Happy National Condom Week! In this blog, I will discuss the need for condoms and what condoms might work best for you. The first rubber condom was created in 1855 by Charles Goodyear and versions of it have been around ever since. The first condoms were used to limit Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD), like Syphilis, much like condoms now. The condoms used today are also great at preventing HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), and adding protection against pregnancy. Condoms also offer peace of mind when used correctly and can help you feel safer when having sex.
There is a condom out there for almost everyone but finding the right one can be difficult for many. There are external condoms that go on a penis or sex toy. Internal condoms are inserted into a vagina or used for anal sex. I will discuss external condoms in this blog, as they are more commonly used than internal condoms. Each one is different in material, size, etc…
In a 2019 survey done by Glyde America with 3,000 people who use external condoms,
● 25% complained that condoms are too tight.
● 15% reported issues with condoms that were too loose.
● 44% of survey participants claimed condoms had either slipped off or broken during use.
● 50% felt that condoms, in general, do not fit well.
From the data shown above, people want to wear condoms, but the condoms are not the right fit or material for the person. Sex should feel comfortable and there should be no worry of a condom feeling too tight or slipping off during sex. In picking the right condom, the most important thing you can do is find the right fit and material. Many condom companies have guides or quizzes on how to find the right fit for you. For example, the site Glyde America has a detailed guide to finding the correct external condom size. Below, I have a chart to show a few options for condom materials. They all are slightly different and offer different benefits but the best way to know what works for you, is to explore and try different options!
During this week in February, find your perfect condom so you and your partner(s) are safe and feel good during sex. Below are more resources that you can explore in finding more condom and birth control options. Stay tuned next month for a proper lube guide to use with your condoms! As always, check out HEAL’s Sexual Health and Wellness Departments testing resources and events! We offer free testing for HIV and Hepatitis C and plenty of safer sex supplies to choose from. Don’t wait until you’re in need, discover what works for you now!
Resources: Cain, Taryn. “History of Condoms from Animal to Rubber.” Wellcome Collection, Wellcome Collection, 19 Nov. 2014, https://wellcomecollection.org/articles/W88vXBIAAOEyzwO_.
“Choosing The Right Condom Size.” GLYDE Premium Ethical & Vegan Condoms, https://www.glydeamerica.com/choosing-the-right-condom-size/.
Dawn Stacey, Ph.D. “Explore the Range of External Condom Types and Styles Available.” Verywell Health, 13 Sept. 2021, https://www.verywellhealth.com/condom-types-906789.
Parenthood, Planned. “What Are the Benefits and Advantages of Using Condoms?” Planned Parenthood, https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/condom/what-are-the-benefits-of-condoms
Internal Condom for Anal Sex https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=9_7H_BMMUvc