Condoms are the specialized athletic sportswear of the new millennium. There are more styles of condom than balloons in a circus. The range addresses a variety of user needs: size, sensitivity, lubrication, durability, taste, aesthetics, and allergies.
It’s easier to use (or go back to using, sigh) condoms when we find the brands and styles that are the most comfortable and the least interruptive for us-and then use them consistently and well. If you try to see condoms as a standard, nonnegotiable part of sex rather than a huge imposition, you’ll be playing safe while having more fun. (And if you think it’s an imposition, imagine the inconvenience of being HIV positive.)
Condoms come in three main materials: latex, polyurethane, and lambskin. Lambskin only protects against pregnancy, though not sexually transmitted infections. Latex is the most common choice; polyurethane is popular with those who are sensitive or allergic to latex.
Because no two penises are alike in size, shape or owner skill, condoms are increasingly made in various sizes and head styles. If you have a regular partner who isn’t a regular fit, try some of the sized condoms. Always go for reality (regular) over ego (jumbo extra large) for comfort and protection.
Condoms can have thin or thick latex wall. Thinner walls are claimed to make the condom less noticeable, while thicker walls cut down on sensation to help a man last longer. Some “climax control” condoms actually use a small amount of benzocaine to slightly numb the penis.
Latex will never be the flavor of the month at the local ice cream shop. But flavored condoms do make protected oral sex more fun. You can go for cooling mint, invigorating citrus, or tropical banana-it seems they come up with more flavors every year. Some brands offer a “warming” cinnamon or “tingling” peppermint, while others are more subtle, giving you just a hint of sweetness to alleviate the taste of latex. Condomania offers several sampler packs with a variety of brands and flavors, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
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by Regina Lynn