Category Archives: Safer Sex

Where to Go for Safer Sex: Our Resource Recommendations

HaveAcondom (1)We are celebrating Valentine’s Day 2013 by acknowledging some of the most lavish, smart, and intriguing safer sex resources out there and giving them our thank yous for their hard work.

For safer sex guidelines we applaud and recommend you check out the following…

Planned Parenthood: A non-profit health organization that offers reproductive health care and advice on contraception, safe sex, and family planning.  They’ve been around since 1939 and in many cases are the only place where one can access birth control, STD/STI testing, sex education, couples counseling, etc.

The Body: A medically-based HIV/AIDS resource in the US which provides information on everything one needs to know about HIV/AIDS, including advice on prevention, HIV testing, treatment, safely navigating a mixed-status relationship, HIV/AIDS policy and activism, and the latest research on HIV/AIDS and other STDs.  This humongous site offers everything from Blogs, podcasts, bulletin boards, “Ask the Experts” forum, first-person stories and interviews, conferences and news coverage, and library resources.

SEX ETC: Who better to understand high school sex politics than the peers who are living and experiencing it themselves.  The blog, magazine, and stories on this site are written by and for teens and young adults across North America.  It provides different media to engage with sexual health info, such as videos about safe sex, forums where teens can participate and moderate discussions with other teens, a 400 words sex glossary, a state-by-state reference to info on birth control, health care access and your rights to sex education in “Sex in the States” guide, and a range of surveys and guides to sex ed activism.

Scarleteen:  A progressive sex-ed site written for teens who are female, male, genderqueer; gay, straight or somewhere in between.  It provides over 200 articles about sex, health, and relationships, covering everything from STIs to sexual orientation, body image, self-esteem, to birth control, masturbation, misogyny, sexual abuse, and technical advice from French kissing to BDSM.  The site also provides interactive question-answer-discuss services, including their new live help feature providing safe, anonymous live chats with Scarleteen’s staff and volunteers.

SEX-ED LOOP:  Another great resource for teens, based in Chicago, that gives up to date information on sexual health, rights, and identity through a range of social media channels including a weekly text messaging service and clinic finder that will identify health care services throughout Chicago.  Also provides helpful articles about gender identity and sexual orientation.

HIV InSite: A non-commercial, well-established source developed by the Center for HIV Information at the University of California San Francisco.  The site offers an extensive collection of original material including a complete textbook about the clinical management of HIV/AIDS.  It is also a great resource for global HIV/AIDS research, statistics, and policy analysis.

Our Bodies Ourselves: A global non-profit that promotes evidence-based information on girls’ and women’s health.  The information provided on the site is vast and includes excerpts from their famous book on reproductive health, as well as first-person blog stories that range from topics like body image, nutrition, menstruation, pregnancy and much more.

Well, that’s a handful of some of our favorite safer sex resources from sound sexual health organizations. Do you have any resources to share?  Please let us know in the comments below!

Condoms Make Me Horny! Tips for making condoms more erotic

CondomMakeMeHornyI’m sure you know, or at least have heard of someone who claims that condoms make sex feel less good.  Condoms (and other safe sex tools) don’t have the best reputation.  It doesn’t help that we rarely see safer sex happening in media representations of sex that is hot, fun, or romantic.  But it doesn’t have to be this way.  As we’ve discussed elsewhere, there is no solid empirical evidence to back up negative claims about condoms. Studies find that people who use condoms correctly and are used to using them tend to report greater pleasure with protected sex than those who go without protection.

This does not mean that people on an individual level do not experience problems when enjoying protected sex.  There is a difference between knowing how to put on a condom and knowing how to use them well.  That is why it tends to be people who use them often and consistently that report greater sexual satisfaction.  It takes practice and know-how to feel confident and learn what feels good for you and partner(s).  Condoms can add a playful and sexy dimension to sex but, as with anything sexy, you need a positive attitude and a dash of creativity. In this post, we offer some ways to help spice up condom use.

In sum, the main tricks to loving the glove are:

1) Communicate
2) Take turns putting it on
3) Practice
4) Be prepared
5) Be playful and have fun
6) Lubricant!
7) Be aware of condom sizes and experiment with different ones

For more on these points, continue reading.  Warning: explicit, NSFW illustrations below.

Before we begin, the basics of condoms should be known.  Check out our user manual.  Once you understand these essential steps to condom care you can explore ways that may enhance sexual pleasure and make condoms a part of sex- rather than a disruption to it.

This post focuses on condom use for penis and sharing sex toys, but some tips here can also apply to safer anal and vaginal oral sex using barriers including condoms, dental dams, cling film saran wrap, or latex/nitrile gloves. For more info on protective lesbian sex check out this sex column.  For specifically gay protective sex info, the Gay Men’s Health Charity is an excellent resource. (Some links are affiliate links that earn us a small commission).

Introducing condoms to partners 

This isn’t something that should feel awkward no matter how casual or serious your relationship.  It can be as simple as just stopping what you are doing and handing over a condom.  Sometimes you won’t need to say anything at all.  Or, as suggested by Robin Mandell at Scarleteen, when you feel the heat turning up and sex might happen, take a quick break and retrieve condoms from wherever you keep them (ideally with easy access- discussed below).  You can say something as casual as, “No pressure.  I just wanted to get these out just in case we need them.”

Condoms do not keep people from getting close- Silence does.

Asking someone to use a condom is to show care for the well-being of you both. Communication really is key and talking about sex might mean explaining what you like, what’s your favorite position, or how to use condoms and use them in ways that work for you both.  Talking together about these things will cultivate intimacy and deepen your bond (not hinder it!), because you are sharing the responsibilities of sex and caring for each other.

Great sex is about sharing control  

As Heather Corinna explains, this is something that safer sex can help support.  Learning how to discuss condom usage and exploring sexy ways to put on a condom and what feels good together will make talking about other facets of sex a lot easier, such as how you’d like to try something new.  This also means that both people are making decisions and choices which are fundamental to both amazing sex and healthy sexuality.

Take turns putting on barriers

Related to the above- condoms can be a lot more erotic when one partner puts it on the other.  There are many ways to turn up to heat with a condom.  When done in a deliberately slow manner with some stroking, teasing, eye contact, putting on a condom can be exciting.

You can put the condom on together.  For example, one person takes the condom out of its package and places it over the head of the penis (make sure that you unravel it right-way down, not inside out).  The other person pitches and holds onto the reservoir tip of the condom as the other unrolls it down the shaft of the penis with one (or two hands).  This not only turns up the heat, but also ensures confidence in both actors that the condoms is put on correctly.

