Every man knows the golden rule of good penis care: always use protection against STDs. But sometimes a guy can get a little lax about doing exactly what needs to be done. Besides that, he might actually not know several of the cold, hard facts about how STDs are transmitted. To make sure every guy knows exactly what it takes to protect himself from STDs and maintain good penis health, we’ve put together this handy protection primer.

Here’s what every guy needs to know about protection and how to ensure that it works properly, every single time.

1. Carefully choose partners. This might seem easier said than done, especially for a guy who loves to play the field and bring home new partners when the opportunities arises. But a guy should be quite selective about who he allows near his favorite equipment. A guy should look for a partner who takes protection seriously and wants to make sure things are "on the up and up" just as much as he does. For example, a partner who suggests that they try it without a condom "just once" is not someone with his best interests at heart!

2. Use condoms properly. Every guy has been told at some point that simply ‘wrapping it up’ will protect him, and in most cases that’s true. However, a guy must know how to use condoms properly in order to ensure they do their job when expected to do so. For instance, always reach for lubes that are water-based or silicone-based. Oil-based lubes spell damage to the condom, which means it doesn’t protect as well. A guy should also make sure the condom has not expired, has never been stored in a very cold or very hot place, and hasn’t been subject to friction through the packet, such as being carried in his wallet for a while.

3. Use other protection as well. A guy wants to make sure he’s entirely clean, which means other protections might be necessary. For instance, when performing oral on a partner, always use a dental dam or other barrier protection, at least until it’s certain everyone involved has a clean bill of health.

4. Get tested. A person who is sexually active should be tested for STDs every six months. This means a full physical exam and blood test to ensure there are no problems lurking that could be passed on to other partners. This also gives a guy the opportunity to treat some of the STDs that might show no symptoms, so he can be sure to preserve his fertility and good penis health over the years.

5. Talk to a potential partner. There is a very good rule of thumb to remember: If a guy is too embarrassed or uncomfortable to talk to a potential partner about sex, he isn’t ready to have sex! Part of being a man is ‘manning up’ when it comes to the tough moments. That’s why a man shouldn’t be shy about sharing some intimate details with a potential partner, as well as asking detailed questions of that partner before jumping into the sack. Anyone who gets upset about such questions isn’t someone a guy wants to be intimate with - remember the first tip about choosing partners wisely.

6. Get clean before and after. Good hygiene is paramount for penis health, so make sure the penis and surrounding area are very clean before sexual congress, and then take the time to wash off afterward to remove lingering residue from condoms, lubes and the like. This will also give a guy the opportunity to examine the manhood - something he should do at every shower session - to ensure there are no bumps, lesions or telltale signs of STDs there.

Another good habit to get into is the regular use of a specially formulated penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) . Look for a crème that contains alpha lipoic acid, which fights the free radicals that can lead to aging, as well as vitamin A, a powerful antibacterial agent that can lessen or eliminate penis odor.