Condoms, you, and your penis
Who's responsible for contraception? The man or woman? In the days of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and AIDS, it's a really important question. I don't think I'm doing anyone an injustice if I say that in the past it has always been the man who's resisted the idea of slipping a condom on his penis. Why? Well, in the past condoms have reduced the sensations a man feels when making love quite dramatically - and, if we're honest, men can be rather selfish in their desire to get the best sexual pleasure.
So, leaving aside other health issues such the ability of condoms to prevent STDs, it comes as good news that the modern latex condom is a very different article altogether - thin, sensitive and hardly noticeable. In addition, there's now a polyurethane condom, which is so thin it's practically invisible!
Effectiveness of the condom as barrier contraception for the penis
Since the condom is first and foremost a contraceptive, we need to know if it works. This depends on whether people use it properly or not, although in that respect it is no different from any other contraceptive. The actual failure rate in a "typical" population is 12 per cent per year, which means out of every hundred women whose partners are using the male condom as a contraceptive, 12 would get pregnant in a year. This seems high, but the typical population includes couples who don't use it all the time and people who don't use it properly. The real failure rate for couples who use the condom properly and consistently is only three percent a year, which is about as effective as contraception gets.
When you combine this fact with the knowledge that the condom is one hundred per cent effective in stopping the transmission of the AIDS virus, it looks like a great asset for men and women.....except that, as many men have said, it deadens the feeling in the penis.
It's true that a condom which is too tight will desensitize the nerve endings in your penis. The way to deal with this is to find a condom that matches the shape of your glans. This is important because penises do come in different shapes and sizes: 42% of men have a penis that is widest at the head, while 27% say theirs is widest on the shaft, and 12% say they have the greatest girth at the base.
The condom manufacturers have responded to the differing anatomies of men by producing condoms with wider heads, tapered shafts, and so on, all designed to fit different shaped penises.
A Snugger Fit condom for the smaller penis - or a Trojan Magnum?
What about penis size? First, there isn't a standard for condom length, but Durex say that only the most well-endowed man would find a normal condom too short. This can be important, because when a condom isn't unrolled all the way to the base of the penis, the ring at the end of the condom will be someway up the penile shaft. It can then enter your partner's vagina during sex, and this may result in the condom coming off your penis completely.
However, there is a standard for circumference in Europe, at least: 104mm. If this is too big (though I suspect standard condoms will fit the majority of men) there are smaller condoms such as Mates Conform (98 mm around), Lifestyles Form Fitting, RFSU Mamba (102mm around) and Contempo Exotica (98mm around). The very smallest condom available is the Exotica Snugger Fit, which is both slim and short, so there is no need for the man with a smaller than average penis to feel left out. Larger condoms include Trojan Magnum and Durex Gold (a longer one). There are, of course, many others.
Now, I know what you're thinking: this is all very well, but how do I find out what I need? First of all, the issue for you might be whether or not you are allergic to latex: very few people are, but if so, you need a polyurethane or lambskin condom. Secondly, you might want an extra strong variety if you're into anal sex.
Next, look at the issue of size. I know there is an element of pride here, but you probably have some idea of how "average" your penis is. If you really don't know if you're packing a big pecker, buy different sized condoms and see which suits you best. Then there are different anatomical designs - for example, if you have a penis with a large glans, you'll want a condom that can accommodate this without numbing it. Some men find that the greatest sexual pleasure comes from having a condom that is loose around the head of their penis, so that the movement of the latex on their glans creates yet another source of sensation during intercourse. Incidentally, spermicidal lubricant can be really irritating to your penis. Manufacturers' websites:
Slip Sliding Away
If you need extra lubricant for sex, you'll need to be careful what you use with your condom. Any oil based lubricant will destroy a latex condom - whether it's the thin or thick variety - almost at once. Polyurethane condoms are immune to this problem. If you use a water-based or condom-safe lubricant you'll be fine in any circumstances.
But how to find the right condom for your penis?
Some of the online condom sales companies have introduced helpful programs that guide you through your requirements and come up with different options. The first site to do this was, I think, Condomania, who pioneered condom sales by mail order as a response to the Aids crisis. They have a Condom Wizard - not a new software product from Bill Gates, but a question and answer system designed to guide you through the amazing variety of condoms on offer today. This helpful fellow lives on the Condomania web-site in the US. Better yet, if you want to try smaller condoms they do a mixed selection which can help you decide exactly what you need. And if you want fruit flavored, ribbed, knobbed or colored, they're all there as well!
What if putting on a condom turns me off and I lose my erection?
Well, it can happen. The act of stopping making love to fumble with a condom can cause some men to lose their erection. If so, then the embarrassment factor is at work. Perhaps being more open and frank with your lover might help? For some reason, other men find the whole process of putting the condom on to be highly erotic, especially if their partner does it - but if she or he does it with their lips, do remember to tell them not to bite. Please note that even if you have erectile dysfunction - see www.end-erectile-dysfunction-now.com - or the more difficult and distressing condition where a man is unable to ejaculate, aka delayed ejaculation problems, you should still wear a condom during intercourse.
