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A study into condom use published by the National Library of Medicine documented that those who had used poor-fitting condoms (44.7%) were significantly more likely to report:

  • Breakage
  • Slippage
  • Difficulty reaching orgasm (for both partners)
  • Reduced sexual pleasure
  • Irritation to the penis
  • Interference with erection
  • Erection loss
  • Were more likely to remove them before sex ended

    If almost 45% of the men in just one study reported poorly fitting condoms, imagine how many more men, penis owners, and their partners suffer such issues globally?

    How can you ensure you won't succumb to such problems? The answer lies in understanding how to pick the best possible condoms for you and how to use them correctly.

    Become a Sex Toy Reviewer: Your Path to Free Sex Toys

    The importance of choosing the right condom size

    Condoms are a method of barrier contraception that fits over the penis. Categorized as class II medical devices, they follow specific guidelines by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration).

    For their most effective operation and protection, the correct condom fit is essential.

    According to Contraceptive Technology medical publication, the percentage of women who experience unintended pregnancy during the first year of typical condom use was 21% and 15% for females and males (respectively); those figures dropped to 5% and 2% under perfect use.



    Prevents breakage and slipping off

      • A too-tight fitting condom is more likely to break, and too loose a condom is more likely to slip off during sex. Both situations can lead to unwanted pregnancy and the spreading of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

          Prevents discomfort

            • An ill-fitting condom is uncomfortable and won't do anything to enhance the experience. On the other hand, a well-fitting condom designed for a specific performance or pleasure can intensify sex for both partners.

                Ensures protection from STIs

                  • Condoms prevent the transmission of bodily fluids, not just the passing of semen. This makes them essential protection when sleeping with new or multiple partners.
                  • To prevent sexually transmitted diseases during vaginal, anal, and oral intercourse, a condom offers the most protection of the various contraception types.

                      Helps prevent pregnancy

                        • The most commonly accepted use of a condom is to prevent pregnancy. Each condom is designed with a reservoir tip to catch the semen delivered at the male climax.

                            Enhanced sex play and performance

                              • The range of condoms in today's market is vast. You'll find a range of sizes, flavors, materials, textures, and colors from every condom brand, so there's something to appeal to every preference.
                              • Regarding performance, some options add stimulation with ribs, raised dots, and textures. To lower stimulation, further options utilize thicker materials or desensitizing additives.

                                  Additional peace of mind

                                    • For many, peace of mind is essential to relax during sex; extra-safe condoms offer additional thickness and extra lubrication, offering better protection during more physical sex play or anal sex.

                                        How to choose the perfect condom size

                                        Penis size can be a sensitive topic for many men; for the perfect condom, you must be honest about the correct size condom for your body.

                                        The last thing anyone wants is to risk a condom breaking during use, making them vulnerable to pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

                                        1. Measure the size of your penis

                                        You'll need a flexible measuring tape or a ruler and some string. Make sure you have a fully erect penis.

                                        Diagram on How to Measure the Size of Your Penis

                                          The girth measurement is the circumference of your penis. Depending on the manufacturer, this could be the measurement they use, or they could use the actual penis width. For a precise width, you'll need to divide the circumference by 3.14 for the width or diameter.

                                          Depending on the manufacturer, this could be the measurement they use, or they could use the actual penis width

                                          By measuring your correct penis length and width, you can be confident your condom will fit properly, providing the required snugger fit for fewer mishaps.

                                          2. Check a Condom Size Chart

                                          Sizing varies between different condom brands, with options for standard, snug, and large condoms. Condom sizes aren't always available on the packaging, so consulting each manufacturer's size chart is a practical and sensible step.

                                          Condom Size Chart
                                          Diagram of the Condom Size Chart

                                          A study published in BJU International (British Journal of Urology) calculated the average erect penis size from a study group of almost 700 men was 13.12cm. The average girth measurement of an erect penis (from a study group of 381) was 11.66cm. However, Wikipedia's page concerning penis size included another eight similar studies with the average erect penis length ranging from 12.7cm to 15.24cm.

                                          Correct condom sizing helps to enhance sexual intercourse, so it's essential to leave your ego out of your choice—for you and your partner.

