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How to Put on an External Condom

What you need to know about how to put on an External Condom.

Condoms can be tricky to use at first, but they get easier with practice. Before you need to use one, maybe practice a few times so that things will go smoothly when you need it most. Here’s a step-by-step guide for putting on an external condom (like you’d put on a penis* or sex toy).

For more info on condoms, see our pages on The External Condom and The Internal Condom.

1. Check the expiry and feel for air

Check the expiry date. If a condom is expired, it is less likely to be effective. Press on the condom package to make sure there is still air inside. Air means the condom packaging has not been damaged.

2. Open the condom package

Open up the package without tearing the condom. Don’t grab the condom with your nails or teeth because that might break it.

3. Check the rolling direction of the rim

A condom unrolls like a wool hat or a toque—you should reach up over the brim and pull down. You shouldn’t have to reach underneath a condom to roll it on.

This picture shows a condom with the wrong side out.

4. Prepare the condom to be rolled out

If the condom tip is facing the wrong way, blow into the tip to turn the condom right side out. If the condom is difficult to unroll, throw it out and use a new one.

This picture shows a condom with the right side out.

5. Add lube (optional)

Only use water-based lube (lubricant) with condoms. Lube can help increase pleasure and prevent condoms breaking. You can add lube to the outside of the condom or to the outside of the vulva, vagina or anus. Lube is important for anal sex because the anus doesn’t lubricate itself.

6. Unroll the condom onto the penis or toy

With one hand, pinch the tip of the condom leaving room for ejaculate (cum). With the other hand, roll the condom all the way down to the base of the penis or toy. If you have foreskin, gently pull it back before you unroll the condom. Consider adding lube, especially if you have a foreskin.

7. Pinch tip and squeeze out air

Pinch the tip again and use your other hand to run down the length of the penis or toy. This should push out any remaining air. You may want to add more lube to the outside of the condom for more  pleasure.

8. Remove condom and tie it up

To avoid slippage, pull out while the penis is still hard and hold onto the base of condom. Then remove the condom and tie it into a knot.

Note: If you are using a condom on a toy you do not need to tie it in a knot after you remove it.

9. Throw away the condom

When you are finished with it, place the condom in the trash. Don’t flush condoms down the toilet.

*We know that these aren’t the words everyone uses for their bodies (eg. trans folks), and support you using the language that feels best for you.