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The first time I saw a condom would be between early and mid-80’s, I was in primary school but can’t remember exactly which class I was, but definitely not primary 6. I was staying with my Grandma’s brother who was a retired headmaster back then in Ifon-Osun, Osun State, and one day while doing a random cleaning or something of sort, I came across an attractive sachet of something, I picked and tore it open, it contained a different kind of balloon, the type I used to see at weddings and events decorations. So, I hid the balloon in my pocket and went out later to play with friends and boast that I had a balloon which after being blown was bigger that any balloon we had ever seen. We were at it when one kill-joy uncle saw us and collected it from us warning us never to play with such balloon again.

Well, I am all grown now and I have seen and used a good number of condoms but the truth is so many of us do not know much about condom apart from buying, using, and discarding them, and some things we might have heard about it from our friends. So let’s look at few things you might not have known about condom, and if you have read or heard them somewhere, it is just fine; you can still go over it again.


When and how condoms came about is a bit of a mystery. One story says one Dr. Condom supplied sheaths to King Charles II of England to prevent unwanted pregnancies and it all started from there, but most experts don’t believe it. While some people said that ancient Egyptians wore condoms in different colors, but the earliest description of the condom appears in 1564, when an Italian anatomist claimed he invented a linen sheath, that he had 1,100 men try, to guard against syphilis. He later claimed that none of them contracted the disease.


This is not true. There are three main kinds of condoms, latex, polyurethane, and animal skin or organic condoms (lambskin), they all help prevent pregnancy, but protection from disease is another story.

Latex condoms are the most popular and most inexpensive of the three, they are also the most effective kind of condom at preventing many STDs.

Recently, condoms made of polyurethane (a type of plastic) have also become available. Polyurethane condoms are usually thinner, stronger and less constricting than latex condoms. Because of this, they can help to increase sensitivity. Polyurethane condoms are more expensive than latex condoms, and they are as equally effective in preventing BOTH pregnancy and many STDs. But compared to latex condoms, polyurethane condoms are less elastic and looser-fitting, making them slightly more likely to break or slip off during sex.

There are also “natural” condoms, which are made of animal membranes (lambskin). This kind of condom supposedly has a more “natural” feel during sex than latex and polyurethane. They are also expensive and although they are effective at preventing pregnancy, they do not decrease the spread of many sexually transmitted diseases because of the tiny holes which viruses can get through but sperm can’t. Natural condom is made from the intestinal membrane of a lamb and those small pores make it ineffective in protecting against viruses that cause STIs. But they do protect against pregnancy, since the pores are too small for sperm to pass through.


Yes, though regular-size condoms will be fine for most men. But since a condom can only protect what’s covered, it’s important to find a condom that fits well and that’s not too short, too tight, or too big. A condom that is too short could allow diseases to be passed on, and one that is too big could slip in the heat of the moment. If you measure more than 7 inches long and your penis circumference is more than 5 inches around when you are aroused, you may need a larger condom size. And they sell it in the market, just ask.


For whatever reason, that your woman is not wet enough for penetration, it might be alright to lubricate. But never use oil based lubricant like petroleum jelly or baby oil, it will damage the latex. Ensure to use only water-based or silicone-based lubricants if you can get them, but if not, stick with water or saliva. Some women are irritated by saliva in their private parts though, so you might just want to stick with ordinary clean water. But you can still decide to buy only the type of condom that is already lubricated.


This is not true. You should know that doubling up won’t double your protection, or your pleasure. Using double condoms can cause friction between the two and increase the chance that they’ll break, so stick with one condom at a time and wear it correctly. Also, be careful during withdrawal and when you take the condom off, you don’t want the condom to slip off and semen spill out.


Keeping your condom in your wallet or glove compartment is not ideal; a condom is more likely to break down if it has been exposed to air, heat and light for a long time. Your wallet will fold the condom and heat it up especially after keeping your wallet in your back pocket. The ideal place to keep a condom in the home would be a dry storage place like your bedside drawer, where it won’t get folded or heated up. And if you must carry a condom with you, let it be in a front pocket or bag for a few hours, and not for days and weeks.

Also know that condoms do have expiration dates, so make sure you check the expiration date on the wrapper before you suit up, especially when you buy from a local store that you don’t trust. Be safe!




Christopher Bamidele

Christopher Bamidele

Chris Bamidele is a passionate and unapologetic Nigerian; an amateur writer and aspiring TV director who holds a first degree in Mass Communication, but majored in Radio and TV Broadcasting. He is cool headed, a realist, and an optimist to the core. Chris Bamidele blogs African stories on and tweets @degreatest2. He currently lives in Lagos.

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