According to condom pioneers Durex, the message is simple: condoms are the only form of protection that can help stop the transmission of STIs and prevent pregnancy. And we happen to agree with them.
In this day and age, with so many different colours, textures and varieties of condoms available there is no excuse for not protecting yourself and your lover from infection and unplanned pregnancy.
This guide will explain exactly why condoms are so important, how to use them and how to choose the right style of condom to suit your needs.
How to Use a Condom
First things first: never use a condom more than once and always put a condom on your partner's penis before penetrative play begins, as early stages of an erection can contain sperm and organisms that can cause STIs.
To use a condom, remove the condom from its foil wrapper by tearing along one side and removing the condom inside. Air trapped inside a condom could cause it to break. To avoid this, squeeze the closed (teat-like) end of your condom between your forefinger and thumb and place the condom over your partner's erect penis, making sure that the roll is on the outside. While still squeezing the closed end, use your free hand to unroll the condom down the shaft of your partner's penis.
Make sure that the condom stays in place during sex, and if it rolls up, roll it back into place before continuing with your sex shenanigans. If the condom slips off, dispose of it and apply a new condom before sex continues.
After your partner has ejaculated, withdraw his penis while still holding the condom firmly in place then wrap the condom in a tissue and dispose of it in the bin. Never flush a condom down the toilet.
Which is the Best Condom?
There are loads of different condoms available, including flavoured for oral sex, extra safe, delay varieties and non-latex for anyone with an allergy to the standard latex used with most condoms. Scroll through below for our lowdown and top suggestions from Lovehoney customers:
Best for: Lasting Longer
Delay condoms are a great way to prolong pleasure. Using a tiny amount of the light anesthetic benzocaine, they reduce sensitivity throughout the whole of his penis, effectively working to delay ejaculation.
They have exactly the same features as regular condoms, with reservoir and teat ends and an easy-on shape, but they’re often slightly thicker. This helps to reduce over-stimulation even further, keeping the pleasure going for longer.
See more Delay Condoms
Best for: Peace of Mind
Worrying about whether a condom will be effective or not can be really off putting, and that’s why extra strength condoms are a great way to enjoy pleasure and protection together.
They’re slightly thicker than standard condoms, providing extra security and safeness, while also reducing the chance of a condom splitting. Some people prefer extra thick condoms for anal sex, as they feel stronger and less likely to split.
See more Extra Strong Condoms
Best for: Tasty Oral
Flavoured condoms come in a variety of exciting and delicious tastes, and they are the perfect way to make oral sex fun and safe. They’re also good if you or your partner feel self conscious about taste, as they take the worry away, and help you to both enjoy oral sex more.
Since flavoured condoms are shaped and made in the same way as regular condoms, they can be used as a safe and effective means of protection during sex too.
See more Flavoured Condoms
Best for: the Well-Endowed
If you’re bigger than average and find condoms too tight, or that they come off easily during sex or split, then large condoms might be better for you. Large and extra large condoms can measure anywhere up to around 241mm (the average condom size is around 178mm).
If your condom is too small, it’s unlikely to offer you the same kind of protection as you would find with a condom that fits.
See more Large Condoms
Best for: Latex Allergies
Being allergic to latex can be quite a problem if you’re going to use condoms. Ensuring that you use latex-free condoms is important, especially if you want to enjoy safe and pleasurable play.
Non-latex condoms tend to be made from materials like polyisoprene or polyethelene, which actually offer a more natural feeling compared to regular condoms - with the same amount of protection. It’s for this reason that lots of people prefer the sensation of non-latex condoms, even if they’re fine to use the standard latex variety.
See more Non-Latex Condoms
Best for: Extra Sensation
Textured condoms are one of the best ways to spice-up play together, without bringing sex toys into the bedroom. All textured condoms are detailed differently, some have raised dots, others ridges and bumps, all of which help to provide extra stimulation for both partners during sex.
It’s because they feature such satisfying textures that they’re a firm favourite with couples who want to join protection and pleasure in the bedroom.
See more Ribbed and Condoms
Best for: Natural-Feeling Closeness
Sensitive condoms give you the sensation of closeness, while still providing full protection. Usually they have around 20% less thickness when compared to regular condoms, which allows for a more real-life sensation during sex. They’re usually made from premium quality latex which has the same durability and strength as standard variety condoms.
Sensitive condoms are the perfect way to compromise between closeness and safety.
See more Sensitive Condoms
Best for: Snug Fit
Using the right sized condom is really important - a condom that doesn’t fit properly won’t be effective against pregnancy or STIs. If you find that regular sized condoms simply don’t fit, that they slip off during sex or never feel quite as snug as you’d expect, smaller condoms could be right for you.
Small condoms have all the benefits as standard size, including the reservoir tip for easy clean-up and extra lubrication.
See more Small Condoms
Need more help?
You can Contact Customer Care, who will be able to help you find the right condom. You can send an email any time, and telephone or live chat to an experienced advisor from 8am-10pm Monday-Friday and 8am-4pm Saturday.
The other great place to look for people's advice on condoms is on the Lovehoney Forum, where our community is on hand 24/7 to give their opinions and tips.
You may also like: