Define Stuff: Condoms – Everything you need to Know!

Topics related to Sex Education are still a taboo in most parts of the world, and many parts of Bharat (India) also fall under this. Condom is a part of Sex Education and here are the topics we will be discussing in-detail further. Move ahead only if you are 16+

  • Introductory information
  • Type of Condoms available and materials used in the manufacture
  • Stats and Facts
  • Complaints
  • Effective ways to use
  • Pros and Cons
  • Advice from Define Stuff

To be Precise and Clear to the point, Condom is a thin sheath of latex(mostly) used during the sexual intercourse for the purpose of preventing Pregnancy and transmission of STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases). It has a major role in the Birth Control techniques, even though there are many other methods available. It acts as a barrier as not to allow the Gents Seminal fluid to meet the Vaginal Fluids of a Lady. It is still considered the best, easy and most cost-effective procedure in controlling births. The use of Condoms started not just recently, but since centuries ago, somewhere between 1564, elaborating from 1855(rubber made) and 1920(Latex made). The Condom market is seeing a great increase in the usage every year, and is estimated to reach an approximate of $4 Billion by 2024.

Types of Condoms available:

Condoms are available for both men and women. While men have a wide variety of options, women have quite a few, in-fact one or two though. Howsoever, of both the partners involving in Sex- it is mandatory for anyone to use a condom, so that’s not a big deal to worry about. These are categorized based on 4 factors mainly:

  • Size
  • Color
  • Flavor
  • Shape

To explain in detail, most men complain many issues about Condom. One of the most concerned issue is the Size. They would be either more tight, more loose or may also drop away during the Sex course. Taking all these into factors, Condom manufacturing companies came up with 3 sizes, and these may slightly vary based on their pre-set measurements. Before we get to know the sizes of the condoms, we need to get with two terms namely Length and Girth.

Length means the Length of the Penis from the tip of the Glans Penis to the last. Girth means the all round length of the Penis when erect, means the diameter of the Penis when erect. Widely followed Sizes are stated below:

Small or Snug Size: Girth < 4.7″

Medium or Standard Size: Girth 4.7″ to 5.1″

Large Size: Girth 5.1″ to 6.0″ and above

It is advisable to note the measurements before purchasing one, because the measurements mostly won’t change.

Another factor that categorizes Condoms is Color. Even though this may seem hilarious, Condoms do come in various colors (You can check our Featured Image). Many choose their favorite color only because they like to! Manufacturing companies do provide them in Colors of Flags etc. Halloween themed and other festival themed condoms are also available. These are just some pricey over the normal. Developed countries make use of these a lot, while the others prefer it, only for its purpose.

Flavored Condoms have gained a lot of popularity since the last few years. I was wondering really what is the purpose of fruit flavored condoms, which is quite un-natural when compared with its purpose. Later I got to know that their sole purpose is for the fulfillment of Oral Sex. For those aware of Oral Sex, it means using your mouth and tongue for the stimulation of partner’s genital parts and anus, which results in arousal and pleasure. Many say these condoms just make their Oral Sex more amazing. They come in wide-variety of flavors like Mint, Grape, Orange, Banana, Strawberry, Chocolate, Vanilla, Bacon, Cola etc. Still many flavors may join the list further, who knows?

Shaped Condoms are nothing but some Textured and Patterned condoms which have some stripes, bubbles or some sort of difference over the normal plain one. The sole purpose of using these is to increase the Sexual pleasure of both the people involving. Many complain using a condom actually makes the sex less enjoyable and this is for those complaining team of people. Textures or Patterns over the condom increase the roughness of the sex, and thereby make it more spicy, hot and enjoyable. Many are preferring these over the traditional ones, to add a bit of hotness to their night’s life!

Over all the categories stated above that differentiate the Condoms, the below given information is more important to be known because this section deals with the materials used for the manufacture, some other few types and Conceptual Condoms that are in the works.

From the ages since the humans got to know about this birth control measure, Condoms are being made firstly using Rubber and later Plastic. On and On with the technological advances, Latex is the material mostly used for making Condoms especially because of its Rigidity, Elasticity and other factors. Some people are allergic to Latex, and prefer other Condoms made of Nitrile or PolyUrethane material. Lamb-Skin made condoms are made from the intestines of the lambs, but it is not preferable to serve the cause of Condoms because of the small pores present in it, which doesn’t stop pregnancy or the spread of STIs.

Condoms don’t have a Lubrication and hence this makes it a bit difficult to indulge in Sex with it because of the irritation caused. Here comes the use of Lubes (from here on we use this word for Lubricant). These are of two types: One is Water Based Lubes and the other is Oil based Lubes. Both are safe and neat to use, and serve their purpose well. But Water Based Lubes are most preferable over the other. Hence, the condoms are coming Pre-Lubricated with a thin layer of liquid coating on them, that reduces the Pain and Irritation.

Spermicide is some chemical coating used in the Condoms especially for the killing of Sperms released whose sole purpose is to stop pregnancy by killing Sperms. Even though it serves the purpose, it causes irritation and chances of HIV and HPV are sure to occur.