Feel good even with a condom
Sex is supposed to feel great, not just good! And so the old latex condom has given way to a whole range of new products designed to snugly hug your penis, provide headroom for a larger glans to move freely, conduct the warmth of her body to the sensitive parts of your penis and, stimulate her vagina.
These changes started with the manufacture of some very thin condoms in Japan - and Western manufacturers were rapidly forced to respond by changing and updating their own ranges. Life Styles produced a condom called Xtra Pleasure, with ample room inside the head so the penile glans was not constricted. These developments have been followed by one advance after another. The Pleasure Plus, for example, feels almost like you aren't wearing a condom - and some men say it is even sexier than having sex without a condom, because this condom is loose so it rubs on the glans as you thrust, giving you even greater pleasure. If you have no idea who your partner's been with before you met her (or vice versa) this is by far the best way to protect yourself when you have sex.
Then there's the inSpiral - a condom that gives both the man and the woman extra pleasure since the shape of the shaft will stimulate her vagina as the man thrusts.
If you're allergic to latex, the Avanti by Durex is the answer - made from polyurethane, it will conduct the heat of your partner's vagina so well you'll feel like your penis is in intimate contact with her flesh. Another excellent polyurethane condom is the Trojan Supra, so fine it is almost invisible.
By the way, using a condom can help you to last longer during sex. This is because it can reduce sensitivity of the penis and allow you to receive vaginal stimulation as you thrust into your partner without tipping you over the edge of orgasm and ejaculation. There are of course also special delay condoms with anesthetic lotion located in the tip of the condom - this numbs your glans during sex and hopefully gives you more staying power!
More information on contraception can be found here -
Durex.com Home page of Durex condoms. An informative and fun site with an amusing sex quiz.
Possible condom problems Information about issues that can arise (rarely) with latex condoms, including allergy to latex or the spermicide nonoxynol 9. These may also be explanations for urethral irritation and soreness.
Condoms Review A useful site which helps you decide which condoms are best for you.
The female condom
The female condom is a device which a woman can insert in her vagina. The US version is called Reality, and there is another version called the Femidom. You may find that you or your gal prefer the feel of this. The idea is that a "tube" of polyurethane - like a wide condom - goes inside the woman, as deep as her cervix, where a ring stops the condom going deeper. The polyurethane clings to the side of her vagina and warms up to body temperature, while the outer ring remains outside her vagina. One possible advantage, apart from the fact that the woman has control of contraception, is that the device can be inserted some time before sex. See more information here: fc2 female condom.
These pics are lifted from the Condomania web-site. The reason they're there is that, basically, I like condoms! and to show the two funky condoms at the left hand side of the picture - the Pleasure Plus and the inSpiral (the two oddly shaped ones). They have special design to give freedom of movement to the head of the penis - users rave about them, or so I'm told. The suppliers listed above all stock these sex-enhancing condoms.
Which supplier? Which condom?
Here are the facts and information that you need to make an informed choice about the best condom for you.
We will give you recommendations about the right condom, whether you want the largest, smallest, fruitiest, strongest or most innovative.
It is our mission to help you find the right condom for you and your penis so that you can enjoy sex with confidence - and have some safe sexy fun.
Condoms sized for small, medium and large penises
Not all men are created equal. Some of us have small penises, some large. Some have big knobs, some small. Some have thick shafts, some thin. Fortunately you can find something to suit you whatever the size of your endowment. The widths shown below are of the condom when it is laid flat and measured across: you can't relate them easily to the girth of your penis. The best thing is to get a selection and try them out until you find something you like. Also, many condoms have wider heads or narrower necks. A figure like this: 49/44 mm refers to the width of the shaft and the narrowing at the neck. A figure like this: 54/60 refers to the width of the shaft and the widening of the head. A wider head is designed to feel better, basically the theory is that it doesn't trap the nerves of the glans and allows greater sensation....the figures are all taken from Condomania's website.
If you're interested in finding our where you fit on the scale of penis size (or you just want to see thousands of photos of the male member!), this is the website for you! With over 3000 photos of every conceivable size, shape and form of penis, you'll be amazed, surprised and amused!
Other pages on condom use:
Other pages on this site
The-penis.com - home page
Featuring the greatest lovemaking techniques of all ages from the Kama Sutra onwards, this wonderful website is guaranteed to make you the most incredible lover your partner's ever had!
Enjoy Some New Sexual Positions For You And Your Partner
Bring back the spark of passion to your love life with the finest guide on the web to techniques and positions - fully illustrated with photos and videos of lovemaking positions.
How To Give A Woman An Orgasm
We are probably much more familiar with women who have a problem reaching orgasm during sex - and masturbation in a fair number of cases. Indeed, it is not uncommon for women to have trouble reaching orgasm, so a man who wants to know how to give a woman an orgasm must pick up a few tips. The clitoris does not receive enough stimulation during intercourse to bring a woman to orgasm. There are actually rather a lot of ways in which women can reach orgasm during sex, and they are described on many sexual advice websites including this one, which is designed for men who need to find ways to bring their partner to orgasm during intercourse.
This page is available in Spanish at www.el-pene.com - Condones y contraconcepción.