What they are, what they look like and how to use female condoms
Female Condoms are cylindrical with a soft ring at each end, and is worn by the receptive partner for vaginal or anal intercourse. Its polyurethane, so oil-based lubricants can be used.
The Female Condom is a loose-fitting polyurethane sheath with a soft ring at each end. Although it was designed for women to wear during vaginal intercourse, it can also be worn by the receptive partner for anal intercourse.
It should be used once only (like traditional male condoms), and should not be used in conjunction with male condoms or a diaphragm.
We hope this design won’t be the last word in female prophylactics, but until the next development, here’s some information about the Female Condom.
For more information on male condoms read my post on Condoms 101
- The condom takes some practice to insert and use properly; we recommend a slow and careful approach the first few times.
- A woman can take responsibility for its use—especially good for those whose partners resist using male condoms or for couples who want to share equally in safer sex responsibilities.
- It can be inserted up to eight hours before a sexual encounter.
- Part of the condom rests outside the vagina or anus and may help protect external genitalia from sexually transmitted conditions.
- The penetrating partner may find the loose fit of the female condom provides increased sensation.
- It is not made of latex, so it can be used by those with Latex sensitivities or by couples who wish to use oil-based lubricants.
- Some women may like the feeling of the outer ring rubbing against the clitoris and/or labia. Others may find it irritating, or may not notice it at all.
- It may require more Lubrication for successful use (if the condom isn’t Lubricated sufficiently it can cling to the penis or dildo, twisting or even turning inside out). It may be noisy (the material is plastic and you may be able to hear it scrunching).
- The partner penetrating must take care not to insert the penis or dildo between the condom and vaginal or rectal wall.
- The outer ring may need to be held in place to keep the condom from slipping into the vagina or anus.
- The inner ring is “one size fits most” and may cause discomfort for some people.
- Female condoms should be stored in a cool, dry place; avoid using them after their expiration dates.
Instructions for Intercourse
- Make sure that the outside of the condom is sufficiently lubricated. You may choose to add some lubricant both to the outside and the inside of the condom for your and your partner’s comfort.
- Hold the inner ring (at the closed end) and squeeze it, forming an hour glass shape.
- For vaginal intercourse, lead with the closed end and insert the sheath into the vagina as far as it can go. The inner ring should fit behind the pubic bone and should surround the cervix, similar to a diaphragm (it does not have to fit as snugly as a diaphragm would fit). For anal intercourse, lead with the closed end and insert the sheath into the rectum, pushing the inner ring past the sphincter muscle with your index finger.
- Make sure the condom sheath is not twisted.
- The outer ring (at the open end of the condom) should remain outside the vagina or anus at all times (before and during intercourse).
- The penetrating partner’s penis or dildo should be inserted into the open end of the condom.
- During anal intercourse, the penetrating partner may have to keep thrusts shallow since the condom isn’t as long as the rectum. Thrusting too deeply will stress the condom (possibly resulting in breakage) or push it into the rectum.
- When removing the condom, twist the outer ring before pulling the condom out to avoid spilling the contents.
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