Dear Sexponeer, Last night, I needed condoms. So I walked into a store, and I was confronted by more types of condoms than I could shake my stick at. Why so many kinds? Aren’t condoms just for safe sex? — Bewildered in Bozeman
First of all, you’re right — condoms are, firstly, for pregnancy and STD transmission prevention. If a condom can’t perform both of these tasks, it’s of no use to you. Secondly, you’re right — there are a plethora of sperm-blocking options available. But don’t fear this my protection-seeking friend — embrace your options! With dozens of different condom styles on the market today, the opportunities for exploration and finding the condom that really “hits the spot” are virtually endless.
To help you embark on your rubber-seeking voyage, here’s a rundown of the Exponent’s top picks in the world of love gloves:
Glow in the dark
We’ll start things off with some phosfluorescent fun: while offering all the protection of a regular condom, these helmets make you look like a mini mag light, which, as a customer of undercovercondoms.com put it, can “make sex a bit more interesting.” Beware — they’re not thin!
There are several reasons you or your partner might prefer a condom made of an alternate material, and there are a couple of varieties to choose from including lamb skin and synthetic latex substitutes.
We’ve all seen the commercials where a man and woman are strapped into a roller coaster and take off in a flurry of flames and colors for the ride of their lives. Specialty lubricants can induce sensations from warmth to cold to tingling. Some, such as Trojan’s Fire and Ice, claim to vary in feel over time. Some may find the sensations unpleasant, but many couples will never go back to “bare bones” rubbers again.
Flavored and Scented
Fact: strawberries smell and taste good. Condom makers have used this information to craft rubbers that harvest the appeal of fruit and transfer it to a penis. This is, for obvious reasons, a good thing. Also, our sense of smell is linked strongly with sexual arousal. There are even bourbon and whiskey flavors out there.
From ribbed to nubbed, textured condoms can drastically turn up the intensity dial for one or both partners. Sexual pleasure is caused by friction: by increasing the coefficient of kinetic friction we logically will increase the O factor.
Difficulties in timing can be hard on any relationship. Fortunately, some condoms include an internal numbing agent, intended to slow down the process for the man. Some even include intense texturing on the outside, intended to simultaneously speed it up for women.
The Future: Spray On
Yes, they may be coming. A German consultant has created the Sprühkondom, a system inspired by drive-through car wash mechanics. Application of the latex-based spray takes about a minute, then three minutes for drying, but when all is said and done you’re left with a perfectly fitting, possibly edible cap for your Johnson. In a clinical study, many men were afraid to insert themselves into the applicator, however.
In short, there are a ton of protection solutions out there, and so long as you choose one that protects against pregnancy and STI’s, the world of latex is your oyster. Have fun, and be safe!