Practice Makes Perfect

Learn how to put it on.  You can use the ol’ fashion banana, or the aid of a dildo or willing partner to practice how to unravel the condom.  It should unroll downward to the base without too much pulling or stretching.  If any exertion is needed to get the condom to the base then it is probably the wrong size.  Practicing by yourself will relieve any worry about losing an erection or the uncomfortable pressure of being judged on your condom skills.  Ladies and guys, you can always practice when you masturbate.  This will also help you learn your pleasure spots and what feels best with protection.  Or practice with your partner.  When the time is right, either you or the other can put on the condom, so it’s good for everyone to knows how.  For many couples, this also helps to naturalize the process. It’s not about “making” a guy do something; it’s about something people do together for each other.

Be Prepared

One of the great advantages to condoms is that they are readily available for anyone to buy without a prescription and they are relatively cheap- even free at some health clinics like Planned Parenthood.  So equipping yourself with this contraceptive takes far less time, research, and planning.

Also, it will help things run a whole lot smoother and greatly reduce the buzz-kill if you can reduce condom-hunting time.  So keep condoms (and lubricant) in a dedicated, handy place next to your bed where you are sure to find it.

Be playful

Keeping condoms in an easily accessible place is helpful, but that does not mean that it is always best to rush through the process of putting one on. Great sex is to have fun with it.  When you introduce condoms have a sense of play.  And if things get awkward as you’re learning how to do safe sex, let yourself laugh about it.  This helps take the pressure off.

Buy some glow-in-the-dark condoms and leave your partner in suspense until the lights go out!  Or incorporate condoms into erotic foreplay.  Try slipping it on his penis with your mouth. If you are using gloves, get some props and play Doctor. Spice it up by carrying a condom with you in your handbag or pocket and discreetly show it to your partner to hint what’s on your mind.

Lubricant

This is really important. Especially, if you or your partners complain about reduced sensitivity, lubricant will improve sensation immensely.  Put two drops of water-based lubricant inside the tip of the latex condom before putting it on.  Even if dryness is not a problem for a person, lubricant that is made for condoms will lasts longer than the natural stuff.

Experiment with different lube samplers and flavors.

Warning: Explicit Images Below

Know Your Condom Size and Experiment

Two points here.  First, make sure your condom fits well.  Condoms aren’t one-size-fits-all, and a condom that’s too small or too big is likely be difficult to put on, very uncomfortable, and much more likely to break.  If you are not sure what will fit, check out our Condom Size Calculator.  If you experience certain discomforts, such as condoms being too tight, or too long, we have suggestions at our condom guide.  If you’re providing the condoms, it might be useful to have a variety of types and styles so you and your partner can choose what seems right. Variety sample packs can be found online, and at some drugstores.

Second point, if you are in a longer-term relationship, you have the advantage to experiment with different types of condoms and lubricants together to discover what suits you both best and have fun while doing it!  There are many different styles of condoms out there from thin, to thick, to wider in certain spots, snugger in other spots, etc.  There’s variety in texture: ribbed, studded, contoured, pouched; variety in non-latex condoms; and there is plenty of variety in lubricants that can enhance sensation dramatically.  You could buy a variety pack of condoms to find the best ones.  Or make a date out of it and visit a sex shop and choose together.

There are hundreds of sexy ways to put on a condom that do not interrupt the flow.  Here are just two examples:  Excellent hand-drawn illustrations that will no doubt spark ideas by custom condom size company TheyFit.com.

Condoms inclusion technique demo from TheyFit.com

Condoms inclusion technique demo from TheyFit.com

Condom inclusion technique demo from TheyFit.com

Condom inclusion technique demo from TheyFit.com

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If I haven’t convinced you yet about the sensual side of condoms, take this with you:  Everyone needs to accept this reality.  If you’re sexually active and not practicing safe sex then you are likely to transmit or contract a disease or infection.  To prevent this from happening, to experience healthy fulfilling sexuality, you have to learn how to use protection.

Condom Size Chart

This article aims to consolidate sizing info from leading brands.  We hope to lessen the confusion over what’s “snug”, “regular”, and “XL”. Last updated: 8 November 2015

For a more user friendly, comparative condom search try our new Condom Size Calculator .

When it comes to condoms, fitting matters for effective protection and pleasure. Considering the array of choices and the fact that every penis is different, finding the right condom can be daunting (but also fun!).  The best thing to do is experiment and keep an open mind to new brands, contours, textures.

Measurements here are from our self measurements or from our trusted affiliates at Lucky Bloke and Undercover Condoms. The reported width is measured by condoms laying flat, so it is not the circumference. To understand if your penis girth fits condom width simply divide your penis circumference by 2.25.  How did we get this formula? Read this post for research details.

Jump to Trojan Size ChartDurex Size ChartLifeStyles Size Chart.

Our size charts are constantly updated, so please join our FacebookTwitter or RSS feed to keep informed.

We’ve added new size charts for Gylde CondomsKimono CondomsBeyond Seven Condoms, ONE, and Caution Wear (links to charts). And we’ve recently consolidated non-latex sizes too.

We also supply an ill-fitting solutions chart for those who find condoms tend to be too loose, too tight, too short or too long.i'm so excited

Now onto the condom size chart for major U.S. brands

(Sizes may vary by a few milimmeters but this should not affect fitting. Links to external sites may be affiliate links and could earn us a small commission. We are an independent collective.  This is not a company endorsement)

Trojan Condom Sizes

Look!  We have a more in depth version of Trojan Condom Sizes here!

Trojan is the number one US condom brand. Their website is a visual treat. However, sizing is not as comprehensive as Durex. They classify their condoms in Regular, Large and Extra Large. The shortest and most slender condom they offer is 7.9″/200mm long and 2.0″/52mm base width (which is the standard “regular” size for most condoms).  The longest and widest Trojan size is Trojan Magnum XL, (8.3″/210mm long and 2.3″/58mm base width and a whooping 2.5″/64mm head width).

Below is a list of how each product fits under Trojan’s “Regular”, “Large” and “XL” scale. For more details on each Trojan condom, check out our Trojan Condom Size Chart.

