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Let’s hear it for condoms and lube!

Published: 05 August 2021 Tags: HIV, Sexual Health, STIs, Condoms, Lube, CLDS By Lauren Duffy

With PrEP now available on the NHS and U=U an amazing reality, it could be easy to think that condoms and lube aren’t needed any more. At LGBT Foundation, we know that condoms and lube are just as incredible as they always have been for LGBTQ+ communities, and here’s why!

Lube keeps things smooth
Lube makes everything feel wetter and better, but did you know it helps keep you safer too? The risk of STIs and HIV can increase if you’re not using enough lube because your skin can get irritated and damaged. Water-based lube is a great all-rounder, and safe to use with latex condoms too.

Condoms protect
PrEP is effective at preventing HIV – but it can’t fight other STIs. Did you know cases of gonorrhoea and syphilis are on the rise? In some cities including Manchester, there have also been more cases of Shigella in men who have sex with men. Condoms and lube help prevent these STIs, so if you’re on PrEP but you’re not sure if you and your partners have been tested recently, we’d recommend you use a condom to stay safer.
Plus, do you need contraception as well as STI and HIV prevention? Condoms will help out there too!

Condoms are accessible
Condoms are available everywhere, commitment-free! You don’t need to go to a clinic for a prescription, and you don’t need to know in advance when you’re having sex. They’re easy to get hold of too - if you’re out in the Village and decide to go home with someone, you’ll be able to find our safer sex packs in the bar so you can be protected and spontaneous!

Condoms are for everyone
No two people have the same experiences, so it’s important to have a range of prevention options so that everyone can choose the combination that works for them. Some people don’t like the idea of taking medication, or they sometimes forget PrEP doses. Some people just prefer to double up on prevention methods to put their mind at ease. Some people use condoms because they love the easy clean-up!

Condoms are versatile
How many have you tried? Condoms come in countless materials, textures, shapes, sizes, flavours… Have some fun experimenting to find the right condom for you! There’s even internal condoms (sometimes called ‘female condoms’) – did you know you can use these for anal?
Condoms aren’t just for penetration, they can help prevent HIV and STIs for oral sex and rimming, and if you’re sharing sex toys. They can be useful whatever body parts you and your partner(s) have.

You might have seen that funding for our Safer Sex Packs is going through some changes. Don’t worry – you can still grab our safer sex packs in Manchester’s Gay Village, or order free condoms and lube direct to your door.

Everyone should be able to have a fulfilling and pleasurable relationship with sex. Finding a safer sex strategy that works for you can only help you stay safer, happier and healthier. For more helpful pointers for pleasurable and healthy sex, check out our sex guides. If you have a question, or just want to talk about your sexual wellbeing, you can get in touch via our online form.

Testing regularly for HIV and STIs is also important. If you’re LGBTQ+ and based in GM, why not test remotely with LGBT Foundation, or for the rest of England, use the NHS service finder at