If you’ve ever taken a look at the selections of condoms in-store or online, it’s easy to be left wondering which one is right for you.
Don’t worry, though.
The Loveangels team has the ultimate guide to condoms, including types of condoms, condom sizing, and how to put them on.
The Ultimate Guide To Condoms
Firstly, it’s important to know what types of condoms there are before deciding on anything else.
Standard latex condoms are the most common type of condom out there and for good reason.
They’re the most reliable choice for preventing pregnancies and STIs.
Latex is non-porous, cheap, and easy to produce.
While they degrade with oil-based lubes, they’re the ones you’re most likely to see on shelves.
These are a great choice if you and/or your partner have a latex allergy.
They’re usually made out of polyurethane, polyisoprene, nitrile, or lambskin (more on the last one later).
While they’re a good alternative to latex, they’re more likely to break, making them less effective - especially if things get rough.
Lambskin condoms are much more unlikely to be found.
They’re made out of the lining from an animal intestine, and is said to offer a more natural feeling and increased sensitivity during sex, but are significantly more porous.
In fact, the holes in lambskin are large enough that it could allow viruses like HIV or herpes to pass right on through.
Therefore, they’re not effective in protecting against STIs, and are much less effective at preventing pregnancy.
Great for adding something extra in the bedroom - especially if you dislike the taste of latex - flavoured condoms are coated in a flavouring to make them (and whatever they’re inserted into) taste better.
While they’re just as effective as latex condoms, if you notice any irritation after use, it’s best to stop using them.
You might be thinking that, out of all of the types of condoms, this one is the least safe to use.
But you’d be wrong.
Glow-in-the-dark condoms are just as effective as their non-glowing counterparts - so it really just boils down to whether or not you want to see a lightsaber in the dark.
Often labelled with the term “for her pleasure”, ribbed condoms have dots or ribs on the outside, which means there’s an added texture.
They’re designed to add stimulation, and can be pleasurable for some.
However, if you’re particularly sensitive, it may be unpleasant.
Some condoms include spermicide, a chemical substance which immobilises and destroys sperm.
On its own, spermicide is 70% - 80% effective at preventing pregnancy.
However, when combined with a condom, it jumps up to 97%.
Surprisingly, it’s actually lower than non-spermicidal condoms, because spermicide damages latex.
It may cause irritation or an allergic reaction, so look at other contraceptives to pair with condoms first.
They’re exactly what the name says.
Thin or ultra-thin condoms are made with less material than their normal counterparts for a more sensitive, lifelike feel.
Also, to dispel the misconception: thinner doesn’t necessarily mean more likely to break!
Thick/ Extra-Safe Condoms
The counterpart to ultra-thin condoms, thick or extra safe condoms are thicker and have extra lubricant to ensure as little chance as possible to break, at the cost of a more lifelike feel.
Lubricated condoms come with lube on them already, meaning that you might not need lube before you begin, and help to ensure the condom doesn’t come off or break.
These condoms provide a “tingling” sensation to one or both parties.
Some people find it incredibly pleasant, while others simply can’t stand it.
Most versions of this type of condom use a minty lube to get that tingling going, meaning they taste and smell better than regular condoms do.
Often coated with a lidocaine hydrochloride mixture, delay condoms are designed to delay climax in males, which means they can perform in bed for longer - these are especially useful for guys who struggle with premature ejaculation.
Yup, you guessed it.
Warming/cooling condoms are designed to heat things up or cool them down for some added temperature play.
The only types of condoms that aren’t used on males, female condoms (or internal condoms) are inserted into the vagina.
When used correctly, they can be up to 95% effective at preventing pregnancy and STIs.
However, given how difficult it is to insert, they’re only around 79% effective in practice.
Their main pro?
They can be inserted well before sex, meaning that you don’t have to pause in the heat of the moment.
Just make sure you don’t use them with other condoms - you risk breaking them both.
While length is important when it comes to finding the right condom, the girth is just as important in getting the comfortable size.
A general rule of thumb is that
- Standard external condoms have a width of 4.44cm - 5cm and a length of 18.41cm - 19.8cm
- Snug external condoms have a width of under 4.44cm and a length of 17.78cm - 19.8cm
- Large external condoms have a width of over 5cm and a length of 18.41 - 20.57cm
How Do I Put On A Condom?
The process can be broken down to 4 simple steps:
- Open the wrapper - make sure you don’t tear the condom with nails or sharp objects.
- Squeeze the tip of the condom, and place it on the penis, making sure the roll is on the outside.
- Roll the condom right down to the base of the penis, making sure it’s a perfect fit.
- Bin the wrapper - and the condom - when you’re done.
Conclusion - Which Condom Is Best?
Many experts have answered this with many different answers, but all of them agree that the best condom is the one you feel most comfortable in.
With all of this information, we know you’ll have a great (and safe) time in your next bedroom romp!