Size REGULAR

TROJAN® Ultra Thin Spermicidal Lubricant Condoms

Trojan Ultra Thin Spermicidal Lubricated

Contains Nonoxynol-9 Spermicide
Base Width: 2.1″/53mm
Length: 7.6″/196mm

TROJAN® Extended Pleasure™ Condoms with Climax Control Lubricant

Base width: 2.05″/52mm
Length: 7.9″/200mm

TROJAN® Pleasure Pack Lubricated Condoms

Supplies 4 Her Pleasures, 2 Fire & Ice, 4 Twisted Pleasure, and 2 Intense Ribbed

Size LARGE

MAGNUM Ecstasy

Wide head that is tampered at the bass for comfort.
Base width: 2.2″/56mm
Head width: 2.5″/64mm
Length: 8.13″/205mm

MAGNUM® Fire & Ice

Warming and tingling dual lubricant sensation.
Base width: 2.2″/56mm
Head width: 2.5″/63.5mm
Length: 8.12″/205mm

MAGNUM® Thin

Now Thin for bare skin feeling.
Base width: 2.2″/56mm
Head width: 2.5″/63.5mm
Length: 8.12″/205mm

TROJAN BareSkin or Supra (these are their only non-latex condoms and one of their most popular)

Made of Polyurethane
Base width: 2.1”/53mm
Length: 7.9”/200mm

TROJAN® Ultra Thin Lubricated Condoms

Trojan Ultra Thin Lubricated

Base Width: 2.1″/53mm
Length: 7.9/200mm

TROJAN® Ultra Ribbed Spermicidal Lubricant Condoms

Contains Nonoxynol-9
Base Width: 2.13″/54mm
Length: 8.13″/205mm

TROJAN® Ecstasy Ultra Ribbed Lubricated Condoms

Based width: 2.13″/54mm
Length: 8.13″/205mm

TROJAN® ENZ Non-Lubricated™ Condoms

Base width: 2.13″/54mm
Length: 8.13″/205mm

Trojan-ENZ® Spermicidal Lubricant Condoms

Contains Nonoxynol-9
Base width: 2.13″/54mm
Length: 8.13″/ 205mm

Size XL

MAGNUM® XL Lubricated Condoms

Trojan’s widest condom; 30% wider than regular size
Base width: 2.2″/56mm
Head width: 2.7″/68.58mm
Length:  8.3″/210mm

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Durex Condom Sizes

See our more in depth DUREX SIZE CHART HERE

Durex used to supply visual diagrams of dimensions but sadly they did away with these!  We’ve grouped condoms accordingly.

Size SNUG

According to our research, Durex does not offer condoms less than 2.1″ /52mm wide.

Size REGULAR

Durex Avanti Bare Real Feel (named “Latex-Free” in Europe)
Durex’s only non-latex condom
Base width: 2.1″/ 52mm
Length: 7.2″ / 183mm

Natural Feeling Lubricated
Easy roll on flare shape
Water-based lubricant
Base width: 2.1″/ 52mm
Length: 7.5″/ 190mm

Durex Natural Feeling Dry
Non-lubricated for those who prefer dry condoms
Base width: 2.1/ 52mm
Length: 7.5″/ 190mm

Durex Extra Sensitive

Base width: 2.13/ 54mm
Length: 7.5″/ 190mm

Sensi Thin (“Featherlite Ultra” in Europe):

Base width: 2.1″/53mm
Length: 7.5″/190mm

Size LARGE

 

Enhanced Pleasure

 

Base width: 2.16″ /55mm
Length: 8.0” /205mm

Maximum Love

Unique flare shape for easy roll-on
Base width: 2.1”/54mm
Length: 7.8″/ 198mm

Performax

Base width: 2.13”/54mm
Length:  7.9”/200mm

Pleasuremax

Base width: 2.13”/54mm
Length: 7.9”/200mm

Size XL

Durex XXL
Base width: 2.3”/58mm
Length: 8.3”/210.8mm

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LifeStyles Condom Sizes (“Mates” in Europe)

Check out our updated LIFESTYLES SIZES HERE

Size SNUG

LifeStyles Snugger Fit

Base width: 1.9” / 48mm
Length: 6.7” /170mm

Lifestyles 3SUM

Base width: 1.9”/50mm
Length: 6.7”/170mm

Size REGULAR

SKYN Original /SKYN Extra Lubricated

Made of polyisoprene
Base width: 2.1”/53mm
Length: 7.5”/190mm

THYN

Base width: 2.1″/ 53mm
Length: 7.8″/ 200mm

Lifestyles Ultra Sensitive

Base width: 2.0/ 52mm
Length: 7.5″/ 190mm

Lifestyles Ultra Thin

Base width: 2.1″/ 53mm
Length: 7.5″/ 190mm

WYLD

Base width: 2.1″/ 53mm
Length: 7.5″/ 190mm

Size LARGE

SKYN Large (Polyisoprene)

Base width: 2.2″/ 56mm
Length: 7.9″/ 200mm

Lifestyles Pleasure Shape/Tipped

XL headroom!
Base width: 2.0″/ 52mm
Head width: 2.9″/ 74mm
Length: 7.5″/ 190mm

KYNG Gold

Base width: 2.2”/56mm
Length: 8.2”/210mm

KYNG Ribbed

Base width: 2.2″/ 56mm
Length: 8.2″/ 210mm

More large sizes available at our LifeStyles Size Chart

For more info on Non-Latex Condoms see our post on Non-Latex Condom Options

The Legal Stuff: Age of consent and medical advice

The size charts are made for you to consult and hopefully find the brand that suits within your size range and needs. If you cannot find the answer to your question, just ask. But please be aware that we do not condone sexual activity of under-age males and females in state or country. Also, we are not medical professionals. We offer opinions from personal experience and research. Professional advice should always be sought.

For a younger audience, start here: Scarleteen, and for all ages Planned Parenthood.

Ansell Lifestyles, Ultra Thin

Image source from http://www.productreview.com.au/p/ansell-lifestyles-ultra-thin.html

Image source from http://www.productreview.com.au/p/ansell-lifestyles-ultra-thin.html

Note: We bought these in New Zealand, but in North America they have blue colored packaging.

This is a great condom.  Generally, I find Lifestyles tend to be a bit tight around the ring and difficult to roll down to the base.  But the Micro-Thin fits like a (G)love!  It unrolls ease every time with just the right amount of stretch so there is not a lot of time spent making sure it’s on correctly.  And no complaints in the sensitivity dept.  I give the condom a 4 out of 5.  The only reason it doesn’t hit top spot is because it has that slight latex scent that I dislike, which makes my want to try the polyisoprene version.

Laying flat, it’s measurements are

Length: 7.6in/193mm
Base width: 2.0in/50.8mm (this condom has the same width from the ring up until the reservoir tip).

(This is not a product endorsement!  While some of our links are affiliate links that earn us a small commission, Condom Monologues is an independent, grassroots collective and we do not favor on brand or product for profit).