Female Condoms as said – don’t have a wide variety of options but one serves the said purpose. It is Nitrile made, Latex Free and are pre-lubricated. Many use these as they are Hypoallergenic (not prone to cause allergy of any kind) and is said to increase the sexual pleasure.

Latex is the material mostly used world-wide in Condom manufacturing.

Trojan and Durex companies have a record in Best Selling Category.

Few other types include:

  • Glow-in-the-dark Condoms: Even though this may seem crazy, but yes, they do exist. As stated Condoms are made mostly from the Latex, a material is used between two layers of Latex that when placed under a light source for 30 sec can glow in the dark and also during Sex. It is more of some fantasy, other than productivity.
  • Warming Condoms: As it is pre-known that most condoms now come with a lubricated layer, a Warming Condom is one that is made of thin layer of Latex, with a lubricant that warms up by the heat of both the partners during the inter course.
  • Tickler Condoms: Male condoms have a tip in the front for collection of the semen generated after an orgasm of a male partner. Tickling condoms have a different style of tip and also some textures on the sides of condom at some defined measurements which when worn on and indulged in sex, tickle the sensitive areas of a female partner that pleasures them more than normal.
  • Extra Strength Condoms: As the name says, these condoms are more strong and thick, which serve long-lasting purpose but people complain of no pleasure because of insensitivity due to heavy thickness over the normal.
  • Extra Sensitive Condoms: As the name itself states, it is an opposite to the above one. The Condom is thinner than the normal ones, which is intended to provide pleasure by thinner walls and more sensitivity. It makes you feel as if you aren’t wearing one.
  • Conceptual Condoms: One among these is a Spray Condom. It is still in the Conceptual works and the term elaborated as “When an Erect Penis is put into a specified can, the latex is sprayed on the penis from all the sides which dries up and acts as a sheath”. It is still in works because it is more costly and takes not less than 3 min to dry up, which is more of a time at that instance. Another one is an Invisible Condom, that doesn’t appear as if worn. This is also under works.

Male condoms are 98% effective in Birth Control if properly used, and are only 82% effective if not properly used.

Female Condoms are 95% effective if properly used, and 79% effective if not properly used.

It means even though you wear a condom and also use it properly as prescribed, there are chances you may get pregnant around 2 in 100.

Effective Ways to use:

  • Always use a new Condom, that too a one which has been recently purchased.
  • Condoms too have an Expiry date. Don’t forget to check once before you buy!
  • If it isn’t a lubricated one, prefer to use Water based lube other than an oil-based one.
  • Kindly don’t re-use a Condom. One Condom for One Sex Act.
  • Use a Latex made over a Lamb-Skin made Condom as the prior one is more effective and safe in serving the purpose.
  • If you are allergic to Latex, choices like Nitrile made and PolyUrethane made condoms are available. Check before buying.
  • Get to know your size right before having one, as it is lot helpful in making your drive pleasurable. They mostly come in 3 sizes.
  • Some have a myth like wearing a Condom over a Condom is double safe (Double bagging of Condoms). But it results in less pleasure and seems awkward for both just because the Latex on Latex cannot have a grip to with-hold along. It also results in tear of condoms. Prefer to use one after the other.
  • Never ever flush a condom as it always results in blockage of water pipelines which is a big issue.

Advice from Define Stuff:

  • Put on a Condom only after an Erection.
  • Tear the packet gently without force as it may tear the condom inside, which becomes useless.
  • Hold the condom to the tip and primarily create a reservoir or collection spot for the semen to accumulate (if the condom doesn’t have any). Now-a-days condoms come with a tip along. Later holding the tip, roll on the entire condom to the last.
  • Don’t forget to use a Lube on an un lubricated Condom.
  • Always use a Water based lube on a Latex condom as the oil based one tears the condom apart.
  • If you feel like the Condom torn down during the act, it is advisable to remove and wear a new one.
  • After use, gently remove it without letting the semen droplets fall out. Tie it on the other side and dispose in a closed bin. Don’t Flush as it creates an Environmental Hazard.
  • Condom should be used by any one partner during the act. Either Male or the Female should use one at a time, else both of the male and female condoms stick with each other and tear apart.
  • Condom effectiveness only depends on how effectively you use it. Kindly follow our Tips and Advice for a Wonderful Time.

Best and the Worst:

Pros:

  • Cost Effective Birth Control Method.
  • Highly Effective in Preventing Pregnancy and stops transmission of STIs.
  • Acts like a Barrier, not allowing the genital fluids between the partners to meet.

Cons:

Problems expressed by the Public in a survey carried out are:

  • Sometimes Break or Slip during Sex.
  • Fitting issues, mostly tight or loose.
  • Drying out of Lube in the middle of the act.
  • Irritation caused and Allergic to some condom making materials.
  • Always not able to have one ready (some sort of people expressed this too as a disadvantage).

References: WebMD Archives, Wikipedia and a Few other Helpful Websites.

Image Courtesy: Planned Parenthood