Whenever condoms are raised as a topic of conversation, it usually changes to questions of size. The conversation then goes to the usual “humble bragging” of how tight the protective rubber is. However, wearing a smaller condom only to show off can end up being quite detrimental to your overall life and your health.
A comfortable condom ensures that you will not be filled with anxiety after the deed. An unwanted pregnancy can spell disaster for your finances and relationships.
Condoms, contrary to popular opinion, seldom break or slip, as per a controlled clinical trial. What you should be concerned about is not the brand or even the materials of the condom. Instead, you should focus on getting the right size.
Common Condom Size Myths
- The one size fits all condom is enough – This is false. Every penis has a different size. For instance, some have more girth while others can be much thicker at the head rather than their base.
- You can use any kind of lube for your condom – this is a very dangerous concept. Most condoms that you can buy are usually already lubricated. You may feel the need to make the condom slicker by adding additional lubricant. However, not all kinds of lube are safe for the condoms. Oil-based lube can destroy rubber, which increases the risk of unsafe sex.
- It is better to have a tighter condom than a larger one – The best course of action is to get the condom that fits comfortably. Tight condoms can break and tear while loose condoms can slip off.
- You only need to cover the tip – This is the most dangerous myth of all. Covering just the tip increases the chance of slipping and breaking. This also increases the area of skin to skin contact, which increases the chances of getting diseases.
Effects of an unfit condom
There are several unwanted side effects when you use a condom that does not fit you. For instance, increased skin to skin contact, while pleasurable, is quite risky. You may think that you are safe after skin to skin contact, but some sexually transmitted diseases take time to show up. For example, Gonorrhea takes 2 to 30 days to show. In fact, other sexually transmitted diseases (like HIV) will show up only after several years have passed.
There is also the discomfort of a too tight or too loose condom. A loose condom has a weird sensation that may take your focus away from the pleasure. Those who have experienced it have complained about the difficulty in getting an orgasm, which is the desired outcome by some (but not by all).
There is also anxiety and worry when you or your partner have noticed that the condom has been damaged or slipped off. Not only does this is more risky, but it can also sow the seeds of doubt and distrust.
There is only one way to minimize those risks, and that is finding the condom that best fits you. Knowing what is the right fit and how to find the perfect size are extremely important.
Survival of the fittest condom
A journal article made a compelling case about why condoms slip or break. The reason is not about the brand, material, length, or flexibility of the condom itself. The main reason why condoms break or slip is due to the circumference of the penis, especially the base.
That is why it is essential that you measure properly: not just the length, but also the circumference of your penis. The girth, especially the base, should fit first. You should roll the condom until the bottom of your penis.
How to measure properly?
- Get the length by taking the measurement from the penis base to the tip. You can do the measuring using a piece of wire or string and then compare it to a ruler. Better yet, you can directly use a ruler or measuring tape.
- Measure the girth by getting both the circumference of the base and the middle point of your penis.
- Now, divide the circumference by 3.14 (pie π) to get the right width for your condom. Then add an extra 12% stretch room for the girth. Designers and condom engineers have found out that 10% to 20% is needed as a stretch room.
Other important measurements
You should know the shape of your penis. Are there arcs or bends that may need an extra inch or two? Is the base bigger or the head wider?
Some condoms have their own niche areas and their advantages, like how Durex has arguably the better “thin” latex condoms or how TheyFit have their customizable and personalized condom offerings.
Pay attention to the material of the condom:
- Latex is the cheapest and easiest to find, as well as being very convenient to store.
- Polyurethane condoms are usually thinner but are less elastic.
- Polyisoprene condoms are thicker but more expensive.
- Lambskin condoms give a better pleasurable sensation but are not as good at protecting yourself from unwanted pregnancies and STDs compared to others.
Good fit indications
How do you know if the condom is not a good fit? The best indicator would be the look of the condom. If there is too much rolled condom on the base of your penis, then you should get a smaller one. If it does not cover the whole base, then get a longer one.
The next test would be the “aftermath look test”, where you search for any clear red rings on the base. If there is a slight red ring around the base, then that is a perfect fit. If there are no red rings that can be found, you should get a tighter one. If the red ring around the base is very apparent, then get a wider condom.
Finding the best condom brand or product will take time but will definitely be worth it.
Try out different shapes, not just sizes. For instance, some manufacturers offer condoms that have a wider head or a wider base. There are condoms for those that have a bulbous tip or a roomy pouch at the end for extra safety.
Some condoms marketed themselves so well that preconceived notions are present, like the Regular Trojan Magnum condoms are the biggest when in fact they are on the average size. Try to use the condom as protection, not as an ego boost.
Lastly, the best condom is the one that fits comfortably on your penis. You cannot find the best one if you do not try as many as you can. Once you find the size for you, sex will be less risky and worrisome, and much more enjoyable.