Someone asked us:
Hi! Thanks for providing this important service. Just a question; my boyfriend had sex with a condom, and he lost his erection a bit but kept using the condom after it had slipped off a bit (after pushing it back on/readjusting it), once he got his erection back. I don’t think I phrased this right, but is it a bad idea/dangerous to do that?
Oooh, great question! As many people know, it’s easy to plan on using condoms perfectly, but sometimes things just don’t go as smoothly in the real world.
It’s very common for erections to come and go throughout sexual activity, and sometimes people lose their hard-on after putting on a condom. (If this is a continuous issue, making the process sexy and fun — putting the condom on your partner, rubbing extra lube on the penis, and keeping the “mood” up during application, etc. — can help.)
I know it’s kind of annoying to replace condoms in the middle of some super sweet action, but continuing to use a condom after the penis goes soft, even if it quickly gets hard again, is really not recommended.
Here’s why: it’s no secret that most penises are bigger when erect, and when condoms are rolled on, the condom stretches to accommodate that particular size. If the penis goes limp, the condom will be a little baggier than before and can easily slip around/off (as you noticed). Even if he gets an erection again soon thereafter and pulls the condom back on, that’s still a lot of stretching and stress. It’s just not going to fit as well. You’ll also probably find that between exposure to air and all that pushing and readjusting, the condom might get pretty dry. And dryness = friction, which = breakage, which = :(
This is why it’s a great idea to keep more than one condom around: even though using condoms is pretty simple, there’re still a few things that can go wrong through no fault of your own. The possibility of rolling the condom on the wrong way, losing an erection mid-sex, having a condom break, or wanting to have sex more than once is reason enough to stockpile. (That and the fact that you can get them free in many Planned Parenthood and community health centers!)
Another tip: if you’re having the type of sex that can result in pregnancy and you’re not using another form of birth control, consider keeping some emergency contraception in your medicine cabinet, just in case you have a condom snafu.
But I do want to applaud you for knowing it was important to stay protected, no matter what. Even though what you did wasn’t perfect, it’s still a whole lot better than giving up on that condom and having unsafe sex instead.
Finally, while I’m sure lots of people already know this, I’ma drop it here just in case: do NOT ever reuse a condom that has been ejaculated into. That is one big no-no.
-Kendall at Planned Parenthood