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When it comes to having the safest sex there is no other alternative. Condoms are your best protection for guarding against both pregnancy and the widest range of sexually transmitted infections. For centuries us humans have been using condoms in some form or other to protect against pregnancies, and since the uprising of the AIDS virus in the 80s they have been an absolute essential for couples that wish to protect themselves, as well as their partners, from all the unfortunate consequences that can arise from unprotected sex.
Condoms these days come in a wide variety of sizes, flavors, textures, and materials which can often time be overwhelming at the drug store. To prevent condom slippage and breakage which may leave condoms ineffective (i.e. you aren't covered against pregnancy or STIs!) it is essential to find out which condom type or types are right for you and your situation.
Note: Condoms, although the best method we have out there for protection against STIs (other than that boring, old thing called abstinence) won't cover you against a few of those nasties about: herpes, genital warts, scabies, and crabs are all passed through skin contact. These are generally easy to spot on the skin though so make sure you and your partner are clean before rolling on a condom!
But I Don't Like Wearing Condoms...
If you've ever heard or said any of these, chances are you just haven't found the right condom for you.
But it always rips! - Your sizing may be wrong or you may not be putting on your condom the right way.
But they smell gross! - All condoms smell different. Trial and error with various brands, flavors and materials are your best bet.
But it comes off all the time! - You may need a snugger fitting condom.
But I can't feel anything with it on! - A thinner condom will give you the closest feeling to wearing nothing at all.
But I lose my erection! - There are plenty of lotions and potions and sexy moves to make to get you hard again in no time, as well as thinner condoms to try out.
Condoms generally come in three sizes:
Small or Slim fit - about 1.6" width, 6.3" long
Regular fit - about 1.8" width, 7.9" long
Large fit - about 2.0" width, 7.9" long
Extra large fit - about 2.12" width, 7.9" long
The best way to discover which size is best for you is to measure up! Print out a ruler and get going. Those gentlemen that are more well endowed may have been pinched and squeezed by smaller size condoms, and those with smaller members may have experienced a lot of condom slippage as the fit is not snug enough. To ensure maximum comfort and protection it is best to have a measure and then when purchasing make sure you are picking up the right size for you.
If the color of regular condoms is just not your thing, condoms can come in both variety packs of assorted colors and packs of just black. Perfect for spicing things up in the bedroom a little!
These condoms are designed with the lady or male recipient in mind. Usually ribbed or studded, the extra ridges and grooves may give extra pleasure to penetration making the experience that bit more pleasurable for them.
Glow in the Dark:
Perhaps you're after a new kick in the bedroom or just really hate doing it with the lights on. Glow in the Dark condoms, when charged briefly in light, can give you that in the dark experience you've been wanting.
These condoms feature a roomier head for more pleasure for him as well as a textured surface for more pleasure for her. A win/win experience all around.
With a flavor burst, generally in fruit or ice cream flavors, these condoms are designed to make oral sex more delicious! As STIs may still be transmitted via oral sex, these are the perfect condoms to use when going down. Regular condoms sometimes give off a strange taste whereas flavored condoms will have you getting licky in no time.
If you'd like to experience safer, smoother intercourse without having to break out the lube every time you're ready to get down these condoms could be your best bet. Double the lubrication equals double the fun?
Ever experienced premature ejaculation problems? Can't seem to go the distance sometimes? Delay condoms are the perfect non-pharmaceutical answer. These condoms contain a small amount of anesthetic in the tip that numbs the penis head slightly to prolong your sexual experience. These condoms may also be thicker than usual to reduce sensation.
Combining with a mini vibrator giving the effect of a vibrating cock ring, these condoms are all about giving both partners extra pleasure during intercourse. They also feature the added bonus of that the vibrator can be used even during the rest of your play session.
A regular thickness condom is perfect for most people and occasions.
Extra Strong aka Extra Safe:
If you feel that perhaps the condoms are breaking too often or can't tell whether you are wearing one (and that is making you nervous) or you simply like your intercourse to be a little rougher than most then extra strong condoms are your best bet.
Thin or Extra This/Sensitive:
If either partner is complaining about a condom reducing sensitivity, or 'feeling too much like a condom' then thin or extra thin condoms are the way to go. Reducing the thickness of the condom boosts the amount of sensation felt. Another alternative is the naturally thinner material polyisoprene condoms (see below).
The majority of condoms on the market are these days made from latex which is a type of rubber that can stretch up to 800 times its original size! Go ahead and blow up a condom to see, you know you want to. Up until around twenty years ago, these were the only material you could source condoms in.
Polyisoprene is a type of synthetic latex that is as strong and safe as latex but a little thinner and softer. These condoms are an excellent choice for those with latex allergies and price at around the same cost as latex.
Another type of synthetic latex, polyurethane condoms are thinner than both regular latex condoms and polyisoprene condoms and designed to transmit body heat which gives a more natural feeling. These condoms can be prone to slippage and tears however as they are not as stretchy as either of the above condoms.
Made for a natural membrane, these condoms are very different to the latex and synthetic latex varieties. Designed to transmit body heat, and with a different way in putting them on they are a great choice for either those with latex allergies or those wanting to try something different to the usual suspects on the market. These condoms should only be used by monogamous couples as they are not foolproof in guarding against STIs due to the nature of the material.
So now you have read your basics, and if better and safer sex is what you are after (and let's face it, who doesn't want that!) get out there and start trying new condoms!