Using a condom during sex seems pretty simple, right? You open the package, put it on, and toss it in the garbage when you're done.
The answer is not up for debate: It's one time only. And while it may seem obvious, there apparently are enough people reusing condoms that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had to tweet a sex-ed lesson.
"We say it because people do it: Don't wash or reuse #condoms! Use a fresh one for each #sex act," the CDC STD account wrote in a July 23 tweet.
The tweet elicited a host of reactions, ranging from shock to horror.
"Na, sorry, ain’t taking the bait, you aren’t gonna fool me out of my heirloom condom," one heckler wrote.
"I appreciate being eco-friendly, but damn," another person said.
So why shouldn't you reuse condoms?
Reusing condoms increases the likelihood that they'll break while you're having sex, meaning they won't be as effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections. Listen to the CDC. Don't do it!
Even though it may seem too wild to believe, research has shown that many people do use condoms incorrectly. The biggest error is not checking for damage, with 75 percent of guys admitting they don a condom without inspecting for tears. Common mistakes include removing the rubber too early, forgetting to leave space at the tip for semen to collect, and putting them on inside-out.
If you're thinking of re-using a condom to save some money, please don't. There are ways to snag some for free: Check out CondomFinder.org for a list of places offering free protection, or visit a Planned Parenthood near you.