It can prevent pregnancy and reduce the risk of transmitting STIs, the condom is the world’s most popular form of contraception for good reason. But, there’s more to a condom than what meets the eye. Find out everything you need to know with our ultimate guide to condoms, complete with banana demonstration – obvs!
Different Varieties of Condoms
Quit thinking there’s a one-size-fits all approach to buying a condom. They can come in all shapes and sizes and some with added ‘special effects’ (ahem)…
These are the most available condoms on the market. Similar to other types of condoms they can protect against STIs, HIV etc. But, they can become weak when mixed with oil-based lubricants which could make them less effective. Also, this material is to be avoided if you have a latex allergy.
It may sound a little strange that a condom can be made out of plastic, but it’s not the standard material that we are all familiar with. Instead it’s ultra-thin but still just as strong and is more resistant to deterioration. However, due to the less constricting fit they are more prone to slipping.This is an option to consider if you are allergic to latex.
Men aren’t the only ones who can use a condom. Female condoms are made from polyurethane and can protect against STDs and pregnancy.
Textured condoms/ ribbed & dotted
Thinner condoms (also known as sensitive) can offer more in terms of sensation, but as they are thinner there’s more risk of tearing. You can also find condoms that have additional features such as tingle, ribbed or heat.
From a classic cocktail to your favourite fruit, flavoured and scented condoms have an additional sensory feature to satisfy any taste.
While all condoms are lubricated as standard (to help with the fit), these condoms do exactly what they say on the tin and offer extra lubrication for a more natural sensation.
Lambskin / Animal Skin condoms
If you’re looking for an alternate material to latex, these condoms are made from the intestinal membrane of lamb. With roots that trace back to the Roman empire, they are said to be the most ‘natural-feeling’ during intercourse but they do come with a warning sign. As there are small pores present, they do not protect against STIs.
Make sure you pick the right size for you and your partner. If you use one that’s too-snug or too-loose it can potentially break or slip which increases other risks. Condoms come in all different sizes so check out the box to ensure it is the right size for you/your partner.
Condom Myths Busted!
The myth: If you wear two you’re twice as safe!
WRONG! In theory doubling up may sound pretty practical, but in reality the friction between the two condoms can cause tearing.
The myth: There’s no way you can conceive using condoms.
WRONG! In you’re from the post-Friends era then you’ll know that this is not true. But, just in case you weren’t aware condoms are only 98% effective when used correctly (this drops to 85% effective when you take into account errors such as putting them on incorrectly).
The myth: It doesn’t feel as good.
WRONG! There is no evidence of this and with so many ‘jazzed up’ condoms available (think warming, tingling, extra thin) it can actually feel better with a condom.
How to Put a Condom on Correctly
Ok, so you know what it is and why you needs it but how on earth to you put it on properly? Well, funny you should ask…