More Condoms In Pop: The need to popularize safer sex

condoms need to be popularizedA recent study by researchers at Stanford Medical School reveals that a large portion of young women are irresponsible in bed, meaning they ain’t protecting themselves.  The year-long study collected data from 1,194 sexually active females aged 15 to 24 who visited Planned Parenthood clinics and were beginning contraceptive pills, patches, injections, or vaginal rings for the first time.  At the beginning of the study, only 36 percent of participants consistently used the “dual method” (relying on both hormonal contraceptives and the condom), which meant that STI and STD protection was compromised.  Getting pregnant seems to be the only risk to care about.

Surprised?  To be honest, I wasn’t either as I know many friends whose first time using birth control was when they entered a relationship with someone they trust, and that trust included believing (hopefully, with medical proof) that neither person carried STIs.

However, it gets worse: The study found that over 50 percent of young women did not resume condom use after they discontinued hormonal contraceptives.  That’s right, NO protection!

Less Youth are Using Condoms

Why is this happening?  And how can prevention improve?  According to Rachel Goldstein M.D., lead author of the study, the most influential factor of condom usage is the partner’s attitude toward condoms.  When a woman did not know how her partner felt about condoms or knew that he felt they were “very important”, she was more likely to be a dual method user than when her partner thought condoms were “not at all important”.  The researchers speculate that power imbalances within the relationship impact the woman’s ability to negotiate condom use. “It appears that her partner’s feelings may be more important than her perceived risk of a sexually transmitted infection or her own beliefs about dual method use,” said Goldstein.  This is an important point of concern.  There are many factors, including levels of mutual respect, emotional maturity, and self-esteem that need to be considered when counseling youth about healthy sex (Scarleteen offers great advice on negotiating condom use).  Of course, the study concludes that more counseling is needed to accompany hormonal contraceptive treatment that emphasizes the risks of STIs and STDs.

However, I think this is only one piece in the very complicated puzzle of sexual relations.  Plus, the research does not address why young women are not resuming condom use after discontinuing hormonal medication.

In fact, condoms are not very popular among young adults in general.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the rate of STIs in people 15-24 years old is exceptionally high.  Two-thirds of all individuals who become infected with STIs in the United States are younger than 25 years old!  The reason for this is because young people simply are not using condoms and other barriers consistently or correctly to protect themselves and their partners.

Condoms Miss the Limelight

Now, most teens in North America have been exposed to sex ed and know why condoms exist, but this is obviously not the only means to ensuring healthy sex lives.  Indeed, sex pedagogy in North America is riddled with censorship (that’s a whole other post), and health counseling should accompany hormonal contraceptive use. Both these solutions, however, overlook a larger social problem.  The social stigma which has developed around STIs and diseases has produced negative attitudes and ignorance towards safer sex.  It’s fair to say that this negativity permeates in our popular culture.

Condoms and other safer sex practices have acquired an unsexy reputation from their very absence in romantic and steamy and sex positive representations.  Pornography, films, romance novels, or how-to articles in popular magazines rarely represent the condom and how it can actually increase sensuality, not dull it.  And this is something that needs to change because it limits our knowledge, attitude and imagination about what healthy sex can be.

This is not to say that viewers of media are passive recipients who are easily influenced by what is on TV.  But media can be interpreted as a cultural artifact that reflects beliefs, attitudes, prejudices of the times.  It is a matter of what sells, and unfortunately, the mainstream only works to reinforce the notion that safer sex is a chore.

One Solution: Safer Sex Porn!

There are some who have sought to exert control over the representation of safer sex through alternative media.  One honorable example is the 1990 video short, Current Flow, by Jean Carlomusto starring Annie Sprinkle and Joy Brown.  This explicit video was made in response to Cosmopolitan magazine publishing a piece which erroneously claimed that virtually no females could contract HIV.  The short is basically about a woman (Annie Sprinkle) masturbating on the couch with her vibrator. Suddenly her vibrator stops and we see a woman enter the room with a towel in one hand and a power cord in the other (not many battery-operated vibrators back then).  The woman seductively crawls over Annie and rolls out from her towel dental dams, latex gloves, condoms and lube for the dildo.  And the climax begins.

But this is not just any girl-on-girl porn, it also emphasizes “showing how”.  For example, a close-up of Annie Sprinkle getting eaten-out shows how to use a dental dam. Another shot shows Joy Brown washing the dildo before it is her turn to use it on Annie.  As Carlomusto writes,

“…in order to educate lesbians about safer sex we have to establish what it is.  Saying, ‘use a dental dam’ is not the same as saying ‘use a condom’, since many women don’t know what a dental dam is” (1992: 82).

Current Flow is the first of it’s kind. Sexy and safe lesbian porn made by and for lesbians. It was made at a particular time during the HIV/AIDS crisis when the Centers for Disease Control refused to investigate data on woman-to-woman transmission of HIV.  It was also a time when mass media and public health bureaucracies refused to produce explicit sex education or represent gay and lesbian sexuality.  While the information today is made more available and inclusive of a wider public, we still do not see safe sex represented as often as we see sex in the media.

Safer sex should be not be limited to public health messages or HIV/AIDS activism.  What would be powerful is normalization of safer sex in everyday media.  Imagine music videos- the soft porn of daytime television- including condoms in a sexy, bootylicious way…

Dull Feeling in Bed Begins with Dull Attitude

You might think that the reason there are few representations of positive condoms in popular culture is simply because condoms are genuinely unfun and decrease pleasure.  You might think that it is for this reason that younger people are using condoms less.  I would argue that this belief is grounded more in attitude than it is in actual reality.  Let me explain.

Some studies, such as “Sexual Pleasure and Condom Use” by Randolph et. al. (2007), have found that those who report sex with a condom as less pleasurable tend to be people who have not used condoms in a while or who don’t use them at all.  They found that more men than women tend to believe condom use is less pleasurable even without actual experience.  It is beliefs that influence experience with condoms and whether one wants to use them. It is true that many people reported that unprotected sex feels better than protected sex. Overall, people who are familiar with using condoms tend to report greater pleasure with protected sex than those who are likely to go without protection.   As Heather Corinna at Scarleteen writes, “The more you use them, the more they feel good, and it’s people who don’t use them at all that tend to complain about them most.”

In other words, it is the attitude that one has towards condoms that greatly affects satisfaction.  People who use condoms often do not express a decrease in overall pleasure because they learn what condoms suit them best and what ways they are most comfortable using them.

Know Your Condom

Which brings me to my next point.  Part of the process of popularizing condoms is to increase understanding of the different types and ways of using them.  Another study by Michael Reece and Debra Herbenick (2012) found that many people do not know how to use condoms properly and what can increase pleasure.  For example, putting a drop of lube inside the condom before rolling it on can improve application and increase sensitivity.  Also, the condom can be put on in sexy and tantalizing ways by you or your partner that make it a part of sex- not an interruption to it. Check out our post for some sexy tips on condom use.

