A Comprehensive Guide To Condoms: Everything You Need To Know

From different materials and sizes to textures and flavors, there's a whole lot more to consider than just grabbing a random pack off the shelf.

Published Jul 04 2023 3 min read

Navigating the world of condoms can be a bit overwhelming. From different materials and sizes to textures and flavors, there's a whole lot more to consider than just grabbing a random pack off the shelf.  

While many of us are familiar with the basic concept of a condom, you might be surprised to learn that there are actually several different types of condoms available to suit a variety of preferences and needs.  

Exploring condoms: what kind should you buy? 

Without further ado, let's unveil the curtain and discover the different types of condoms that can make your steamy nights even more enjoyable and, most importantly, safe. 

1. Latex condoms

Latex is the O.G. of condom materials—the classic, if you will. It's been the go-to choice for decades due to its affordability, effectiveness, and accessibility. Latex condoms are great at preventing pregnancies and protecting against most sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However, some folks may have a latex allergy or sensitivity, in which case, alternative materials are available. 

2. Non-latex condoms

For those who can't ride the latex train, there are alternatives like polyurethane, polyisoprene, and lambskin condoms. Polyurethane and polyisoprene are synthetic materials that provide similar protection against pregnancies and STIs as latex condoms, but with less potential for allergic reactions.  

Lambskin condoms, made from the intestinal membrane of a lamb (yeah, you read that right), can protect against pregnancies, but are not recommended for STI prevention. Plus, they can be a bit pricier.

3. Ribbed and studded condoms

These bad boys are all about texture. Ribbed condoms have raised lines along the shaft, while studded condoms have tiny bumps. The idea behind these designs is to increase pleasure for both partners. The effectiveness of ribbed and studded condoms in terms of pregnancy and STI prevention is similar to that of regular condoms; however, enjoyment levels may vary from person to person. 

4. Ultra-thin condoms

In the world of condoms, thinner is often considered better. Ultra-thin condoms aim to provide the closest sensation to wearing nothing at all while still offering protection. They're made from the same materials as regular condoms, just with a thinner profile. The jury's still out on whether ultra-thin condoms provide more pleasure, but they certainly don't skimp on safety. 

5. Flavored condoms

For those who enjoy a little extra zest in their love life, flavored condoms are a fun and tasty option. These condoms come in a variety of flavors like strawberry, chocolate, or even piña colada—perfect for adding a new dimension to oral sex. Remember, though: flavored condoms are meant for oral pleasure only, as some of the added chemicals can cause irritation if used for penetrative sex. 

6. Glow-in-the-dark condoms

If you're looking to light up your love life—quite literally—glow-in-the-dark condoms might be your jam. These condoms are charged by exposure to light and then emit a soft glow when the lights are off. While they might not provide any extra protection or sensation, they definitely add a fun and playful element to your bedroom activities.

7. Female condoms 

Last but not least, let's give a shoutout to the female condom. These pouch-like devices are worn internally by women to prevent pregnancy and protect against STIs. They're made from nitrile, a type of synthetic rubber that's safe for people with latex allergies. Female condoms can be inserted up to eight hours before sex, giving you extra flexibility and control in your contraceptive choices. 

The bottom line 

The world of condoms is vast and varied, with options to suit every taste, preference, and need. So whether you're a latex-loving traditionalist or a polyurethane pioneer, remember that the most important thing is to always practice safe and consensual sex. 

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