                                          With such variation, it's thought that a standard-size condom will only be appropriate for around half of the penis owners; that's possibly why their first use is rarely a great experience for so many. Correct condom sizing helps to enhance sexual intercourse, so it's essential to leave your ego out of your choice—for you and your partner.

                                          3. How to tell if a condom fits properly

                                          The ideal size condom should provide a comfortable, snug fit with a small amount of roll at the base.

                                          MedicalNewsToday states that when it comes to condoms, girth is considered more important than length; if they're too loose, they're more likely to slip off during sex, and those that are too tight are more likely to break.

                                          If no roll is left at the base of the penis shaft, you need a longer condom size.

                                          Most condoms are designed to be slightly longer than necessary, as a shorter condom is more likely to slip off during sex. If no roll is left at the base of the penis shaft, you need a longer condom size.

                                          Condom Types: Exploring your condom options

                                          By Material

                                          Latex condoms

                                            • The most popular material for standard condoms. However, latex degrades with oil-based lubricants, so a water or silicone-based lubricant is essential.

                                              Non-latex condoms 

                                                • Various alternative materials are available for latex allergy patients.

                                                  Polyurethane condoms

                                                    • The most popular alternative to latex condoms; it's thinner than latex but with less stretch. A good option for those with latex allergies.

                                                      Polyisoprene condoms

                                                        • Thicker and stretchier than polyurethane and latex condoms, without many of the chemicals that trigger allergic reactions.

                                                          Lambskin condoms

                                                            • Possibly the oldest material used for natural condoms. Made from cecum—part of a sheep's intestine—they're soft, thin, biodegradable, and they conduct heat well. However, they don't provide any protection from STIs.

                                                               Vegan condoms

                                                                • Despite latex being a plant-based product, many latex condoms are manufactured using processes that make them non-vegan, most typically using casein to soften the latex.

                                                                • Fortunately, many manufacturers produce specialist condoms with no animal products or byproducts specifically for the vegan market.

                                                                  By Thickness

                                                                  Extra thick

                                                                    • A thicker latex condom provides additional strength for peace of mind. Often considered an extra-safe option, they're a popular choice for anal sex and as a partial desensitizer to delay climax.

                                                                      Thin and Ultra-thin

                                                                        • Thin and ultra-thin condoms provide the same protection as standard condoms but with a more natural and sensitive feel.
                                                                        • They're designed to mimic an authentic skin-on-skin feeling without compromising safety.

                                                                          By Sensitivity

                                                                          Additional sensitivity

                                                                            • As mentioned, ultra-thin condoms provide a more natural experience with less material interfering with the nerves and sensations in the genitals.
                                                                            • They also transfer heat better, resulting in a more natural feel. Further alternatives include textured condoms featuring ribbed surfaces, raised dots, or lubrication that provides warming or cooling sensations.

                                                                            Reduced sensitivity 

                                                                              • These are manufactured using thicker materials or adding tiny amounts of anesthetic to help minimize sensitivity throughout the penis, delaying ejaculation. Ideal for those who'd like their sex to last a little longer.

                                                                              Other Features


                                                                                • Raised dots, ribs, beads, and patterns add to the look and feel of the condom.


                                                                                  • Pre-lubricated condoms make them a little smoother and easier to put on, occasionally with added spermicides for extra protection. Pre-lubricated condoms rarely provide enough lubrication for certain types of sex.


                                                                                    • Using condoms without lubrication allows you to choose your preference: to enhance performance, sensation, pleasure, flavor, and feel.

                                                                                    • Non-lubricated condoms are considered better for oral sex—eliminating any chemical effects and tastes in the giver's mouth and on the tongue.


                                                                                      • A flavored condom (or additional flavored lubricants) brings a different taste to oral play.


                                                                                        • Like flavored options, scented condoms add a more pleasant aroma to your play.

                                                                                        Fluorescent glow

                                                                                          • For even more fun, why stick to funky colors when you can use a condom that glows in the dark?

                                                                                          5 tips for finding your perfect condom

                                                                                          1. Consider your partner

                                                                                          Sexual pleasure is a two-way street. Talk to your partner about what they would like from a condom. Are they most concerned about protection and strength? Are they vegan? Allergic? Would they benefit from a condom designed to add stimulation or prefer one that feels like it almost isn't there at all?