Pediatrics and sex educators should know condoms too.  Reece and Herbenick suggests that prevention providers can play a valuable role in alleviating negative perceptions of condoms by recommending different condoms made for specific needs.  For example, for those men who feel condoms are too tight, a practitioner may recommend condoms which are designed with a more bulbous head or looser fit.  The point is that there are hundreds of thousands of condom types out there and there needs to be more access and understating of choice and care.

If it’s true that sexual pleasure with a condom is all in the attitude than it is all the more important that there be representations of safe sex in pop media.  How powerful would it be if Jake Gyllenhaal whipped out a condom during the famous sex scene in Broke Back Mountain!

What do you think?  Would safer sex in the media help increase positive attitudes towards safe practices?  What do you think should be done to get more youth practicing safer sex?

Source cited:  Jean Carlomusto & Gregg Bordowitz (1992).“Do It!  Safe Sex Porn for Girls and Boys Comes of Age.” A Leap in the Dark: AIDS, Arts and Contemporary Cultures.  Allan Klusacek & Ken Morrison, eds. Montreal: Vehicule Press.

Watch Your Mouth! Protecting yourself during oral sex

oral sex protection tipsWe’ve received requests for more info about condoms that are made specifically for oral sex, as well as other safer oral sex methods.  Indeed, the know-how in this area is not as wide known as it should be.  People are less likely to protect themselves during oral sex…even among those cautious sexers who use condoms consistently.  Perhaps this is because some do not consider oral sex to be “real sex” and thus think it’s less risky.  But the fact is that oral sex is sex (some prefer it to genital sex) and many diseases and infections you can catch or transmit through intercourse you can also get through oral sex, regardless of whether you swallow or not.  As one of our readers pointed out, HPV (the most common STI in the USA today) is often transmitted during oral sex (these are some good sources for more info on HPV: HPV AwakeningScarleteen, SEX,etc.).  So in this post we go through safer oral sex practices and how to find the right method for yourself.

To reduce the risk of STIs, you can use latex or non-latex barriers.  For fellatio (oral sex with penis) use a condom.  For cunnilingus and analingus use dental dams, latex or nitrile gloves, or plastic wrap (but remember, not the microwaveable wrap!).

Fellatio and Condoms Options

A condom for safe oral sex can be perfectly satisfying should the right condom be used according to your tastes and needs.  First of all, do not use condoms or lubricants made with spermicide, such as nonoxynol-9 which can numb your tongue.  And do not use any condoms designed to “extend” male performance, such as Trojan’s Extended Pleasure, as these are made with not-so-tasty benzocaine that will leave an unpleasant sensation in your mouth.  Choose condoms that are water-based (most condoms are) or choose a non-lubricated condom.

For those who do not like the taste of latex or have a latex allergy, there are many non-latex options on the market made of polyisoprene or polyurethane (lambskin does not protect against STIs so do not use them for oral sex!).  These non-latex condoms are virtually odorless and tasteless.  However, most non-latex are difficult to buy in stores or pharmacies; but online stocks are varied and plenty.

Flavored condoms or lubricants are also a good option.  You can buy multipacks to determine your favorite flavor and there are usually small sample packs of lube available at sex-shops.  But be sure to use a lubricant that is compatible with the condom material- oil-based lubes cannot be used with latex or polyisoprene.  There are also flavored gel strips, like Masque, which simply dissolves on your tongue like a candy and the flavor lasts for up to 15 minutes.

Dental Dames and Barriers

If you are giving or receiving oral sex from mouth to vulva (outside of vagina) or mouth to anus there are various barrier methods to protect from STIs: Dental dams or making your own barrier from condoms, gloves, or plastic wrap.

A dental dam is a thin rectangle-shaped sheet used for cunnilingus or analingus to protect against sexually transmitted infections during oral sex.  Like condoms, dental dams are typically made with latex, polyurethane or polyisoprene.  There are flavored dams, colored dams, dams that you hold in place, and non-slip no-hold dams. Unfortunately, dental dams are not as readily accessible in pharmacies and retail stores.  This is part of an all too common and dangerous oversight in safe sex inventory.  Often female safe sex products or non-penetrative sex products are placed secondary to condoms and are not as easily accessible.  This is another advantage to shopping online.  Sexual health clinics, such as Planned Parenthood also supply dental dams.

If you and/or your partner are concerned that oral sex will not feel as amazing with a protective barrier, take some advise from Heather Corinna at Scarleteen.com, and put a few drops (not too many!) of lubricant on the genitals of the receiver before putting on the barrier.  This will keep the material from sticking and will increase sensitivity and sensation immensely.

Check out this pamphlet for more information about STIs and diseases that the dental dam protects against.

If you find dental dams too tricky to get a hold of or not the right material/shape for you, you should try making a barrier just for you or your partner using a condom or glove.

These are some excellent sources for step-by-step instructions on how to make a dental dam from condoms or gloves: YouShouldKnow.caSTD.about.com, PAMF.org.

Hopefully this information will help you receive and perform safer oral sex. If you have any further questions or even some extra tips / experiences to share then please leave a comment below.

Non-Latex Condom Options

purple condomOptions for non-latex condoms today are increasing and more people are choosing non-latex condoms regardless of latex allergies.  This is basically because the latest non-latex options are made of material that is softer, thinner, more elastic than latex rubber.  In this post, we explain basic facts about non-latex condoms, such as what the differences are between polyisoprene and polyurethane, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of different non-latex options. All condoms, except Lambskin, have the advantage of protecting against both sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy. Condoms do not require clinical visits, they do not alter hormones nor have physical side effects. Non-latex condoms are a key solution for those who are sensitive to latex.  Options include lambskin, polyurethane and polyisoprene condoms, AT-10 synthetic resin and synthetic nitrile rubber. Lambskin condoms, also known as “natural skin” or “sheepskin”, are one of the oldest methods of birth control.  They are made of a thin layer of cecum which is part of the sheep’s intestine.  The organic matter provides such intimate sensation that many users consider them the closest thing to not wearing a condom.  Lambskin condoms are effective at preventing pregnancy.  However, they do not prevent against sexually transmitted bacteria or viral infections, including herpes and HIV.  Now that there are other latex alternatives, lambskin may decline in popularity as other non-latex options- like polyurethane and polyisoprene- do provide protection against STIs and pregnancy.

Want to know the size and variety of non-latex condoms available on the market?  Do a comparative search at our Condom Calculator or visit our Non-Latex Condom and Dams Size Chart.

