In countless movies and television shows, we’ve witnessed the classic scenario: a young man finally gets the opportunity for intimacy but faces embarrassment when he pulls out a condom that has been residing in his wallet for an eternity. He’s teased, ridiculed, or both partners nervously hope for the best as they roll the dice with an ancient prophylactic.
It’s likely that in such scenarios, the young guy didn’t purchase the condom himself or put much thought into it. He probably acquired it somewhere along the way and optimistically held onto it for a future encounter. This depiction mirrors how many people acquire their first condoms, according to Melissa White, the founder and CEO of Lucky Bloke, a condom retailer specializing in fit-focused options, including Caution Ware’s Iron Grip for a snug fit and Okamoto’s Mega Big Boy XXL.
While people are advised to use condoms for safe sex, there is often a lack of guidance on how to select the right condom. White suggests that many people receive their first condom for free at clinics, concerts, or bars, which often means they end up with a standard-sized, budget condom. Unfortunately, they may not explore better options, leading to mediocre condom experiences.
“A standard fit condom only fits 50 percent of men, so right away you have 50 percent of the men who are going to find it either too big or too small, and then that experience informs them to think condoms are all too loose, condoms are all too tight,” says White. “Right out of the gate, most people’s first experience with condoms is mediocre, and they don’t have access to the information that a condom should be pleasurable.”
Choosing the right condom size is not only about safety but also about enhancing pleasure for both partners. Here are some key factors to consider when purchasing condoms:
When determining the right fit, focus on girth rather than length. A simple way to gauge your size is the “toilet paper roll test.” Take an empty roll of toilet paper and slide it around an erect penis. If there’s extra space, you may need a slimmer fit. If it fits comfortably, a standard-sized condom is suitable. If it feels too tight, you should explore larger options.
Leave Your Ego Out of It
While many may aspire to use “magnum” condoms, choosing the right size is crucial for both safety and comfort. Kimberly Ardwell, the CEO of Glyde America, estimates that 30 to 35 percent of men should be using slimmer fit condoms. Don’t let pride get in the way of selecting what works best for you.
Test Out Multiple Options
Once you’ve determined the correct size, don’t rush to choose a brand at random. Condoms vary not only in size but also in texture, flavor, color, warmth, and even special features like glow-in-the-dark. Beyond these fun perks, factors like the type of lubrication, shape, and latex processing can affect how a condom fits and feels. Lucky Bloke offers single condom purchases and sampler packs so that you can try various options in your size. ONE is another company offering a wide range of sizes and a measuring kit to help you find the perfect fit.
Consider Your Partner
Pleasure for both partners is an important consideration. Different condom varieties may work better for one partner than another. It’s worthwhile to explore multiple brands and ask your partner what feels best for them. Open communication about preferences can lead to a more satisfying experience.
It’s important to note that vaginal sensitivity varies, and some partners may experience irritation due to certain condom materials. Ardwell recommends Glyde condoms as a solution, as they are certified as vegan by the Vegan Society, making them suitable for those with sensitivities or ethical concerns.
Look Beyond Drugstore Brands
Shopping for condoms online can also alleviate any discomfort associated with purchasing them in person, as discussions around non-procreative sex can still carry a stigma in some areas.
However, it’s essential to remember that sexual health and pleasure should be priorities, and finding the right condom is a crucial part of that journey.
In conclusion, selecting the right condom size is not only about safety but also about enhancing pleasure and ensuring a comfortable experience for both partners. Don’t be afraid to explore different options, communicate openly with your partner, and prioritize your sexual health and satisfaction. With the wide variety of condoms available today, you’re bound to find one that suits you perfectly.