.