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Do You Have A Condom?

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Updated February 03, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

If you're planning on having sex, or are the sort of person who might be having sex even if you don't plan to, you should always have a condom. It's important for everyone, male or female, to carry their own safer sex supplies. That way, if you decide to have sex, you'll always be prepared. Whether or not you're a boy scout.

Where to Buy Condoms and Other Supplies

There are tons of options for purchasing condoms, dental dams, sexual lubricants, and other safer sex supplies. Not only are most of these products available at your local drug store or grocery, you have a huge number of choices for purchasing them online. The advantages of buying your safer sex supplies on the Internet include a greater number of options, and frequently, lower prices. The disadvantage is, of course, that you have to wait. The happy medium might be your local sex shop. It likely offers a large selection of condoms and lubricants, and there's no tapping your foot waiting for the UPS man to show up with your plain brown paper box.

If you're short on cash, many city health departments stock condoms for free. College and high school students can also check the school nurse's office, health center, or student union, and many gay and lesbian centers also hand out free prophylactics. It's also usually possible to find free condoms at your local Planned Parenthood or at any location that performs HIV tests.

Remember: Always use latex or polyurethane condoms. Natural skin condoms are not an effective way to protect yourself against STDs.

How to store condoms… and how not to carry them

Condoms should be stored in a cool, dry place. This means that walking around with one in the wallet that lives in your back pocket isn't the best idea and neither is storing one in your car. Also, no matter how you've been carrying around the condom, if it's been a while since you bought it, check the expiration date. They do eventually go bad. While you're at it, check the packet to see if still has an air bubble. That's a good way to make certain that nothing has poked through the package… or made a hole in the condom itself.

No condom? There are other options.

What do you do if you don't have a condom, and things are getting hot and heavy with the person you desire? Well, you don't have intercourse, anal or vaginal, and you should also think twice before having unprotected oral sex, since it can put you at risk for numerous STDs including HPV, genital herpes, gonorrhea, and syphilis. However, there are still things you can do.

Scrabble is always a good choice. But, if you want to be sexual, kissing is a relatively safe activity. So is dry humping, otherwise known as frottage or tribadism, and mutual masturbation. You can also engage in erotic massage, share your fantasies, or even play with sex toys. Note, however, that both genital herpes and HPV can be spread by skin to skin contact. If you're going to be dry humping someone who may have or be at risk for one of those diseases, it is a good idea to keep your clothing on.

There are many alternatives to the more traditional sexual menu that can be both satisfying and reasonably safe. Who knows, you might want to experiment with them even if you do have a condom!

More Things You Should Know About Condom Use:

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