Despite the obvious benefits of barrier methods as preventative measures against sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy, lots of folks continue to worry about the possibility of condoms ruining the mood during sexy time.

Fear of an awkward moment, fumbling with the prophylactic, or a partner who resists using a barrier method creates substantial concern for many sexually active people. Those unsure of the proper way to put on a condom — approximately 75 percent of sexually active humans, in fact —might experience anxiety about condom correctness.

But possessing the self-respect and knowledge to insist on condom usage is sexy in itself. Using condoms means partners can enjoy sex without worrying about STIs or pregnancy, and that relaxation is hot. Partners who pull out might spend the entirety of sexy time worrying about their reflexes, but those wearing condoms can ejaculate whenever they please. Barrier methods allow folks living with STIs to enjoy sexual activities without the worry of passing along an infection to their partner. Nothing is hotter than someone prepared to protect themselves and others during intimacy.

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Barrier methods also act as an excellent vessel for consent. Reaching for a condom as things get hot and heavy showcases preparedness, and the foresight to keep condoms close by flatters partners also interested in getting down with some penetration. 

Insertive Condoms

Practically unlimited options exist for insertive condoms, or condoms used on anything being inserted (penis, dildo, cucumber, etc.). Endless brands, shapes, designs, sizes, colors, studs, ribs and types of lubricant offer the opportunity to really play with condoms and figure out which one works best. Arguing that all condoms feel uncomfortable makes no sense when we have such a wide variety of options available. 

Lubricant exponentially improves sensation with insertive condoms. Before rolling the prophylactic on, apply a drop of lube on both the inside and outside of the tip of the condom. Not only does this improve sensitivity, it lessens risk of breakage as well. If the condom is placed on a penis, consider stimulating various erogenous zones while applying the condom. While one person dons the condom, another can tickle, tease, lick or suck the testicles and perineum. If putting the condom on a partner, use both hands to stroke the shaft. Interlock fingers tightly to mimic the sensation of a hand job.

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One might also use the mouth to put the condom on a partner. Simply unroll the condom enough to create room at the tip, then make an “O” shape with the lips and place the condom in the mouth. Use the tongue to press the tip on the roof of the mouth to allow room for semen, then use the lips to unroll the condom all the way down the shaft. This varsity-level technique works better for a playful mood, but if the hands-free method proves difficult use the thumb and forefinger to roll the condom down and let the lips follow.

Fans of intermammary intercourse (titty fucking, or boob sex, for the less technical) might want to try this hands-free approach. Push breasts together with the wrists while ensuring that the hands meet near the cleavage. One hand holds the tip of the condom while the other holds the ring to unroll it over the shaft as the partner thrusts into both the breasts and the condom.

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Receptive Condoms

Receptive condoms, despite their lack of press coverage compared to insertive condoms, offer an empowering option for receptive partners.

The sexiest part of a receptive condom is the fact that it requires no fumbling or pause in sexy time because it can be inserted up to eight hours in advance. The receptive condom should be placed at least twenty minutes before penetration, but inserting it hours ahead of time can build suspenseful sexual tension between partners.

Texting a partner “I’m ready for you” builds heat ready to explode upon meeting. In addition, simply sitting with a sexy secret can feel titillating, rebellious and exciting. Due to their extra material, receptive condoms can be a bit noisy — the perfect opportunity to turn up our sexy playlist, moan loader, or amp up the dirty talk.

Sex Dams

Despite their simplicity — just a sheet of latex or non-latex material for oral activities — sex dams provide a solution to those interested in food play.

Although foods should never enter orifices because they can cause infections, placing a sex dam over a vulva or anus before applying food is perfectly safe. Licking whipped cream, flavored lube, chocolate sauce, or sriracha off of a sex dam satisfies every craving. For an extra challenge, try applying whipped cream in shapes or letters and ask a partner to guess which ones while licking away.