                                                                                          2. Consider your stamina

                                                                                          If you work your condoms hard for extended periods, thicker, stronger options will likely suit your practices. Remember, even though some condoms are lubricated, it doesn't add what's necessary for those longer bouts. Ensuring you're suitably lubed for the entire experience will mean adding a little extra lube to your shopping list.

                                                                                          3. Keep your skin in mind

                                                                                          For sensitive skin in such sensitive areas, organic and natural condoms can decrease irritation. However, if you know the chemicals your partner is particularly sensitive to, search for an option that doesn't contain them.

                                                                                          4. Check for added stimulation

                                                                                          Ribbed, studded, ridged, or any other textured condoms add extra friction to penetrative sex. For some, that's a great addition; for others, not so much. If you'd like to enhance sex play, consider wearing a vibrating penis ring with your condom or a penis sleeve to take things to the next level.

                                                                                          5. Try out different materials and styles

                                                                                          If you're baffled by the many types of condoms and aren't sure what might work for you, many outlets and brands have assorted packs that let you try various options. The more you try, the more likely you are to find the ideal choice for every mood, act, and outcome.

                                                                                          How to put a condom on correctly

                                                                                          With the right-sized condom determined and all styles and types considered, the next essential factor of proper use is ensuring you put them on correctly. Even the best condoms in the world won't work to their maximum efficiency if they aren't worn properly.

                                                                                          1. Check for wear and tear on the packaging and also the expiration date. Condoms don't like heat, so they will degrade if left in a wallet or pocket for too long.

                                                                                          2. Open the wrapper carefully. Many have a serrated tear-line to make things easier. Never use your teeth; you could easily tear the condom inside. Show extra care if you have long nails or jewelry.

                                                                                          3. Pinch the reservoir tip and place it on the head of the penis.

                                                                                          4. Expel any air and roll down the penis length to the base.

                                                                                          5. If your condom is only lightly lubricated, add further lubrication if required. Remember, oil-based options degrade latex, so a water or silicone-based lube is essential.

                                                                                          6. After ejaculation, grip the condom at the base of the penis with your fingers before withdrawing. This will stop the condom from slipping off.

                                                                                          7. Remove the condom, tie a knot in it to prevent spillage, wrap it in a tissue, and throw it in the bin (not flush it down the toilet).

                                                                                          Condom FAQs

                                                                                          Are there condoms that are one size fits all?

                                                                                          Most condoms are designed around the average penis size. However, for those with bigger or smaller penises, most condom brands cater to those differences with additional options.

                                                                                          How do you know if a condom fits properly?

                                                                                          Condom sizes vary between brands, but all should offer a snug fit while still feeling comfortable. It should be tight without feeling too tight, and there shouldn't be much excess material around the penis base.

                                                                                          Do condoms often break or slip off during sex?

                                                                                          Sadly, yes. However, most malfunctions are due to poor-fitting condoms or not putting them on correctly. Too much friction can cause chaffing and damage to condoms, so ensuring adequate lubrication is also essential.

                                                                                          Does it matter which lubricant I use?

                                                                                          Yes. Oil-based lubricants will break down a latex condom, so it's imperative to use water or silicone-based lubes.

                                                                                          What's the difference between internal and external condoms?

                                                                                          External condoms are designed to be worn on a penis (externally), whereas internal condoms (an alternative barrier contraception method) fit inside the vagina or anus. Also known as female condoms, their appearance resembles a tube with rings at both ends. The closed-end ring is inserted into the body while the open-ended ring covers the entry. They're larger than external condoms, made from the same material types, and also categorized as FDA class II medical devices.

                                                                                          What should you do if a condom breaks?

                                                                                          If a condom breaks during sex, stop immediately and remove the broken or damaged condom. If there is a risk of STI, consult a doctor as soon as possible. For those worried about pregnancy, emergency contraception is available from doctors, pharmacies, and sexual health clinics.


                                                                                          Finding the best condom for your tastes and needs can take a little experimentation; however, the results are worth the effort.

                                                                                          With condoms designed for sensitivity, strength, added pleasure, and more, they provide far more than protection against pregnancy and STIs.

                                                                                          Knowing your correct size and how to use them properly will create the snug fit you need for their ultimate efficiency and will raise your protection to the optimum 98% success rate.

                                                                                          Taking any risks during sex for you or your partner(s) simply isn't worth it, especially when such a straightforward solution is so readily available.

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