Condoms and Safe Sex — How and Why Should We Protect Ourselves?


Sexual health is an integral part of human health and affects physical, emotional and social well-being. One of the key aspects of maintaining sexual health is safe sex. In this article we will talk about the risks of unprotected sex and how we can protect ourselves during sex.

What Are the Risks of Unprotected Sex?

Unprotected sex has a number of potential negative consequences, ranging from immediate to long-term health risks. Understanding these risks is important for making informed decisions about sexual behavior.

Unwanted Pregnancy

One of the most significant risks associated with unprotected sex is potential unwanted pregnancy. When people have intercourse without contraception, the likelihood of pregnancy increases.

An unwanted pregnancy can have a significant negative impact on a person’s life, be it their physical health, emotional well-being or socioeconomic conditions. It follows difficult decisions about abortion, adoption, or parenting, each with its own consequences and difficulties. In addition, lack of access to reproductive health care and resources can increase the impact of an unintended pregnancy on a person’s life and limit their ability to receive help and support.

► By protecting oneself during sex, a person can significantly reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy and make informed decisions about their own reproductive health.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Unprotected sexual activities also increase the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which can have serious negative consequences for a person’s health and well-being. STIs include many different infections, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, genital herpes, trichomoniasis, hepatitis B and C, human papillomavirus (HPV), and HIV/AIDS.

These infections can be spread during vaginal, anal, or oral sex, as well as during intimate skin-to-skin contact. Many STIs have mild or no symptoms at first, making them hard to spot without regular testing. If left untreated, sexually transmitted infections can lead to a number of complications, including pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic pain, increased risk of HIV transmission, and more.

► Constant use of condoms reduces the risk of STI transmission and protects a person from its negative consequences. In addition, regular testing and early detection of infection are essential for timely treatment and prevention of spread.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) are among the most serious consequences of unprotected sex. HIV is a viral infection that attacks the human immune system, leading to a progressive weakening of the body’s defense mechanisms against infection and disease. Without timely intervention and treatment, HIV infection can progress to AIDS, a stage characterized by extreme immune deficiency and increased vulnerability to infections.

Unprotected sex, especially with an HIV-positive partner or someone whose HIV status is unknown, carries a high risk of HIV transmission. Using a condom during sex is essential to prevent HIV and other STD infections. In addition, regular HIV testing and taking PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis, also known as PrEP) play an important role in HIV prevention and management.

► For free HIV-testing, you can go to the “Equality Movement” office at the address: Ushangi Chkheidze Street #19. Before the visit, you can contact the organization by phone (0322 47 97 48) or on Facebook . You can also get free condoms and lubricants on site. In addition, you can order an HIV self-test and receive it at the desired address from the platform.

► In “Equality Movement” you can also join the free PrEP program. For this, you need to go to the organization’s office, where you will fill out a risk assessment questionnaire and perform analyzes for the PrEP program. Within the framework of this program, regular consultations with a doctor, analyzes and preparations are completely free. Address: Ushangi Chkheidze Street #19, second floor, Tbilisi. e-mail Mail: [email protected]

Why and How to Use a Condom?

Condoms are one of the most effective and affordable forms of self-protection during sex. They create a physical barrier that prevents the exchange of body fluids during intercourse, thereby reducing the risk of spreading sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy. For the maximum effect of the condom, consider the following steps:

  • Store Safely — Proper storage is essential to maintaining the integrity of the condom and maximizing its effectiveness. Condoms should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat. Avoid keeping it in your wallet, pocket or car’s front glove compartment for long periods of time, as the heat and friction can wear down the latex or polyurethane and increase the risk of tearing. It is recommended that you keep the condom in its original packaging to prevent contamination and damage. If the condom shows signs of damage from the outside, it is better not to use it;
  • Check the expiration date — Be sure to check the expiration date on the condom package before using it. An expired condom loses its integrity and effectiveness, which increases the chance of its tearing;
  • Use Correctly — Correct condom use is essential for effective protection during intercourse. For this follow the following steps:
  • Carefully open the condom package by pulling the edge. Avoid using scissors, teeth or other sharp objects that can damage the condom;
  • Check the condom for any damage, such as holes, scratches, or factory defects. If the condom is damaged or expired, do not use it;
  • Find the right side of the condom. To do this, hold the condom horizontally so that the loop is facing outwards, not inwards. To check if you are holding the condom on the right side, you can try to fold it a little – if it comes off easily, then it is on the right side. If you accidentally put on a condom from the wrong side, throw it away and use a new one;
  • Fit the condom over the erect penis. Roll the swollen tip of the condom between the pads of your fingers and place it on the penis. This is necessary to leave a free space for the sperm released during ejaculation (if you wear a condom over a sex toy, you can skip this step);
  • Put the condom on the erect penis. Make sure it covers its entire length. This reduces the risk of spreading STIs that are transmitted by skin-to-skin contact (for example, syphilis). If the condom does not completely cover the shaft of the penis or if it is too tight, then it is probably too small, which reduces its effectiveness – in this case, use a larger condom;
  • Check whether the condom has been filled with air. If the head of the condom looks like an inflated balloon, there is air in it. Leaving air behind can cause the condom to tear during sex. Slowly and gently straighten the condom from the tip to the end with your hand to release the air. Sometimes putting a little lubricant on the tip of the condom before putting it on can help prevent this;
  • Hold the condom when removing after penetration. After ejaculation, carefully remove the condom before the penis loses its erection. When the penis comes out of the vagina, anus, or mouth, hold the bottom of the condom to prevent sperm from spilling out. If the condom slips off during the act and remains inside the partner, when removing it, roll up the open end of the condom to prevent sperm leakage;
  • After removal, twist the open end of the condom and throw it in the trash. Do not flush the condom down the toilet, as this can clog the plumbing system.

