Sexual Health Resources

Sexual Health Resources

How To Use Condoms and Dental Dams

(The following guide has been provided by LA County)
You may use either an internal or an external condom during each sexual encounter to help protect against Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) or HIV. Using more than one condom at one time does not double or triple your protection. In fact, it has the opposite effect because the rubbers/plastics rub together and can rip. There are different kinds of external condoms – lubricated, colored, flavored, ribbed, extra large, snug fit, etc. Also, latex or polyurethane external condoms are highly recommended for safer sex. Polyurethane male condoms are a good option for those allergic to latex. Animal skin condoms are NOT recommended because they do not protect against HIV and some other STDs. There is only one type of internal condom – lubricated, polyurethane and made by FC2.

Importance of Degendering Language Around Sexual Health Products

At the UCLA LGBT Campus Resource Center, we refer to condoms as "internal" and "external" as a reminder that sex and gender identity are not synonymous!

Free internal/external condoms, gloves, dental dams, and lube are available for UCLA students, staff and faculty at the UCLA LGBT Campus Resource Center! 

Condom Use Tips

  • Use an internal or external condom every time you have sex. Use them for all kinds of sex: vaginal, anal and oral (external condom only).
  • For extra lubrication, use a water-based lubricant such as K-Y Jelly. Do not use oil-based products such as lotion or baby oil. Oil can make latex condoms weak and cause them to break.
  • Check the expiration date. Do not use expired condoms.
  • Store condoms in a cool, dry place. Do not leave them in your wallet or car. Heat can damage condoms.

Using an External Condom

  • Put the condom on as soon as the penis is hard.
  • Before opening the condom package, check the expiration date.
  • Check the condom for air pockets by feeling the package with your fingers. If it’s flat, toss it and get another. If it feels like a pillow, then it’s good to be used.
  • Open the package with care by using the pads of your fingers. Do not use scissors, your teeth, nails or any other sharp object. Be sure not to tear the condom.
  • Make sure the "ring" of the condom is on the outside.
  • Pinch the tip to squeeze the air out. This leaves a space for the semen (cum) to be deposited. If uncircumcised, pull back foreskin.
  • Keep holding the tip. Roll the condom down to the base of the penis.
  • After sex, pull out slowly while the penis is still hard. Hold the base of the condom while pulling out.
  • Slide the condom off. Be careful not to spill the semen (cum).
  • Throw the condom away. Never use the same condom more than once.

Using an Internal Condom

  • Open the packet and locate the two rings.
  • The smaller of the two rings will be inserted into the vagina*.
  • To insert the internal condom, squeeze the small ring so that it can be inserted inside the vagina.
  • Insert the small ring into the vagina.
  • Use your index finger to ensure that the condom is inserted by pushing the ring and the condom inside the vagina until it snaps in place. Insertion of an internal condom is similar that of a tampon – you will know when it is in place. Once inserted, the outer ring (the large ring) hangs outside and will receive the penis.
  • The internal condom can be inserted up to eight hours before intercourse.
  • When you are ready to engage in intercourse, it is important to guide the penis INSIDE the ring.
  • After intercourse, and after your partner pulls out, twist the outer ring to hold semen (cum) inside the condom (and to avoid spillage) and then pull the condom out.
  • Use only one internal condom per encounter and throw it away when done. It is not recommended to use the same condom more than once.
  • *NOTE:The internal condom can also be used for anal sex. For anal sex, follow all the steps above; however, be sure to remove the small ring before inserting the condom into the anus.

Using a Dental Dam

  • Latex barriers called dental dams are flat squares of latex rubber that can be used for safer oral sex. Alternatives to dental dams include non-microwavable saran wrap or a square made from a non-lubricated condom (cut off tip of condom and cut condom lengthwise). Any of these can be placed against the vagina or anus during mouth-to-vagina or mouth-to-anus sex.
  • When used correctly during oral sex, latex barriers can help prevent the spread of many sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including HIV.
  • Store latex barriers in a cool, dry place, since heat can damage latex.
    • Handle the latex barrier (dental dam) carefully so it does not rip.
    • Hold the latex barrier firmly with both hands. Place the barrier over the vagina or anus.
    • Be sure to keep one side toward you and one side toward your partner. Don't forget which side is which.
    • For extra lubrication, use a water-based lubricant. Do not use oil-based products such as lotion or baby oil, since oil can weaken the latex.
    • Never use the same latex barrier more than once. When finished, throw the barrier away.


The UCLA Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Campus Resource Center envisions lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning, and same-gender-loving people and our allies as fully included and affirmed in every aspect of the UCLA community where justice, equality and respect for all prevail.

Mission Statement:

The UCLA Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Campus Resource Center is the crossroads of the LGBTQ community at UCLA, providing a comprehensive range of education and advocacy services supporting intersectional identity development. We foster unity, wellness, and an open, safe and inclusive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, transgender, queer, asexual, questioning, and same-gender-loving students, faculty, staff, alumni, their families, and the entire campus community.