Questions about STIs
What is an STI?
STI stands for Sexually Transmitted Infection. STIs are infections passed between partners during sexual activity including oral, anal, and vaginal sex. They are caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites that are spread through bodily fluids or skin-to-skin contact. You may have heard the term STD or Sexually Transmitted Disease. Technically, infections are passed between people and may or may not cause disease. It's only considered a disease if it causes symptoms and many STIs never cause symptoms. Lots of people, however, use these terms interchangeably.
Am I at risk for STIs?
If you are sexually active you may be at risk for STIs. All types of partnered sex (with the exception of mutual masturbation in which you don't touch each other) carry some risk of STIs. And, the only way you can know if you or a partner has an STI is to get tested.
What are some common STIs?
Some common STIs include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, trichomoniasis, human papillomavirus (HPV), herpes, hepatitis B, and HIV/AIDS. Some STIs can be cured with medication, others can't be cured but the symptoms can be treated. If left untreated, STDs can cause long-term health issues including infertility and cancer.
What are some common symptoms of STIs?
Some STIs have no symptoms at all. Others have symptoms that appear and then disappear, while the infection remains. So you can't always rely on symptoms to show that you have become infected. Some common STI symptoms to be aware of are: pain or burning while urinating, rashes, sores, blisters, itchiness, unusual discharge from the penis or vagina and pain during sex. If you think you might be infected with an STI, see a doctor or healthcare provider ASAP. Delaying treatment can cause the infection to get worse.
What can I do to protect myself from STIs?
The only way to be 100% safe from STIs, including HIV/AIDS is to abstain from all sexual activities. If you are going to have sex, the correct and consistent use of latex condoms can help protect you from many STIs, including HIV/AIDS. Having fewer sexual partners and getting regular STI tests can also help protect you and your partner(s). There are also vaccines that can protect you from human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis-B. Talk with your partner before you have sex about your risk and how you can protect each other, and talk to your health care provider about vaccines.
Do latex condoms work to protect me from STIs?
Yep. Latex condoms-when used consistently and correctly-provide a barrier that prevents bodily fluids, like semen, vaginal secretions, and blood, from passing between partners. Condoms can also help prevent STIs that are transmitted through skin-to-skin contact like syphilis and HPV. However, condoms only can protect against these diseases if the infected skin is in areas covered by the condom.
Do condoms provide protection against HIV?
Yes. There is very good data that shows condoms reduce the risk of HIV. One study found that using a condom for HIV protection was 10,000 times safer than not using one. Today, there are also other ways to prevent HIV. Anyone at increased risk of HIV, should talk to their health care provider about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), medication that can prevent transmission.
Can I get an STI through oral sex?
Yes. STIs and STDs can be transmitted through oral sex. Some STIs (like herpes) can be spread from the mouth to the genitals and vice versa. With others (like chlamydia and gonorrhea) the risk is that partners will give or get an infection of the throat. The exact risk varies widely based on the STI and the type of oral sex. For example, syphilis is commonly spread through oral sex whereas there is little or no risk of spreading HIV this way. And, for some infections there is potentially a greater risk if you are giving or receiving mouth-to-penis oral sex than if you are giving or receiving mouth-to-vulva or mouth-to-anus oral sex. While the risk varies, it is fair to say that oral sex always carries some risk of STIs. Using a condom or dental dam (a rectangular sheet of latex) can help reduce this risk. It is usually better to choose a non-lubricated condom if you are going to use it for oral sex.
Questions about Condoms
How effective are condoms at preventing pregnancy?
Condoms are safe and effective. They're 98% effective in preventing pregnancy when used consistently and correctly. This means that 2 out of 100 couples who use condoms as their primary method of birth control will experience an unintended pregnancy in the first year. The average couple has intercourse 83 times in a year; 2 pregnancies out of 8,300 sex act is a remarkably low pregnancy rate (0.02%) when calculated on a per-condom basis. (This statistic comes from page 334 of the 18th edition of Contraceptive Technology. It was not included in subsequent editions but conversations with Lee Warner, the author of the chapter on condoms, tell us it's still accurate.)
