You know you need to have safe sex to avoid picking up an STI or risking unplanned pregnancy, but sometimes the whole condom routine can get a bit stale. The awkward pre-romp fumble for a Johnson-jacket can feel like ages, and some guys say condoms can restrict their, er…. room to move.
Sure, you could lose the latex* and put yourself at risk, but why not give the female condom a try instead?
A widening range of female condoms are becoming available, some are for sale at selected chemists, others can be picked up for free at your local hospital, clinic or Marie Stopes centre.
Female condoms are worn internally by the receiving partner and can be used for oral, anal and vaginal sex. They perform the same pregnancy and STI and HIV-fighting functions as the traditional male condoms while providing an exciting alternative to your routine rubber.
Female condom fine print
- They should be thrown away after a single use.
- This kind of condom deliberately doesn’t fit tightly to the penis so you’ll need to check the outer ring a few times during sex (and hey guys, while you’re already in the area, how about a little dual stimulation for the ladies?)
Fun facts about the female condom
- Ladies, the power is in your hands. Using the female condom means you decide where and when to protect yourself.
- It can be inserted up to 3 hours before sex.
- A lot of guys say that male condoms feel tight and restrict sensations during sex. But the female condom fits more loosely, and its outer ring can cover the labia, avoiding the skin-to-skin contact that can also lead to the transmission of STIs.
- A lot of guys says female condoms actually provide more feeling during intercourse than male condoms do, so prefer them for penetration. One reason, is that rather than latex they’re made with a super thin, non-allergenic material that transfers body heat more easily. Now that’s hot.
- The post-coital cuddle can be a central part of sex, especially if you’re in a long term relationship. The problem of course is that regular male condoms need to be removed while the penis is still erect to make them an effective barrier method. With the female condom you can let your lovin’ last, only removing it from the receiving partner when you’re ready. Just twist to seal, and toss it away. Easy peasy.
How do I use the female condom?
All female condoms come in a packet with instructions on the use of that model, so follow these closely. Essentially, you are going to insert the condom into the vagina (much like a non-applicator tampon), and then the open end to sit outside of the body, over the lips (or labia) of your or your partner’s lady bits. Either partner can insert the condom, and the outer ring can be used for foreplay to get the party started. After sex, you just twist pull, tie it closed and throw it away and rev up for round two.
Is the female condom safe?
When used correctly (in other words exactly as instructed on the packet, the instructions are there for a reason y’all), female condoms are 95% effective – not much lower than male condoms, which are 98% effective when used correctly.
Where can I get female condoms or more advice?
You can pick up female condoms at selected chemists, your local public health clinic or your nearest Marie Stopes centre (one of 20 across South Africa).
For questions about sexual and reproductive health give us a call on 0800 11 77 85. Our team is trained on tips for inserting, removing and most importantly enjoying the time in between with a female condom. Your questions are always welcome, and trust us, there’s nothing we haven’t heard.
A call consultant can chat to you about the female condom, describe our other services or book you an appointment at a Marie Stopes centre for any of the following services: contraceptives, STI screening and management, safe abortion, HIV counselling and testing or emergency contraception.
*Let the record show that if you do you’re going against our advice. Seriously. Like we really, really, really think you should wear a condom of some shape or size each and every time you have sex.