Condom Types

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.

Straight shape

condom types straightThis 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…

Flared shape

condom types flaredMany 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.


condom types thin thickCondoms 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.

Close fit

condom types close fitLots 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.

Loose fit

condom types loose fitIn 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

condom types ribs and dotsCondoms 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.


condom types delay
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.


condom types flavouredAll 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


12 thoughts on “Condom Types

  1. Great website.

    Totally not recommended, but as an example of stupidity I once met a guy who told me this strategy:

    He first put on a condom and then covered his sheathed penis in tobasco sauce. He then put a 2nd condom on, so that the tobasco sauce was trapped between two condoms. He then commenced vaginal/anal intercourse.

    The logic was that if HE felt discomfort during sex, he’d know the inner condom had broke, whereas if SHE complained of discomfort, he knew the outer condom had broke. Apparently, in either case, he would withdraw from the woman, citing “safety concerns” .

    I think he had very understandable, but wildly exaggerated, anxieties over STDs, and rather misguided sense of self-protection.

  2. This is absolutely fantastic and I can’t wait to send more youth I work with to this site….but don’t forget!


    If you’ve been having fun massaging your partner with massage oil, or if you found yourself out of lube and thought some cooking oil might do the trick, you will find that the oil actually disintegrates the latex. Latex condoms can only be used with water based or silicone based lubricant.

    Bravo for talking about lube at all though, I wish more people did!

    1. Thanks for that. I’ll update the post.

      See also lipstick, vaseline, lip balm, moisturiser, cocoa butter, cream, ice cream etc.

      Many thanks for the reminder. Love your name btw!


  3. Condoms…. phew!

    Take your time. They can take practice. The sensitivity of the young and older women in my life made a difference also. It helped me relax.
    If your partners impatient though as your stuggling to get a condom on and your penis is starting to wilt a little, then a little reassurence for her might also be called for. Maybe she thinks your losing your erection is because you do not find her attractive which I am sure you do. So tell her you do…. these moments of intimacy make for a great sex/love life!

  4. Now if only stuff like THIS was provided to us in Sex Ed. Gotta love the American education system’s deference to the conservative crowd.

  5. I’m tempted to just print this out and hand it to complete strangers here in Miami.

    Between our two largest universities, FIU and UM, to Coconut Grove and South Beach, there are a lot of people who need to know about condoms and safe sex.

    As for myself, I actually like the flared-style condoms. I’ll occasionally use the flavored/ribbed kind as well, but not too often. Mostly, I’m about safety. Not too concerned with all the bells and whistles.

  6. Thanks for your comments B. Mentor eh? Bad name for a condom.

    Just to point out to readers that it is not recommended to use more than one condom at a time.

    Also you can’t get lambskin condoms in UK, I don’t think (just as well as they prevent pregnancy but not STIs).


  7. Oh! Forgot to mention – nonlatex is good for oral sex with a woman who is sensitive to latex, which for that reason is always something useful to consider keeping in your bedside table, gents.

    1. Now I come to think of it, what condoms did you use when you were ‘working’? Did clients bring their own or did you supply?

  8. Back in the day (as in, high school) my fave was Mentor, which was shown in studies to have the lowest failure rate. It was also, apparently, a little like putting a bullet proof vest on your dick in terms of level of sensitivity during the act.

    A friend of mine preferred a 3-condom arrangement of lamb, then latex, then lamb again on the outside.

    Yes, the 80s/early 90s was a very strange place to live, sexually.

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