Although most schools are required to include at least some form of sex education in the curriculum, the thoroughness of said education varies wildly from school to school and era to era. For every one of you lucky enough to have received detailed instructions about how to put a condom on a cucumber, another was merely subjected to a slideshow about genital warts and a hurried lecture on the benefits of abstinence, delivered by a red-faced softball coach.
This means there's an excellent chance that whatever you were taught about sex is either partially misleading or dangerously incorrect. So, once again, it's the Internet to the rescue.
Warning: Final entry contains a drawing of a vagina!
Myth: Condoms Are Effective 97 Percent of the Time
"You didn't use protection?" is the default exclamation when anyone who isn't married and between the ages of 20 and 35 gets pregnant. It's also a pretty loaded question, because "protection" is generally cultural shorthand for condoms, which suggests that pregnancy would have been impossible had the couple in question had the foresight to wrap the penis up in baby-thwarting latex. It makes sense -- as the labeling on most Trojan packages will tell you, condoms have about a 97 percent efficacy rate. Sure, 3 out of every 100 couples are going to get a squealing, sleep-destroying surprise, but what are the chances one of those people will be you?
eskaylim/iStock/Getty Images, Iwona Grodzka/iStock/Getty Images
"Please, don't ask me to do math. My brain is a little light on blood right now."
As it turns out, the chances that your condom will betray you are much higher than you think. That 97 percent success rate everyone quotes, while technically correct, is stretching the truth thinner than a rubber pulled over a basketball. The actual success rate of condoms is around 82 percent, leaving their failure rate a whopping 18 percent -- six times higher than advertised.
The figure on the box is only referring to how often those failures result in pregnancy when the condom is used perfectly. This doesn't mean simply using a condom every time you have sex -- there's a surprisingly specific set of instructions you need to adhere to in order to prevent unwanted man juice leakage, sort of like the rules about keeping a Mogwai from turning into a gremlin. If condoms are your sole method of birth control, chances are one of you would be an accidental parent within a year.
We recommend condoms in conjunction with balls-in-the-saucepan.
When you open the condom package in the heat of the moment, do you always carefully examine the product to make sure it has a reservoir tip, and if not, pinch the tip, leaving approximately one half-inch space in which sperm can collect? No? That's a shame, because that's incredibly important. Otherwise the condom could overflow, or straight-up burst like one of the Nazis from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Do you always remember to slap on a whole bunch of lube? Failure to do so will increase chances of the condom breaking due to excess friction. If you did remember to use lube, did you make sure it was water-based? Anything other than water-based lube will dissolve the latex of the condom. We're beginning to think that the high success rate boasted by proper condom use is because 97% of people no longer want to have sex after doing all that bullshit.