What are the benefits of lambskin condoms?

  • Lambskin condoms are suitable for people with latex allergies and sensitivities.
  • They are thin and have a high reputation of providing the best pleasure of all condom types.
  • They transmit body heat better than latex.
  • They are biodegradable
  • They can be used with oil, silicon and water-based lubricants
  • They protect against unwanted pregnancy.
  • They are typically available in most drugstores and can be easily bought online.

What are the disadvantages of lambskin condoms?

  • They do not protect against sexually transmitted infections and diseases.
  • They do not protect against the risks of oral sex.
  • They are expensive; approximately $3.00 each compared to the average Trojan latex condom cost of 0.50 each.
  • Trojan is the only manufacturer of lambskin condoms in North America.
  • They are not vegan

The first FDA approved polyurethane condom was Durex Avanti in the 1990s.  Compared to latex, polyurethane condoms are thinner and do not have a scent.  While very durable, polyurethane is less elastic and snug fitting than latex, making the risk of slippage or breakage higher.  Thus lubrication (oil, silicone, or water-base) is highly recommended for penetrative sex.  In 2009, Durex started manufacturing polyisoprene condoms instead of polyurethane, now called Avanti Bare Real Feel. Today, Trojan SUPRA is the most popular polyurethane condom on the North American market.

Benefits of Polyurethane

  • Thinner and less odor than latex
  • Transmits body heat very well
  • Can be used with oil, silicon and water-based lubricants
  • Available for female condoms and dental dams
  • They cost more than latex condoms, but are cheaper than lambskin
  • Ideal for those who prefer less tight, less body forming fit.

Disadvantages of Polyurethane

  • They are less elastic and are loose fitting compared to latex, thus increasing the risk of malfunction if no lubricant is used.
  • They are not biodegradable
  • Not easily accessible in all drugstores or supermarkets

Polyisoprene came on the market in 2008 by LifeStyles SKYN product line, and soon after Durex re-manufactured Avanti Bare Real Feel with the new material.  It is a natural rubber that is chemically similar to latex, but without the latex allergens.  In comparison to polyurethane condoms, polyisoprene is softer, more supple and form fitting, and slightly thicker (similar thickness to standard latex).  To date, polyisoprene condoms are sold in North America by LifeStyles and Durex.

Advantages of Polyisoprene

  • Softer, more elastic and form-fitting than both latex and polyurethane.
  • They transmit heat better than latex
  • They are cheaper than polyurethane condoms, but not as cheap as latex.

Disadvantages of Polyiosprene

  • Not biodegradable
  • Cannot be used with oil-based lubricants
  • Not made in both male and female form.
  • Not as readily available in stores; easier to find and buy online.

Nitrile Rubber: FC2 is the most common female condom globally and the only female condom available in North America.  In 2009, FC2 began manufacturing with nitrile rubber, which offers the same benefits and protection as polyurethane, but is less expensive to produce.  It is also softer and more supple than polyurethane.

Benefits of Nitrile Rubber

  • Hypo-allergenic
  • Protects against STIs and pregnancy
  • Significantly less expensive than other female condoms
  • Less likely to make the infamous crinkling noises as polyurethane femidoms.
  • Softer, more form-fitting, and supple than polyurethane.
  • Can use oil, silicon and oil-base lubricants

Disadvantages of Nitrile Rubber

  • Not biodegradable
  • 2X more expensive than male condoms
  • Not easily accessible in drugstores and supermarkets

This is a post that will be updated.  If you know of other non-latex condom options, please let us know.  And don’t be shy to ask any questions or leave comments here.

Buying Condoms Online

Everyone knows the awkwardness of staring at a store shelf of johnnies with so many questions and confusions (it really shouldn’t be awkward!). But not everyone has considered the advantages of buying condoms online. Sure, internet buying does not solve emergency needs. It can take some online orders up to two weeks to arrive. However, in this article, we consider how the advantages of buying online outweigh that of a pharmacy, corner shop, or grocery store.

Some of the external links are affiliate links that earn us a small commission.

Why buy condoms online

1) Privacy.

It is the most discrete way to buy condoms. Period. With no cashier to check through, you do not need to feel shy about what he or she will think when swiping your 12 pack of whatever type and size condom companies print so boldly on the box. No one will see your purchase.

Most condom distributor websites use discrete packaging and billing information. For example, undercovercondoms.com will ship your order in a plain envelop or box. The name on the return address does not reference anything about condoms or sex-related products. Instead it will read an inconspicuous “PCPD LLC”. The credit card bill will also list “PCPD LL” only. You do not need to ask the storekeeper face-to-face personal questions about which studded condom is the most sensitive or which “snug fit” suits your tool. Your needs can be researched and answered online with full anonymity.

2) Price.

Condoms are less expensive online. At a general DUADEreade in the USA, a box of 12latex condoms can range between $14.50 to $16.00. Online, however, a box of 12 can be $6.00 cheaper. For example, you can buy a 12 pack of Trojan Magnum Thins for $7.99. Even the more expensive non-latex condoms, such as Lifestyles SKYN line made of polyiosprene, can be as low as $6.99- which is about 50% less than the standard retail store price.

There also tends to be more deals offered online. Though no one can beat the price of free condoms one picks up at most health clinics or STI prevention centers (such as Planned Parenthood) there are some online deals that offer free sample packs.

3) Variety of selection.

This is arguably the best advantage to online shopping. Unlike a DUADEreade, there is a great trove of choice online as virtually all condom shape, sizes, textures, tastes are available. Those that are typically harder to access in retail stores, such as female condoms, vegan condoms, or non-latex, are easily retrieved online.

You can also find a great number of reviews and recommendations when exploring new brands or condom materials. This includes the advantage of searching for top sellers as well as the more rare, not so common condom types, like lamb skin or polyiosprene.

To compare condom sizes, types and prices try our Condom Size Calculator.

4) Custom fit condoms.

This service is provided online only. Companies like Coripa.com and TheyFit.co.uk will help you determine your size and recommend a condom for you with a 100% satisfaction guarantee policy. I do not think there are any other stores that would allow you to return a condom if it did not fit well.

What other advantages or disadvantages are there? If you can think of any, or have a relevant experience of buying condoms, please share here.

Confused about how to pick your size? Check out our guide for converting penis circumference to condom width.

TROJAN Condoms Size Chart

trojan condom size chartTrojan’s website offers a full view of their products and a selector tool to help you find the lubrication and material combo that suits you best.

