Condoms and femidoms protect you from HIV and reduce the risk of infection with other sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhoea, hepatitis B and C (you should get a vaccination against hepatitis A and B if you have sex with different partners).

Condoms can be obtained from pharmacies, supermarkets and sex shops; there are also condom dispensing machines. Condoms and lubricant gel (lube) are also available in places where men have sex with other men (saunas, darkroom bars, sex cinemas). Femidoms can be obtained from pharmacies and on the internet; they are relatively expensive in comparison to condoms.

Standard-size condoms fit most penises. But larger and smaller condoms are available. Models with a special ring in the middle that prevents the condom from slipping off are suitable for penises with a smaller circumference. You should always use a sufficient quantity of oil-free lubricant gel for anal sex or when the vagina is dry. Oil-based substances (Vaseline, massage oil, body lotion) destroy condoms.

Femidoms consists of an extremely thin plastic sheath closed at one end with a flexible ring at the front and one at the back. The front ring remains outside the vagina, and the back ring is inserted into the vagina as far as it can go until it reaches the cervix. Femidoms have to be coated inside and out with sufficient amounts of lubricant gel before they are inserted.

Important: Condoms and femidoms can provide reliable protection only if they are used correctly. Here the main thing is try it until you get it right!