There are many different condom types in different shapes and sizes and do different things.
Condoms are freely available from Reproductive and Sexual Health Clinics, Young People’s Clinics, Condom Distribution Schemes and many youth clubs. However they rarely tell you anything about the condoms they are giving you.
So I’ll tell you.
This is the traditional shape of condoms. Usually they are around 52mm wide and are the same width all the way up. You’ll notice that condom companies say that their condoms are ‘teat ended’, they pretty much all have a ‘teat’ now, which is the bit you squeeze when you put them on. Some people don’t like this traditional shape as the penis isn’t the same width all the way up, usually, so…
Many condoms have this flared shape nowadays. They can be easier to get on and they can be more comfortable. There is a bit more room for the bell end to move around inside the condom and this can feel good for some penises as it can be a bit like foreskin.
Condoms come in a variety of thicknesses. They are measured in microns (a thousandth of a millimetre), the thickest available are 100 microns and the thinnest are 15 microns. Super thick condoms used to be recommended for anal sex, but this isn’t the case anymore: just use lots of lube on the condom and on your partner.
Non Latex Condoms are also available for people allergic to latex. These tend to be thinner and feel more sensitive too.
Lots of people like using close fitting condoms because they like to feel that they are on tight. This tight feeling around the base of the penis can sometimes make them feel like they make their penis harder. They are, perhaps, surprisingly popular because often we ‘hear’ that men don’t like using condoms because they’re not big enough.
In my experience it’s a myth that men want XL condoms even when they don’t need them. XL condoms provide more comfort to the small number of men that have a larger than average. They also provide a slightly looser fit for some people. However it’s important that the condom doesn’t slip off during sex.
Ribs & Dots
Condoms can smooth out the natural lumps and bumps of a penis. Some people find that using a ribbed, dotted or ribbed and dotted condom can make it feel better. However as with all condoms, they aren’t for everyone so you will need to ask first or try them out together.
These condoms have a local anaesthetic cream (usually benzocaine) in the teat of the condom which melts over the bell end during sex, this slightly numbs the bell end delaying ejaculation and thus making the penis stay harder for longer. However sometimes these condoms numb the penis a little too much and it can get the serious flop. Some peeps LOVE these and others HATE them.
All condom companies make flavoured condoms. They make oral sex (licking or sucking someone’s penis, clitoris or anus) safer and taste better. They can be used on penises but can also be used as dams to lick someone’s clitoris or anus by simply cutting them in half lengthways. You can also get some dams (thin sheets of latex) from some clinics or use non-microwaveable cling-film (the cheapest cling film at the supermarket). Once you’ve used a condom for oral sex the manufacturers are now advising that you use a fresh one for other kinds of sex after.
You can now also get warming, cooling and tingling condoms. Some people really don’t like them but others do.
When you use condoms if they get dry they break. All condoms have a water based lubricant on them, but if that wears off then you’ll need some extra foreplay (for vaginal sex) and / or some additional lubricant. Clinics should give this away to everyone in my view, but lots of people think that it’s just for anal sex: these people are wrong. They are great for vaginal sex as well as giving great handjobs and touching the clitoris.
It’s important that you use water based or silicone lubricant with condoms. Anything with oil or fat in can break condoms, eg massage oil, olive oil, cocoa butter, vaseline, lipstick, lip balm, hand cream, moisturiser. If in doubt just use water based lube, water or your own saliva. Most condoms have non-spermicidal condoms nowadays.
Hey why not tell the world about your favourite johnnies/jimmies?
I’m off to put mine into colour coded neat stacks.
© Justin Hancock, 2015