However, their sizes are not as comprehensive.  They simply classify their condoms as Regular, Large, Extra Large.  Here we have updated a condom size chart that lists each product according to the three sizes and latex or non-latex.  We offer dimensions we’ve measured ourselves or derived from our affiliates at Lucky Bloke and Undercover Condoms.  For more about Trojan and the BEST to WORST, check out their profile summary.

Check out our new Condom Size Calculator (launched in Oct 2013) for a comparative search of all condoms available on the North American market.

Measurement Tip:
The average condom length is 7.5″/190mm.  This will fit the vast portion of men who are between 5.1″-6.5′ (129.5mm-152.4mm). A new study determined average erection to be 5.56 inches long and 4.8 inches girth.  If length is your concern, check out our condom fitting solutions chart for recommendations to specific needs.  

When it comes to condom fitting, girth is crucial (see our guide for measuring penis).  A regular size is made to fit 4.8″ to 5.1″ (122mm – 130mm) girth. That fits 50mm-55mm base width (measured by the condom laying flat. It is not the circumference).

To determine condom width simply divide your penis circumference by 2.25. How did we get this formula? Read about our research here.

Preference will vary but in general we recommend that if you measure less than 4.8 inches (122mm) in girth, go with a snugger fit.  Fit you are greater than 5.15 inches (130mm), select Magnums.

Warning: Trojan offers pre-lubricated condoms with Nonoxynol-9. The World Health Organization recommends using this spermicide very sparingly (if at all) as studies show it can be harmful to internal tissue and may increase the risk of contracting STIs.

(Links to external sites may be affiliate links and could earn us a small commission)

Trojan does not manufacture snug fit or small size condoms.  If you find condoms to be too loose or too long, visit our condom fit solutions chart for recommendations.

Trojan Regular/non-latex

There are no small non-latex condoms available on the market (yet). See Lucky Bloke’s “medium” size non-latex sampler and “larger” size non-latex sampler for options.

Trojan SUPRA BareSkin Lubricated TrojanSupra-Non-Latex-Bareskin

Made of Polyurethane

Now made without Nonoxynol-9 Spermicide

A long and wider condom.  In fact, it is one of the longest condoms on the market behind Trojan Magnum XL and Durex XXL
Base width: 2.3”/58mm
Length: 7.9”/200mm
Try Them Now

Trojan Regular/latex

Trojan ENZ lubricatedTrojan Enz Lubricated

Water-based lubricant
Reservoir end for extra safety
Base width: 2.1″/53mm
Length: 7.7″/198mm
Try Them Here

Trojan ENZ Non-LubricatedTrojan-ENZ-non-Lubricated

No lubricant inside or out
Reservoir end for extra safety
Base width: 2.1″/53mm
Length: 7.7″/198mm
Try Them Here

Trojan ENZ Spermicidal LubricatedTrojan-ENZ-Spermicidal-Lubricated

Nonoxynol-9 Spermicide
Reservoir end for extra safety
Base width: 2.1″/53mm
Length: 7.7″/198mm
Try Them Here

Trojan BARESKIN LubricatedTrojan-Sensitivity-BareSkin

Trojan’s thinnest condom line; 40% thinner than their standard condom
Low-odor latex
Base width: 2.13″/54mm
Length: 7.8″/198mm
Try Them Here

Trojan ThinTensity LubricatedTrojan-Thintensity-Lubricated

25% thinner than Trojan’s standard condom
Comfort fit-slightly longer than standard condoms
Base width: 2.1″/53mm
Length: 8.0″/202mm
Try Them Here

Trojan Ultra Thin LubricatedTrojan-Ultra-Thin-LubricatedClaimed as Trojan’s thinnest condom
Water-based lubricant
Base width: 2.1″/53mm
Length: 7.6″/193mm
Try Them Here
Trojan 2Go Ultra Thin2 condom cards- 2 condoms in each pocket-size protective card
Part of Trojan’s thinnest condom line
Base width: 2.1″/53mm
Length: 7.6″/ 193mm
Trojan Ultra Thin Spermicidal LubricantTrojan-Ultra-Thin-Spermicidal-LubricatedClaimed as Trojan’s thinnest condom
Nonoxynol-9 Spermicide
Base width: 2.1″/53mm
Length: 7.5″/196mm
Try Them Here
Trojan Her Pleasure EcstasyTrojan-Her-Pleasure-Ecstasy-UltrasmoothUltra smooth lubricant both inside and out
Comfort shape allows freedom of movement while tapered at the base for secure fit
Texture ribbed at base and tip
Base width: 2.1″/53mm
Length: 7.9″/200mm
Try Them Here
Trojan Her Pleasure Sensations Spermicidal LubricantTROJAN-Her-Pleasure-Sensations-Armor-Spermicidal-LubricantUniquely ribbed and contoured for stimulation
Contains Nonoxynol-9 Spermicide
Base width: 2.1″/52mm
Length: 7.9″/200mm
Trojan Pleasures Ecstasy Fire and IceTrojan-Pleasures-Ecstasy-Fire-and-IceDual action lubricant of warm and tingling sensation for both partners
Longer and wider comfort shape allows more movement while tapered at the base for secure fit
Texture ribbed at base and tip
Base width: 2.13″/54mm
Length: 8.13″/205mm
Try Them Here
Trojan Extended Pleasure with Climax ControlTrojan-Extended-Pleasure-LubricatedContains special lubricant (benzocaine) to help delay ejaculation
Special Reservoir tip for extra safety
Base width: 2.05″/52mm
Length: 7.9″/200mm
Try Them Here
Trojan Ecstasy Ultra RibbedTrojan-Stimulations-Ecstasy-UltrasmoothDeeply ribbed along the shaft and head
Larger head shape allows more movement while tapered at the base for secure fit
Ultra smooth lubricant inside and out
Base width: 2.1″/53mm
Length: 7.9″/200mm
Try Them Here
Trojan Ultra Ribbed Spermicidal LubricatedTrojan-Ultra-Ribbed-Spermicidal-LubricatedSame features as above, but with Nonoxynol-9 Spermicide
Base width: 2.13″/54mm
Length: 8.1″/205mm
Try Them Here
Trojan Twisted PleasureTrojan-Twisted-PleasureSpecial twisted shape and ribs for sensual friction
Water-based lubricant
Slightly tighter but with standard width
Base width: 2.0″/52mm
Length: 7.8″/198mm
Try Them Here
Trojan Pleasure PackTrojan-Pleasure-PackAssortment includes: Her Pleasure, Twisted, Fire and Ice, and Intense Ribbed.
All latex, lubricated.
Try Them Here

Trojan Large/Latex

Trojan does not make non-latex large condoms. See Lifestyles SKYN Large)

