Condom use isn’t something most men get excited about, but it’s imperative to safe sex. That means it’s imperative for a long, healthy and active sex life - and that’s something nearly any man can get enthusiastic about. In the interest of maintaining optimal sexual and penile health, men should take the time to learn about common condom problems and how to prevent them in the future. While condoms are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly, a 2012 review of 50 studies shows that a great many people make mistakes when using them. Avoid the following errors.

Not checking for damage

The review found that the vast majority - about 83% of women and 75% of men - reported not checking condoms for damage before using them. Condoms can acquire tears or holes, so they should always be examined pre-use. Yes, this means (in certain cases) turning on the lights and taking pause. It’s worth it.

Not removing air

Over 40% of the participants involved in the studies said that air was not squeezed from the tip of the condom before use. Failure to remove air from the tip increases the likelihood that the tip will pop.

Not leaving room at the tip

Semen needs somewhere to go inside the condom. Between 24% and 46% of respondents across the studies reported not leaving a reservoir at the tip of the condom. That makes the situation ripe for breakage.

Removing it improperly

When a man exits his partner after climaxing, he should hold the condom at the base of his penis to make sure it doesn’t slip off inside the partner. He should also exit quickly after ejaculating, since the condom is prone to leaking as he gets soft. About a third of respondents in the studies reported incorrect removal/withdrawal.

Wrong lube

Oil-based lubricants can degrade the integrity of latex, causing condoms made of the material to break. Only 3-5% of respondents reported this error, but it’s still very important to be aware of.

No lube

A condom is more likely to break if there is inadequate lubrication around it. Up to a quarter of respondents reported jacketing up without lubing up as well. It is true that some partners may produce plenty of natural lubrication, but it’s still a good idea to have a product made for the purpose (and made of the right base) handy in case she starts to dry up.

Rushing in

A 2015 study by Kinsey Institute researchers found that rushing while applying a condom doubled the odds of breakage or slippage and tripled the odds of leakage. It’s understandable why a revved-up couple would want to get to it as soon as possible, but partners should consider making condom application part of sensual play. She can stimulate him by using her hand to roll it down (squeezing the tip of the condom) and then smoothing out the air bubbles along the shaft. It’s safer to take one’s time, and it also helps take some of the pressure off. Rushing isn’t fun or sexy; it’s stressful.

Wearing protection is high up there on the list of things men can do to keep their penises healthy. Men should learn about the other things on that list as well. Regular use of the member promotes erectile function into old age (not to mention, it’s just enjoyable). Washing well with warm water and a mild cleanser (if any soap is used) is also best for it. Finally, men should consider investing in a quality penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) enriched with moisturizers like Shea butter and vitamin E to keep the manhood skin smooth and supple, protecting it from the various frictions of the day and night. Taking care of their skin will help ensure that they can enjoy pleasurable sensations for the long-haul, and it also makes the organ more appealing to potential partners.