4 Things You Should Know About Expired Condoms

Condom horror story! An expired rubber causes quite an uncomfortable situation over in this neck of the woods ... so I contact Planned Parenthood to get the lo-down on obsolete rubbers. (What are your condom horror stories?)

Old sports:

I was out at Brooklyn Social with some friends the other night, when a certain horror story came up.

A few weeks earlier, one of the ladies in attendance had been enjoying a heavy petting session with a new guy she was seeing ... and after dinner they moved into her bedroom ... where they decided they were going to GO ALL THE WAY, for THE VERY FIRST TIME. Woo-hoo!

He asked if she had a condom handy. Though she hadn't purchased new ones in a while--it had been more than a year since she'd had a boyfriend, and usually he bought the rubbers, anyway--she did have some old ones in an underwear drawer. So she grabbed one, and he put it on, and they began to do the deed ... and they did it ... and did it ... and did it ... and did it ... and she began to look at her watch ... and then, while he kept trying to achieve climax (she already had, twice, by then), she picked up War + Peace off her bed-side table and began to read it, starting on the first page ... and she was finishing up the 1200-page novel when she noticed HE still had not finished up.

Finally, she said, "I have plans for Christmas, 2011, so I'm hoping we can finish up by then. Is something wrong?"

He rolled off her, onto his back, and said, "I think my penis has gone numb. I can't feel anything."

I'm sure I don't have to point out that this is not the most delightful thing to hear under any circumstances, certainly not those.

Luckily, his donger began functioning just perfectly once again after he took a shower, and in subsequent sexual trials, everything went off with a bang. (Or, shall I say, without too much banging?) They never did figure out what went wrong the first time--although as it turned out, the spermicidal condom they used had expired four months earlier. The guy postulated that the spermicide could've gone radioactive (or something) which might explain the odd sensation he felt.

Could that be the problem? I decided to ask a medical expert from Planned Parenthood.

MAURA: What happens to a condom when it expires?

PP: Both lubricated and unlubricated condoms begin to lose strength and flexibility, and are more likely to break.

MAURA: What happens to the spermicide when it expires?

PP: All medications lose their potency and effectiveness over time. This is also true of spermicides.

MAURA: Can whatever happens to the spermicide cause numbing of the penis?

PP: No, unless it was a spermicidal lubricant designed to numb the penis, which some men use to last longer.

MAURA: Is it better to use an expired condom than no condom at all?

PP: Yes. There's a good chance that it won't break. Effectiveness will have a lot to do with how far past the expiration date the condom is, as well as how it was being stored. For example, an expired condom that was kept in a cool, dark bedroom drawer is less likely to break than an expired condom from the same package that was kept in the bathroom closet close to a steam pipe.

(You can visit Plannedparenthood.org for more information on reproductive health.)

Ladies, gents: condom horror stories from you? Come on--you know you have them.