QJSex: Condoms: one size doesn't fit all

A frequent complaint of condoms is that “they just don’t feel right”. If this is the case for you, don’t abandon the idea of condoms yet, it might just be that you haven’t found a condom that fits you correctly yet! You wouldn’t stop wearing pants altogether because they were a little too tight or a little too loose, right?

Okay, that might not be the best analogy, since there are plenty of people that love them some pantslessness. But the point is: if you’re having condom issues, you might need to look for a different size of condom!

Even though latex is a very flexible material, condoms aren’t a one-size-fits-all sort of product. A better analogy might be shoes: too small and they could be uncomfortable and distracting, too large and they could slip right off (and always at the most inconvenient of times).

So how do you find a condom that fits you well?

First off, make sure you are comparing measurements and fit on an erect penis. Even if you’re a “shower” and not a “grower”, a fully erect penis will give you the best idea for fit. Side note: If you’re finding it difficult to stay erect once applying a condom, try using thinner condoms such as Durex Love, Durex FetherLite, or Kimono Microthin, as this may increase sensation, or try non-latex condoms such as SKYN, as they tend to transfer heat better than latex condoms. If you find that you’re too sensitive and a condom doesn’t help with this, you can always try a condom with a desensitizing lubricant, such as Durex Performax.

A condom that fits well should be snug, especially at the base or it could easily slip off. Many condoms, such as Durex Love, Kimono Maxx, and Lifestyles WYLD, are wider at the tip and tighter at the base to allow for more movement and a looser, more natural feel while still being tight at the base.

Another option is to the use the Reality Condom (also known as the “female condom”, though it would be more accurate to call it an “internal condom”). The Reality Condom is placed inside the vagina or anus before intercourse, and “fit” is of little concern!

Now, as you may have already noticed in this blog or in condom shopping before, each brand has their own definition of “small”, “regular” and “large”. We’ve provided a handy list comparing the brands that we sell at the SHRC:

Name: Lifestyles Snugger Fit
Notes: This smaller condom from Lifestyles is wider near the tip for extra comfort. Lubricated with a reservoir tip.
Length (mm/inch): 178mm/7”
Width (max-min mm/inch): 49-44.5mm/1.92”-1.75”

Name: Kimono MicroThin
Notes: One of the thinnest latex condoms available. Lubricated, uniform width.
Length (mm/inch): 190mm/7.48”
Width (max-min mm/inch): 52mm/2.05”

Name: Durex Sensi-Thin, Tropical, Non-Lubricated, Intense Sensations, and Performax
Notes: All same size and uniform width, with a reservoir tip.
Sensi-Thin: lubricated.
Tropical: flavoured lubricant, available in green apple, banana, orange, and strawberry.
Non-lubricated: same as sensi-thin and tropical, just no lubricant.
Intense Sensations: studded condom with lubricant.
Performax: lubricated, with desensitizing lubricant on the inside.
Length (mm/inch): 178mm/7.01”
Width (max-min mm/inch): 52mm/2.0”

Name: Lifestyles SKYN
Notes: A premium thin condom made from polyisoprene (latex allergy safe). Lubricated, uniform width.
Length (mm/inch): 190mm/7.50”
Width (max-min mm/inch): 53mm/2.09”

Name: Durex Love
Notes: Thinner and with more lubricant than regular Durex condoms, larger at the tip.
Length (mm/inch): 205mm/8.07”
Width (max-min mm/inch): 63mm-56mm/2.48”-2.2”

Name: Durex XXL
Notes: Lubricated, uniform width. The largest condom Durex offers.
Length (mm/inch): 215mm/8.49”
Width (max-min mm/inch): 57mm/2.24”

Keep in mind that no two penises are the same, and the same condoms will fit different people in different ways - the “most popular”, “best selling” or “highest rated” condoms may do nothing for you . You may also find one that looks too small or too large for you by sheer numbers in a chart be the most comfortable. When it comes to fit, test them out and ignore the marketing involved in a condom’s name, packaging, or advertising - it’s all about what fits most comfortably and therefore offer you and your partner(s) the best protection possible!

This blog is being run in conjunction with the Sexual Health Resource Centre, located in the JDUC, room 223. Follow them on Twitter @shrckingston.

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