You probably know this, but water isn’t lubrication’s best friend (unless it’s a water-based lubricant). A steady stream of it washes away all pre-packed, water-based and natural lube. Less lubrication means more friction, and that means stress on your condom (and her urethra, which can lead to infection). Your choice solution is either water- or silicone-based lubrication, which does not get rinsed away easily and is latex-compatible. Oil-based ones weaken the latex and could put holes in your condom. (This is a reminder to steer your rubber clear of Vaseline, sunscreen, massage oil and so forth.) But the best part about using lube in the bedroom: she’s probably going to enjoy the sex more. Researchers published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine conducted tests with over 400 women and found that using lubrication during sex enhanced women’s sexual experience.
For the shower: “Standing up works better than sitting down,” says Dr Louanne Cole Weston, a sex therapist. More importantly, stand out of the stream when you’re wearing a condom, since the jet of water could cause it to slip off. But if you’re in the tub, sitting down is clearly safer – it’ll save you a slip-and-slide calamity courtesy of gravity. Lou Paget, author of The Great Lover Playbook, recommends doing everything in the shower except intercourse, to avoid any nasty spills. In other words, consider it a warm-up: You can wash each other or perform oral, but reserve penetration for when the shower’s over.
Whether you’re having a hot, steamy session in the bath or generating some heat in the comfort of your soft, dry bed, the condom is still one of your best bets when it comes to HIV and STI prevention. Lab tests conducted at Saint-Pierre University Hospital in Belgium have found latex condoms to be an effective barrier against HIV. And since reported HIV cases among Singapore citizens continue to rise (it has more than doubled from 226 in 2000 to 461 in 2011), this is a must-know: The withdrawal method (or the occasional, infrequent use of condoms) really does nothing to prevent STIs or HIV. So, cap up, guys.