People don't always use condoms consistently (every time they have sex) and correctly (following instructions from start to finish). Research estimates that under real world conditions, condoms are about 87% effective in preventing pregnancy. It's important to know that this includes condoms that are used incorrectly (like putting it on too late or taking it off too early) and even includes sex acts that may not have been protected by a condom at all.
Condoms are also the only form of birth control (other than abstinence) that provides protection against STIs, including HIV.
Most people can use latex condoms without any side effects. A small number of people (less than 1% of the population) may be allergic to latex. These people can use polyurethane condoms instead.
How should I store condoms?
Storage is important. Keep your condoms in a cool, dry place. Storing them near heat (like in your glove compartment) can cause them to become brittle or gummy and no good to use. Learn more about condom care.
How can I tell if a condom is damaged?
Damaged packaging is one way to tell. Another is to look at the condom and feel it before you unroll it, and/or check it when it's on an erect penis. A condom that sticks to itself, is gummy or brittle, isn't the same color all over, or has tears or holes shouldn't be used. But don't go too far - unrolling the condom or filling it with air or water to check it can also damage the condom. Learn more about condom expiration and care.
What's the best way to prevent condom breakage?
Condoms undergo rigorous quality control testing at each step of the manufacturing process to ensure that they are intact, strong and stable. It's not common for condoms to break if they are used correctly. There are a few additional things that you can do to help prevent condom breakage:
• Make sure the condom is not expired.
• Store your condoms in a cool dry place (not the wallet that you keep in your pocket).
• Use water- or silicone-based lubricant depending on the type of condom you are using (more lubrication cuts down on friction).
• Do not use oil-based lube like baby oil or coconut oil (these can break down latex).
• Do not use a male (external) condom with a female (internal) condom (this causes friction).
• Make sure the condom fits correctly (if the condom feels too tight consider using a larger one or one that has a different shape).
Do I need to use a condom for anal sex?
Yep. You should use a condom for every sex act, including anal sex. The skin in the anus is very fragile and can tear. STIs can be easily spread through anal sex. In fact, anal sex is the riskiest form of sex for getting HIV/AIDS. Condoms can help protect you during anal sex. Using a water- or silicone-based lubricant will help reduce the risk of a latex condom breaking. Just know that a condom with spermicidal lubricant should NOT be used during anal sex.
How do I know if I'm sensitive to latex condoms?
If you experience frequent and unexplained itching, skin rash or hives after exposure to a latex-containing product, this could be a sign that you're sensitive to latex. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include dry, itchy, irritated skin and swelling on the hands or genital region - any place that comes into contact with the latex-containing product can be affected. If that happens, discontinue use and go with a non-latex condom instead.
Can Trojan™ condoms be used with massage oil, baby oil, petroleum jelly, etc.?
Nope, don't do it. Oil can destroy the condom. To prevent damage to the condom, only water- or silicone-based personal lubricants should be used with latex condoms.
Are Trojan™ condoms available in different sizes?
Questions about Vibrators and Sex Toys
How do vibrators work?
Is it just magic? Or...
Actually, most vibrators use an internal motor to generate movement. The motor twirls an off-center weight around, inside the vibrator. The force of the spinning weight causes vibration. When the vibrator touches sensitive areas or genitals, the vibration creates pleasurable sensations that can lead to a more intense orgasm.
How do I use my vibe?
Good question, and the basic answer is you can use it however you think feels good. But for details on how to use your Trojan™ vibrator, refer to the product guide that came in its package or check out our how to vibe guide.
What is a masturbation sleeve?
