You can get them in vending machines at night clubs, from the free clinic at your university, buy them at the drug store around the corner, or ‘borrow’ one off a friend. Condoms are readily available, but how do you know the best style that works for you? Do bigger guys really need larger sized condoms? What happens if you are allergic to latex?
Adam and Eve are here to break down the common traits of condoms and help you decide which safe sex tool is best for you.
Condom Materials – While condoms were originally made from animal skins, in the early 1900s the chance was made to latex. Latex condoms are the preferred material these days, as it prevents disease transmission as well as pregnancy. The problem is there is a growing population that is allergic to latex. Synthetic condoms made from polyurethane tend to have a longer shelf life and react to heat better than latex condoms, but tend to slip off or break easier. Polyisoprene condoms are as reliable as latex in the durability department, but they are significantly more expensive. Lambskin condoms are made in the tradition of using animal intestine for contraception, but viruses can pass through the pores in the membrane.
Sizes – The standard condom is designed to fit a penis that is between five to seven inches long when erect, and 4.5 to five inches in circumference. Keep in mind that condoms are made with a little extra room for a reservoir tip. Most regular sized condoms are between 7.25 and 7.8 inches in length. What if you don’t fall into the “average” sized penis according to condom manufacturers? Most condom companies make “snug” fit condoms for smaller guys, as well as larger sizes for well-endowed men.
Textures – In addition to the smooth sided condom, there is almost every permutation of texture out there! Ribbed condoms have “stripes” of additional material surrounding the shaft. Studded condoms have small bumps along the length. There are even condoms out there with combinations of the two. As opposed to adding material on to create more texture, many condom manufacturers also take a bit of it away – as in ‘ultra thin’ condoms, which help the natural sensation of penetration pass through to the penis easier.
Lubrication – The majority of “standard” condoms come with additional lubrication already in the packet. This not only makes the sexual experienced more pleasurable, it also makes it easier to put the condom on in the first place. Condoms use water based lubricants as silicone based will break down the materials in the condom. Many manufacturers also add spermicide to their lubricant, adding another layer of pregnancy protection. While not as easy to find as lubricated condoms, you can also get “dry” condoms without lubrication.
Flavors – Yes, you can get flavored condoms! While mostly used for oral sex, flavored condoms – especially mint ones – can add additional sensations down below. You can also pick up condoms in a number of fruit flavors, chocolate, bubble gum, and even pina colada.