Additional Tips

In addition to the steps listed above, also consider the following tips:

  • Use a new condom for each act of intercourse, even if you are just switching to another type of sex (eg, vaginal, anal, oral);
  • Use only water-based or silicone-based lubricants with latex or polyurethane condoms. Oil lubricants can damage the latex condom and increase the chance of it tearing;
  • Do not use two condoms together, as this can increase friction and the chance of the condom tearing;
  • Talk openly with sexual partners about condom use and agree on safe sex practices that all parties agree on;

► Under no circumstances remove the condom during intercourse without your partner’s consent.

What Types of Condoms Are There?

Condoms come in many different sizes, materials and styles to suit different preferences and needs. According to the material, there are two main types of condoms:

  • Latex Condoms — Latex condoms are the most common type of condom and are very effective at preventing both STIs and unwanted pregnancies. A condom made of latex is durable and long-lasting, and it is a reliable barrier during sexual intercourse. Along with latex condoms, you can use water-based or silicone-based lubricants during both vaginal and anal sex. However, if you are allergic to latex, use a condom made of a different material to avoid an allergic reaction;
  • Non-latex condoms — If you have a latex allergy or sensitivity to latex, there are safe and pleasant alternatives. These condoms are usually made of polyurethane or polyisoprene, which are less allergenic. Polyurethane condoms are thinner and retain heat more than latex, which creates a natural sensation during intercourse. Polyisoprene condoms, on the other hand, feel very similar to latex condoms. Both can be used with water-based or silicone-based lubricants.

Myths About Condoms

Although condoms are one of the most effective methods against STIs and unwanted pregnancies, there are many myths and misconceptions about them. Myths about condoms include:

Myth N1 — Condoms reduce pleasure

One of the most common myths about condoms is that they reduce sexual pleasure for both partners. Some people may think that condoms suppress sensitivity and prevent intimacy, making the act less pleasurable. Truth: While condoms do create a physical barrier between partners, they don’t necessarily reduce sexual pleasure. Moreover, for many, condoms enhance the sexual experience because it allows them to relax and enjoy the moment. In addition, there are types of condoms that enhance sensitivity and pleasure during intercourse, for example, especially thin, coated or other types of condoms and lubricants.

Myth N2 – Condoms do not protect us from sexually transmitted infections

Many people think that condoms are only used to prevent pregnancy and that they are not effective against infections. Truth: In fact, when used correctly and consistently, condoms are about 98% protective against sexually transmitted infections because they create a physical barrier and prevent direct contact between the genitals and body fluids, which is the main way STIs are spread.

Myth N3 — Condoms are only necessary during penetrative sex

Some people mistakenly think that condoms are only needed during vaginal or anal sex and that they are not used for other sexual activities, such as oral sex or mutual masturbation. Truth: Condoms should be used during any sexual activity that involves the exchange of bodily fluids or intimate skin-to-skin contact. This includes oral sex on the penis or vagina (you can use a dental dam in case of cunnilingus), as well as stimulation of the anus or vagina with fingers or sex toys.

Myth N4 — All condoms are one size

There is a misconception that condoms have only one standard size that fits all individuals, regardless of penis size and shape. Truth: In fact, condoms come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles to fit different preferences and anatomies. It’s important to choose a condom that fits you comfortably so that it’s as effective as possible and you’re safe from it ripping or accidentally slipping off during intercourse.

Myth N5 — Condoms are difficult to use and prevent sexual intercourse

Some people think that condoms are inconvenient, difficult to use, and that they prevent intercourse or cause embarrassment between partners. Truth: Using condoms requires some knowledge, but with practice they are very easy to use. Take the time to learn how to use a condom correctly and make this process part of the prelude so that putting on a condom seamlessly integrates into the act instead of causing a pause. Open communication with partners about condom use and caring for each other’s sexual health can help resolve any issues and remove any discomfort.

What Else Should We Consider for Safe Sex?

While condoms play a key role in preventing STIs and unwanted pregnancies, there are additional safe sex practices you can incorporate into your sexual health routine:

  • Regular testing for STIs: Regular testing is one of the most important sexual health care practices for sexually active people. Testing for STIs serves to detect infections at an early stage, treat them in time and reduce the risk of their spread. If you are interested in which infection is transmitted by which way and for which testing frequency is recommended, read our article on sexually transmitted infections;
  • Personal hygiene: Good personal hygiene is an important part of maintaining sexual health. Ensuring cleanliness of the genitals, especially before and after intercourse, reduces the risk of spreading infections;
  • Communication with sexual partners: Honest and effective communication with sexual partners is essential for safe and pleasurable sexual experiences. Talk openly with your partner(s) about sexual health topics, including your history of STIs, testing, contraception, and preferences for safer sex practices. This will help you share relevant information about your health status, fears and limitations with each other, allowing you to make informed decisions together. Honest communication can also help you understand your partner better and increase trust, intimacy and respect in your relationship.