Back-to-School Quickie

The new semester has arrived and with it comes the return of Sex & Pancakes. If you’re a new student, welcome to Concordia! If you’re a returning student, welcome back!

The first few weeks can be both exciting and stressful as you adjust to a new routine. Luckily there are many people here to help. While department staff and faculty take care of your academic life, and student leaders take care of your social life, I’m here to help you take care of your sex life.

Every week you can submit your sexual health questions at and I’ll answer them here. Since it’s the start of a new semester, I’ll be doing a series of Sex & Pancakes back-to-school “quickies.” These quickies will provide easy information to help you navigate your sexual health.

This week I’ll be starting with a condom quickie! Seems pretty basic right? So basic, in fact, that many people have never formally learned how to use condoms. Those same people are often surprised to learn that condoms rarely break unless they’re used wrong, so if a condom has ever broken on you it’s pretty likely whoever put it on did it wrong.

Here’s your chance for a review with some extra tips:

(1) Check the expiration date and push down on the wrapper to make sure there’s an air bubble—this checks for holes or tears in the wrapper. (If you only have an expired condom, it’s still safer than no condom at all).

(2) Push the condom to one side of the wrapper and carefully tear open along the opposite side with your hands (no teeth!).

(3) Take the condom out and make sure it’s not inside out. The condom should look like a sombrero with a rim that rolls down easily. If it’s inside out, it will look like a tuque with no defining edges and rolling it down will be a challenge. (If you’ve placed it on the penis inside out, pre-cum may already be on the condom so it’s best to get a new one instead of just flipping it).

(4) Pinch the tip of the condom as you place it on an erect penis. Pinching the tip removes any air pockets and leaves room for semen. Skipping this step is the reason most condoms break.

(5) Use your other hand to roll the condom all the way to the base of the penis.

(6) Use the condom!

(7) Once you’re done, hold the condom from the base of the penis while pulling out to make sure it doesn’t slip off.

(8) Keep holding the base of the condom snug around your penis while slipping it off to keep semen from spilling out.

(9) Dispose of the condom in a garbage, don’t flush it! (There’s nothing worse than having to call your landlord to dislodge a used condom from your toilet!)

Now that condom use has been covered, let’s touch on a related issue. Many people consider the responsibility of condom use to be exclusively on the partner with the penis, or the one penetrating. This is a common reason that many people never learn how to use them.

It can be easy to take a passive role in condom use and assume that anyone with a penis knows how to use one, but everyone involved can be affected if the condom fails. So if you’re using condoms, it’s important to take an active role in making sure you’re using them well.

Check in next week for some on-campus sexual health resources that include where to pick up free condoms, lube and dental dams on campus!

Submit your question anonymously at and check out “Sex & Pancakes” on Facebook.

Got a quick health question? Just need a resource? Text SextEd at 514-700-0445 for a confidential answer within 24 hours!

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