Different Types Of Condoms and What You Should Know About Them
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The best kind of condom in the world is the one that works for you. Keep it simple!
The condom section of a supermarket can feel like a nightmare, even to the veterans of the ‘fornication nation’. There are just so many colours, sizes, shapes, thicknesses, diameters, and flavours…where does a person even begin?! I mean, my first shopping experience got me asking myself if I was really getting condoms or ice cream.
For those who like things a little ‘unorthodox’, there are glow-in-the-dark, mint, French tickler (search it online right now!), and even edible condoms, but for the majority of us who like to keep things a little ‘conventional’, here are the 5 most common kinds of condoms and everything you should know about them.
1. Latex: The most quotidian of all condoms, latex condoms are a safe choice to avoid pregnancies and STDs. But in case you experience any itching or pain after use, you may be allergic to latex – a rare but plausible condition. Don’t worry; the next option has you covered.
2. Non-latex: The World Health Organization (WHO) does warn that non-latex condoms have a higher rate of breakage compared to latex, bringing their effectiveness down to 95%, but they are decent alternatives nonetheless. What exactly are these alternatives made of if not latex, you ask? Well, mostly polyurethane, but some brands also use polyisoprene, nitrile, and lambskin (too far?).
3. Flavoured: Gone are the days when grape, orange, banana, strawberry, bubble gum, chocolate, or cola-flavoured condoms were considered avant garde. Behold marijuana, whiskey, bacon, garlic, and even eggplant flavoured condoms; there’s something for everyone. Flavoured condoms are essentially standard latex condoms with flavourings, but mind you, these condoms were invented with the sole purpose of enhancing the oral sex experience. So, it’s not quite ideal for vaginal sex. This is because flavoured condoms contain sugar that can affect the pH level of the vagina and lead to irritation and yeast infection.
4. Lubricated condoms: Not everyone gets as wet as porn stars and that’s totally normal. The awesome thing about lubricated condoms is that they not only make penetration easier and more pleasurable, but they also reduce the chances of condoms breaking due to increased friction that often arises from vaginal dryness. If instead you choose to simply pair a condom with a lubricant – good – but ensure that you choose a lube that is compatible with your condom. Oil-based lubricants (and coconut oil and baby oil) can erode latex and rocket the chances of conception. *gasp* Go for water or silicone-based lubricants instead.
5. Female condoms: As ridiculous as it is, most people don’t even know that condoms for women exist! Then there’s also this other thing about their failure rates being as high as 21%. Doctors recommend combining female condoms with a birth control pill or an IUD (intrauterine device). One can never be too careful. But look at it this way- Thanks to female condoms, women can have power over their own protection! They don’t have to rely on their sexual partners to carry and wear a condom.
I believe that sex is the birthright of us all – a coupon we must redeem every chance we get. But while we are at that, the least we can do is avoid unpleasant surprises like – unplanned pregnancy, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, genital warts...you catch the drift. I’d also like to leave you with a gentle disclaimer: Please don’t go insane deciding between even the mere 5 types of condoms you’ve just read about. The best kind of condom in the world is the one that works for you. Keep it simple!