Internal condoms: Why condoms aren’t just for tops anymore

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By: Jennifer McMillen Smith, MSSA, LISW-S, Division of Infectious Disease and medically reviewed by Ann Avery, Infectious Disease Physician at Metrohealth Medical Center

An internal condom is designed specifically for use by the receptive partner. It can be used in the vagina or anus. It provides another option for preventing pregnancy and protecting against sexually transmitted diseases.

Internal condoms look pretty much like a more spacious male condom, but there’s one big difference: You can insert it ahead of time and be ready when the big moment arrives.

But why not just stick with the usual version? After all, male condoms are easy to find and you already know how to use them, right?

Well, it’s like this: everybody’s different. We all have different bodies, different body parts, and different life situations. Some couples simply like the internal condom better because it can be put in ahead of time and is roomier.

It’s another way to stay safe incase your partner keeps forgetting to bring condoms along. It sucks when you’ve got no protection and things start to heat up. Some people feel like it gives them more control over what goes into their body.

It’s a cool option to consider.

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The basics: How to use an internal condom

It works like this:

Start by checking the expiration date; there’s more risk of the condom breaking if the expiration date has passed. Expiration date good? Check, now we’re one step closer to sexy time.

Rub the wrapper gently to spread lubricant around.

Open from the corner (do not use your teeth).

Pull out the condom. You’ll see it has a ringed opening on one end and a ring at the closed end.

You pinch the ring together and insert it as far as you can in your vagina or anus. The open end will still be showing outside on the outside.

When it’s time for your partner to insert their penis, hold the external ring open with your fingers to keep the condom in place and make sure it does not get pushed up inside you. Pro tip: for more pleasure to all involved, put a little extra water or silicone based lube on the penis 😉

After your amazing orgasm, have your partner pull out, twist the condom once, remove it and throw it away (not in the toilet — that’ll just clog your plumbing).

Check out this video from the people who make the internal condom for more on how to use it:


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Practice makes perfect

Sex with an internal condom might feel a bit unusual at first. It can take some practice to figure out the most comfortable — and pleasurable — way to use one (and I doubt your partner will complain about more practice 😉 .

Don't freak out if things seem, well, a bit weird the first time you use an internal condom.

The important thing is to give yourself a few tries. It’ll get better the more times you do it.

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Why the internal condom is worth a try

  • There’s only one size — and it’s big. If your partner’s an extra-large, there’s plenty of room 😉
  • The ring at the open end can increase pleasure when it rubs against you.
  • You get a new layer of protection against HIV,other STIs, and pregnancy (if applicable).
  • It won’t set off your latex allergy.
  • You have final say over what enters your body.

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Keeping HIV away from vulnerable tissues

The soft tissues of the vagina and the anus have one thing in common: it’s easy for HIV and other disease organisms to pass through them and get into the bloodstream.

That’s why it’s so important prevent precum and semen from ever touching these tissues. HIV cannot pass through a condom, whether it’s the internal or male version.

The internal condom is just one more way to block HIV, stay healthy, and have some darn good sex.

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