If you’ve used condoms with more than one partner, you probably already know that one size and style does not necessarily fit all. But when you’re doing the casual sex thing, or the f-buddy thing, it’s not always going to be easy to talk about what your condom needs and preferences are.
When it comes to condoms, I think it’s best to be proactive. You’ve heard it a million times: Don’t assume your partner will have one handy. Even if they do, it might have been in their wallet a while, and a wallet is generally too hot a place for a condom to dwell without compromising security. Play it safe, and head to your local pharmacy.
Have you noticed that some brands fit just a bit differently than others? One of my favorites, Durex Ultra Thin, just doesn’t fit my current partner – they won’t roll down all the way and seem a hair too tight. On the other hand, our current favorite – Lifestyles Skyn – did not work with one of my previous partners, as they’re a bit roomier in length and girth.
An unfortunate part of the great obsession with size is that men with penises that are average or below average sometimes feel inadequate. Condoms marketed for small penises don’t tend to help matters. So, what can you look for instead? Condoms usually have their measurements printed on the box. Grab a few boxes and compare. You can also look for ones with a “tight” or “snug” fit. A condom that’s too large stands the chance of coming off during sex, which is decidedly not sexy.
On the other hand, if your partner is longer or girthier than average, has a very pronounced head, or has complained about condoms being too tight, look for something with a roomy head. These condoms are usually marketed as having a more natural feel. Special, large sized condoms are made with penises longer than 20.5cm in mind.
If you have the size down and now you’re looking for a condom you can forget is even there, look for the words “thin,” “sensitive,” or “natural.” Every brand of condom has a special “ultra thin” or “ultra sensitive” design. Usually, these are made with thinner latex, and will often but not always have a roomier head to increase sensation. The thinner latex is not at greater risk of breakage. Condoms made of non-latex materials also tend to be a bit thinner and better at transferring the intricacies of texture. Lifestyles Skyn (made from polyisoprene, not lambskin) are my favorite in this category and tend to fit slightly larger than average penises exceptionally well. In order to increase sensitivity no matter what condom you choose, try adding a drop of water- or silicone-based lube to the inside tip of the condom.
What about those fancy ribs? It’s highly personal whether or not you can actually feel them. Some people swear by them, while others can barely tell they’re there. It’s certainly a nice way to change up the pace if you’ve been using the same style for a long time, and it might be helpful for those who have a hard time getting enough sensation with a condom on.
Still can’t decide? Pick up a variety pack, or small packs of a few of the top contenders. Why commit to one brand or one style? This is your time to experiment.