Condoms 101 – What you need to know!
How much do you really know about condoms? Do you know the differences in textures, colors and sizes? Do you know what causes them to fail? How about flavored or unflavored? Glow in the dark? Do they expire? For male or female?
There are many important things to know, so let’s get started!
The main purposes of a condom are:
- To prevent pregnancy
- To protect yourself and your partner from transmitting an STD. When used EVERY time and the right way, they are the only form of protection that is reliable for both of these purposes.
There are condoms for males (most commonly used) which fits over the penis, and a condom for females which is inserted inside of the vagina.
Materials used to make a condom
Condoms are generally made from latex, polyurethane, or lambskin. Latex is the most popular and readily available kind. Polyurethane condoms are more expensive, and are good for people who are allergic to latex. The lambskin condom is made of sheep intestines-yuck, do not protect against STD’s, and are pricey, but can be also be used for people who are allergic to latex.
Some condoms are lubricated and some are not. They can be lubricated with a water-based lubricant or a silicone product. Lubrication makes them more comfortable and helps prevent tearing – extremely important! If you are purchasing condoms with a lubricant, some of them contain nonoxynol-9, which is a spermicide as an added product to prevent pregnancy. If you are adding your own lubricant you should only use a water-based product, since oil breaks down rubber and should not be used with latex condoms.
Condoms come in different shapes and sizes. Teenie weenie, average and OMG! Haha, not really. Seriously, you can choose to use a smaller one for a snug fit, or larger ones that are slightly wider, but if made from natural rubber, they will all stretch to fit the length of a man’s penis. Also, they are made in different thicknesses. The thinner condom offers more sensation. Oh yeah!
There are several different textures available which vary from ribbed, all the way to studded. What excites you? Condoms are designed with added textures for maximum pleasure for one or both partners. Start experimenting and let us know.
Colors and Flavors
Have a little fun with your condoms! They come in a variety of colors-even glow in the dark, and flavors to add some fun to your sex life and are known as novelty condoms. But, beware that many of these types of condoms DO NOT prevent pregnancy or STD’s. Check the label as these will be labeled FOR NOVELTY USE ONLY, and can be used for foreplay. If you are using a condom to prevent pregnancy or STD’s, make sure your label says it is FDA approved.Then you will have less of a chance of saying “uh oh”.
The flavored condoms are generally used for oral sex and may not be great for intercourse because some people may be allergic to the flavoring and it may also increase your chance of infection.
Yes they expire! Pay attention to the date. Condoms have a shelf-life of 3-5 years depending on if they have a spermicide in them. Three years with and five years without. So, be sure to check the date on the package as this will contribute to the condom breaking, tearing, etc. Oh no!
1. There is no age requirement to purchase condoms.
2. The #1 reason for failure is improper use or application.
3. Although very reliable if used properly, they are not 100% effective.
Please comment below to tell your preferences, and why. Do you have more fun using condoms? Do you have any suggestions?