Trojan Magnum Original LubricatedTrojan-MAGNUMMeant for those that find regular sizes too constricting.
Tapered at the base for a secure fit and extends wider up the tip.
Base width: 2.13″/54mm
Head width: 2.5″/64mm
Length: 8.13″/205mm
Try Them Here
Trojan Magnum ArmorTrojan-MAGNUM-Armor-SpermicidalThe only condom of the Magnum line that contains Nonoxynol-9 Spermicide
Base width: 2.13″/54mm
Head width: 2.5″/64mm
Length: 8.13″/205mm
Try Them Here
Trojan Magnum ThinTrojan-MAGNUM-Thin-LubricatedThinner than the regular Magnum condoms
Ultra smooth lube
Base width: 2.13″/54mm
Head width: 2.5″/64mm
Length: 8.13″/205mm
Try Them Here
Trojan Magnum EcstasyTrojan-Magnum-Ecstasy-UltrasmoothTextured along base and head for heightened sensation
Ultra smooth lubricant inside and out
Base width: 2.13″/54mm
Head width: 2.5″/64mm
Length: 8.12″/205mm
Try Them Here
Trojan Magnum Fire and IceTrojan-Magnum-Fire-and-Ice-Dual-LubricatedTrojan’s fire and ice lubricant now available in Magnum size
Provides warming and tingling sensation inside and out for both partners
Base width: 2.1″/54mm
Head width: 2.5″/64mm
Length: 8.13″/205mm
Try Them Here
Trojan Magnum Gold CollectionTrojan-MAGNUM-Gold-CollectionAssortment includes: Magnum Original, Magnum Thin, Magnum Ecstasy, Magnum Fire and Ice
Try Them Here

Trojan Extra Large/latex:

Trojan Naturalamb SkinThe only x-large (very wide!) non-latex condom by Trojan.
Classic stright shape.
Made from lamb intestines. Does not protect against STIs and HIV.
Base width: 2.7″/68mm
Length: 8.0″/200mm

Trojan Magnum XL lubricatedTrojan-Magnum-XL-Lubricated30% wider than regular size
Tapered at the base for secure fit; widening at the head for comfort
Is one of the longest condoms on the market.
Base width: 2.2″/56mm
Head width: 2.7″/68.5mm
Length:  8.3″/210mm
Try Them Here

The Legal Stuff: Age of consent and medical advice

The size charts are made to help you find the brand that suits your size range and needs.  If you cannot find the answer to your question, just ask.  But please be aware that we do not condone sexual activity of under-age males and females in state or country.  Also, we are not medical professionals.  We offer opinions from personal experience and research.

For a younger audience, here is one place to start:  Scarleteen.  For all ages Planned Parenthood is highly recommended. For sexual minorities and non-conforming gender folk, check out the Judgement Free Health Care Providers directory

This is the latest edition of our condom size chart with the latest products tailored by condom brand.  During our research we noticed that some condom retail sites give conflicting measurements for the same condom.  So, we measured many of these condoms ourselves and with condom services including Undercover Condoms and Lucky Bloke.  If you come across false measurements, let us know!

Condom Sizes

Using a condom could be one of the most sensible decisions of your life, saving you from STI’s, disease and unwanted pregnancy. However, without looking at the correct sizes, your efforts could prove useless. The wrong size condom will malfunction.

Well, I guess you know that already and that is why you are here looking for your condom size! So let’s get on with it.

HOW TO MEASURE PENIS SIZE

Why do condoms get a bad rap?You need to measure your penis first. Not many condoms companies make their exact measurements available so you need to do some internet research.  Our Condom Size Calculator is a great place to start as it allows you to search over 100 condoms at once. When you know your penis size it makes the shopping process of much faster.

To measure your penis you need the length and girth, and head circumference can also help for some men, but is not always necessary.

  • First of all, your penis needs to be erect.
  • The length should be measured from the point where your penis meets the bottom of your pelvis (the base) to the very end point of the head. You want the condom to be able to reach right to your base where your public bone starts (No need to stretch over and above the pubic hair!)
  • To measure your girth you should get a piece of string or a measuring tape and measure the circumference around the thickest part of your penis along the shaft- usually the mid-point.
  • The same can be done with string or a measuring tape at the thickest part of the head of your penis (if the girth seems significantly different from the shaft).
  • Many condoms simply come in small, medium or large.  It varies from brand to brand, but generally

Small size is 1.60 – 1.9 inches wide at the base (condom laying flat) and 6.7- 7.0 inches long.

Medium size is 2.0- 2.2 inches wide and 7.2 – 7.7 inches long.

Large size is approximately 2.2 – 2.3 inches wide and 7.8 – 8 inches long.

Our general rule of fitting is, if you measure less than 4.8 inches (122mm) in girth, go with a snugger fit.  If you are wider than 5.15 inches (130mm), select Large or XL. See our Table Guide converting penis circumference to condom width.

  • Because condom girth is general reported as the base width- which is measured by the condom laying flat- it can be confusing to translate an exact width that fits your penis girth. As a general guide, we recommend you divide your penis circumference by 2.25.

Why 2.25?

You may be wondering how we got this number.  A study by Gerofi et. al. found that the condom circumference should stretch about 10% to 20% the penis girth (see Condom Sizes and Facts for further details about the analysis). Dividing by 2.25 represents a 12.5% a condom stretch, which is within the recommended ratio. It is an approximation and your preferences may vary, as well as the condom brand’s elasticity. It is important to stay within the ratio.  A common malfunction is the condom slipping off because the condom is too loose. So it is crucial to be aware of how a condom correctly fits.

HOW A CONDOM CORRECTLY FITS

Now with your measurements you can find the correct range of condoms.

You want a condom to fit snugly but not create uncomfortable pressure. Also it should not be baggy anywhere as looseness could cause slippage and rubbing during intercourse that will break the condom.

There needs to be enough extra room to allow a reservoir tip at the head of the condom that hangs with no air inside.  Consider this the sperm pocket.  There should be enough material so that you can pinch the tip comfortably with your thumb and index finger.

The condom should unroll all the way down to the base close to where your pubic hair starts. Try not to catch hair inside.  It might pull and pinch!

To help you find correct condom sizes we organized sizes charts based on major brands.  Here are our Trojan Condom Size Chart and LifeStyles Condom Size ChartDurex Condom Size Chart, Kimono Size Chart, and Beyond Seven Size Chart.

Alternatively, you can read more about condom sizing here and review our fitting solutions chart which suggests specific condoms that are designed to cater for specific needs and solve discomforts such as too tight, too loose, too short, too long.  You might also want to see our guide to different condom shapes.