Simply put, a pleasure product for the penis. A masturbation sleeve, like the Trojan™ Tantrix, is a type of sex toy used to provide additional sensations during male masturbation. It's a sheet that fits in your palm as you take pleasure into your own hand. Different types may be produced differently with soft materials and varying textures, but they're all used in a similar manner - with up and down motions on the shaft to create additional sensations on the penis. Adding a little lube is common and encouraged.
How should I store my Trojan™ vibrator?
Your vibe likes to be tucked in, too. Before storing your vibrator, make sure it is dry, clean and free of any lubricants. For more advice on storage, visit our vibrator care page, or refer to the user guide that came with your vibrator.
What if my Trojan™ vibrator stops working?
Trojan™ vibrators are top-quality sex toys that have earned the Trojan™ Quality Seal, but like all mechanical devices, they won't last forever. But don't worry, you can do some trouble-shooting. First, make sure that the batteries are installed correctly and all components are properly secured. If you have a fresh set of batteries, try using them and see what happens. Refer to the product user guide if you have any questions about batteries. Check for and remove any foreign objects that might be preventing the on/off switch from working correctly. If your vibrator has been damaged in any way, don't use it.
Why should I use a vibrator?
It's really up to you. But just so you know, studies published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine show that people who use vibrators scored themselves higher on arousal, orgasm, lubrication and erectile function than those who had never used one.
And studies show that men and women who use vibrators are also more likely to engage in healthy behaviors, such as self-examination and regular health exams by a doctor. Simply put, exploring and enjoying your sexuality helps you be more aware of your genital health. Plus, it's pretty fun.
Is it okay for me to use a vibrator?
You bet. Using a vibrator is a healthy and responsible way to learn about your sexual self. According to a study by the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, vibrator use increases pleasure, which may help a person feel more desire, arousal and lubrication.
Almost everyone can use a vibrator - women, men, non-binary, singles and couples - as long as you are ready and responsible enough to take charge of your sexual life. You can use a vibrator for safer sex, such as protection from STIs (if you don't share your vibrator with a partner), and there is no risk of pregnancy.
If you are pregnant or have any serious health issues or questions, talk to your doctor before you use a vibrator.
When should I use a vibrator?
Whenever the mood strikes, the vibe is right. Many women and men use vibrators for masturbation as well as during foreplay with a partner. Couples play is a great time to explore each other's bodies with a vibrator. Vibrators add a new dimension to sexual play.
Are vibrators only for women?
Vibrators can be used by everyone - people who identify as women, men, non-binary, singles and couples. According to a study by The Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, 45% of men between the ages of 18 and 60 have used a vibrator during sexual interaction.
There are lots of ways for those with a penis to give and receive pleasure with a vibrator. Many are introduced to vibrators by their partner, but once they learn the joys of vibration, they're hooked. You do you.
What materials are Trojan™ vibrators made of?
Good clean fun. Our vibrators are made of high-quality, medical grade silicone and plastic. They're nonporous, easy-to-clean and do not contain any unhealthy chemical compounds or phthalates. (Refer to the product user guide for more information.)
Do Trojan™ vibrators contain phthalates?
Trojan™ vibes do NOT contain phthalates. Phthalates are chemicals used to soften hard plastics. Until a few years ago, phthalates could be found in everything from children's toys and food packaging to cosmetics and vibrators. Good riddance, toxic chemicals.
How do I care for my Trojan™ vibrator?
Because Trojan™ vibes are made from nonporous materials, they're easy to clean and not likely to carry bacteria if cared for properly.
PRECAUTION: Clean vibrator after every use. Make sure the product is dry before storing.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR CLEANING:
• Rinse the vibrator in running warm water and apply hand soap to clean. Take care to clean and rinse the entire vibrator thoroughly.
• Dry the vibrator with a clean, dry cloth, making sure the entire vibrator is completely dry.
• Store the cleaned, dry vibrator in a clean, dry place so it is ready for next use. DO NOT PLACE UNWASHED VIBRATOR IN STORAGE.
