08 Sep, 17
Sex Tips & Tricks
Different Type of Condoms
Here is a non-exhaustive guide to different types of condoms.
By Rebecca Dane from A Couple of Kinks
Learning about condoms during sex education is important, but learning about different types of condoms is often forgotten. Growing up, I thought there was only really one type with slight variations. While it is true that latex condoms dominate the industry, there are other options out there!
It is important for protection and for pleasure to make sure you find a condom that works for you and your partner. Here is a non-exhaustive guide to different types of condoms.
1. Internal vs. External
Many people only really learn about external condoms or “male” condoms that fit onto a penis. These are the standard condoms that are heavily advertised and that take up most of the section in the pharmacy. However, there are also internal or “female” condoms that have various benefits. Rather than be rolled onto a penis, they are inserted into a vagina. Unfortunately, because they are not as popular, they are more expensive. However, there are many benefits to them, including that they are typically not made from latex, typically well lubricated and can be significantly more comfortable than external condoms.
Latex is the most popular type of material and when used consistently, it is highly effective in preventing pregnancy and preventing the transmission of STIs. Not all lubricants are compatible with latex, so make sure to avoid any oil-based ones because the oil will weaken the material.
Synthetic condoms are gaining popularity. These are used by people with latex allergies or sensitivities, or by people who just prefer the sensation. The most popular materials include polyurethane and nitrile polymer. Most of the synthetic materials are compatible with all lubes, including oil-based one. Just make sure that the material is 100% non-latex. Polyurethane material provides similar protection to latex in terms of pregnancy and STI transmission prevention.
Natural membranes are commonly made from lambskin. These condoms can prevent pregnancy but cannot prevent transmission of STIs due to the size of the pores.
For external condoms, there are three major categories of sizes: snugger fit, regular and large/magnum. Unfortunately, every company has a different sizing guide so it is impossible to know what will fit you without reading the labels or testing them out. There should always be a guide for the condom sizing, even if it is just available online. You can measure yourself with a flexible ruler! Some condom companies send them in the mail for free if you request one.
Condoms are getting thinner and thinner, but there are still different categories like regular, thin and microthin. If you’re buying condoms from a reputable company, they will have been tested for efficacy. Some people prefer to use thinner condoms because there is less material that reduces sensations. Some people prefer thicker condoms to slow down their orgasm.
5. Lubricated vs. Non-lubricated
Most condoms on the market already contain lubricant. However, it is possible to purchase latex condoms without lubricant so that you can add your own. This is great for any lube allergies or sensitivities. To our knowledge, there are currently no non-latex non-lubricated condoms available on the market. Again, latex condoms are not compatible with oil-based lubricants.
6. Climax Control
If you desire to prolong the time before you orgasm, then climax control condoms may be of interest. Inside the condom, there is a special numbing agent that numbs the penis. This means that there is reduced sensation and therefore a delayed orgasm. Just make sure that the numbing cream remains inside the condom, and that there is a thorough wash before the penis comes into contact with another part of anyone’s body. The numbing cream is transferrable. Some people find the numbing sensation to be too intense to even maintain an erection. It just depends on what people enjoy. Always make sure to read the ingredients of the numbing agent.
There are many condoms out there that have other features like “ribbed for her”, studded, warming sensation and extra room at the tip. If they work for you, then that is wonderful! A variety of features means that people are more likely to find something they enjoy. If you like the plainest condoms… that is totally okay too!
The important thing about choosing a condom is finding one that you enjoy the most. Buying a variety pack can be a great way to discover new types without spending a fortune. Finding a condom that both partners enjoy is beneficial for safe sex. Enjoy!
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