Let’s talk protection. No, no—we’re not having a sex ed lesson. This article is about protecting your protection. When it comes to storing condoms, there is strategy involved. Condoms—like produce or Nyquil—have an expiration date, generally four years past their manufacture date. Four years may be ample time to rotate your stash, but improper storage can hasten shelf life.
Reliable storage places for condoms are dry, room temperature and protected from sharp objects and friction. Here are some safe spots for your safes:
It’s an obvious go-to; tried and true, the nightstand offers storage at an arm’s length for quick and convenient access. Just don’t keep your box of Trojans on top of your bedside table in plain sight—you’ll look promiscuous to newcomers. And you never know when your mother will stop by for an impromptu visit. Awkward.
• Altoids tin
This is the most eco-friendly storage alternative. Recycle these durable little cases and use them to hold a handful of condoms. You’ll even have room for your mints, still! Who said you have to sacrifice fresh breath for safe sex?
• Cigarette pack
Smoking is bad for your health, but condoms promote your wellbeing. Stash a few condoms in your pack of Marlboro Lights before hitting bars for safe keeping.
On the other hand, extreme temperature and physical elements like friction and pressure can affect a condom’s durability.
Avoid these hazardous hiding spots:
There’s no denying that the pocket is a convenient place to stash a condom when you’re out and about. But combined with your body heat and friction, the latex will weaken. Plus, when stuffing your pockets with condoms, you risk pulling a Zac Efron—publicly dropping a condom out of your pocket at an inopportune time (like on the red carpet).
Again, this is a super convenient place to store rubbers on the run, but the constant pressure and rubbing can wear down your Durex, especially if your wallet resembles that of George Costanza.
• Glove box
Despite the name, love gloves don’t belong in the glove box. Condoms should be stored at room temperature—not in a car which is subject to extremes. Leave the glove box for winter gear, the car’s dusty user manual and extra straws from McDonald’s.
As you can see, proper condom storage is key, but oft ignored. If there’s a potential your rubbers have been damaged and are past their prime, toss them. Condoms are inexpensive, but their benefits are invaluable.
This guest blog post was written by Elissa White, social media maven, content contributor and drinker of tea at getSTDtested.com. To contact Elissa or learn more about STD testing, follow getSTDtested.com on Twitter.