NOTE: Trojan™ vibes are NOT dishwasher safe. Please refer to the product user guide for more information.
Always wash your vibrator after every use.
If not cleaned or stored carefully, vibrators can breed bacteria that can irritate intimate areas. This bacteria can be passed from one partner to another and back again, or even from the user to their vibrator and back again. Left unchecked, this bacteria can exacerbate and cause bacterial or yeast infections. Always clean your vibrator thoroughly and store it in a safe, clean place so it won't pick up lint, dust or other dirt.
SPECIAL SAFETY NOTE FOR SHARING A VIBRATOR WITH A PARTNER:
Always wash a vibrator after any anal contact. If you are sharing a vibrator between two partners, you must be honest with each other about whether or not you have any STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections). You should always clean the vibrator thoroughly between each partner's uses.
What if I have discomfort when I use my vibe?
If used properly and with water-based lubrication, it's rare that a vibrator would cause discomfort or irritation.
To avoid any discomfort, make sure you:
• Never use a vibrator when you have an infection, irritation, itching, sores, abrasions or injury of any kind.
• Never use your vibrator for more than 30 minutes at a time.
• Do not use your vibrator if there is any fluid leaking from the battery.
• Check with your doctor if you are pregnant, wear a pacemaker, or have any serious heart or health condition.
• If you experience any kind of discomfort, check with your doctor before you continue to use your vibrator.
Is it okay to own more than one vibrator?
For sure. In fact, vibrators are a safe and healthy way to explore your sexuality and learn about your body. Having more than one will give you the opportunity to experiment with a variety of sensations, positions and techniques. There are vibrators that are preferred for solo play and some that are especially nice for couples. By trying out a variety of vibes with and without a partner, you'll discover more. Your sex life and relationships will benefit from your own self-awareness.
We've found from our studies that most people who enjoy the use of a vibrator often will purchase more than one in their first year of use, and will continue to explore vibrators in the years following.
What if my partner is uncomfortable with me using a vibrator?
Some people may feel threatened by a vibrator because they think it will replace them sexually or that their partner will become addicted to using it. Always be honest and open with your partner when discussing your sex life. Remind them that nothing can take the place of human intimacy. You can even suggest trying a vibrator together. A study by the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University showed that 90% of women who have used a vibrator say it enhanced their relationship with their partner. Some products, like the Trojan™ 2-in-1 Dual Use Ring, are even designed with two people in mind.
How can I talk to my partner about introducing a vibrator?
Questions about Lubes
Should I use lube with a vibrator?
Could be nice. Lubricants can make vibrator use easier and more pleasurable. Generally, water-based lubes are safe with all vibrators. There are also silicone and oil-based lubricants. Avoid using silicone-based lubrication with products made of silicone. Depending on the grade of silicone, the mixture of the two silicone-based products could end up having an undesirable effect.
BE WARY OF OIL-BASED LUBRICANTS, which can break down latex or rubber and damage both vibrators and condoms. Some oil-based lubricants can irritate skin or exacerbate yeast infections in women. Always test the lube first on a small patch of skin in a sensitive area (inside of the elbow or inner thigh) before you use it vaginally. This way you can safely find out if you have any adverse reaction to the ingredients.
What's the difference between water-based and silicone-based lubes?
How much time do you have? We'll keep things simple. Two of the most common types of lubricants are those that are water-based and those that are silicone-based.
Water-based ones are mainly made up of water, which means they may be easy to wash off or clean. Typically these are typically compatible with most condoms and sex toys. These may leave minimal residue after application (pro!) but may also require to be re-applied during use (con).
Silicone-based lubes have basically the opposite pros and cons. They're designed to be slippery and long-lasting, but they may be harder to wash off after application. Like water-based lubes, they're typically compatible with most condoms, but not most sex toys. They do not play nicely with silicone sex toys, so make sure you keep that in mind.