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Types of Condoms

by Teela Hudak 2 years ago in sexual wellness

What should you know?

One of the ways we can practice safer sex is by ensuring we are using protective barriers, such as condoms. Some people think that condoms ruin sex but along with keeping us safe, many condoms are designed to enhance pleasure. It's all about figuring out what kind of condoms you prefer for which activities. Which one you choose will depend on your needs and preferences. There are a lot of different kinds of condoms to choose from but they do fall into three basic categories: external, internal, and oral.

External Condoms

External condoms are the ones that are the ones most people think of when they talk about condoms. These are sometimes called "male condoms" because they are meant to fit over external genitals, such as penises. They are also suitable for protecting a variety of different sex toys as well. External condoms are readily available at a variety of places including sexual health clinics, drugs, and grocery stores, as well as sex stores. You can usually find them in "Family Planning" if they are not labeled directly as condoms.

There are a number of brands for these kinds of condoms that come in different sizes. Each brand produces a whole range of condoms for different sensations and pleasure. A lot of research and development has gone into making the condoms better and enhancing pleasure as well as providing proper protection. It may take some experimentation to figure out which brands and types you and your partner prefer. This will give you and your partner an excellent excuse, if you need one, to have lots of sex until you figure it out. Don't be afraid to experiment and take note of which ones work out better for you.

Internal Condoms

Internal condoms are usually referred to as female condoms because they are meant to be placed inside internal genitals, such as vulvas. One of the greatest advantages of these types of condoms is that no one needs to be aroused in order for the condom to be put in place. It can be put in place at any time and left there until it's time for you and your partner. For anyone who feels that putting on an external condom disrupts the flow of sex, these types of condoms may be just what's needed.

There are not as many brands and options for these kinds of condoms as there are for external condoms. Internal condoms do hold another advantage of covering more of the area surrounding the genitals than external condoms though. They may be the better choice to provide more protection for anyone who is concerned about genital herpes, HPV, or any STI that can be easily transferred only by skin contact. Internal condoms can also be an excellent choice for anal sex. It's actually quite common in the gay community for internal condoms to be the condom of choice because of their advantages.

Oral Condoms

There are a few different options when looking for safer oral sex options. Some brands of external condoms have released condoms specific for oral sex. These condoms come in a variety of different flavors. Common flavors are usually fruit-themed though there is usually a mint flavor available. It's important that flavored condoms only be used for oral sex. Using a flavored condom for vaginal or anal sex can cause an infection. The flavoring placed on the condoms can leave behind a residue that can breed bacteria in the vulva or the anus. It could also upset the pH balance in the vagina which could lead to an infection. These condoms are only meant for oral sex.

Another option for safer oral sex is dental dams. Dental dams are a rectangle of latex meant to be placed over the area you intend to be licking. These also come in a whole variety of flavors. Dental dams are a wonderful barrier but it can be more difficult to find them. Not all drug and grocery stores will carry them. You may not find them in all of the sexual health clinics either. Sex stores that cater to a variety of interests, like Little Sisters, will carry them. If you are having a difficult time locating them, they are available to order online and this may be the cheapest and easiest way to obtain some.

Best Practices for Condom Use

There are a few things to keep in mind to keep condoms the effective barrier you want them to be. Where you store your condoms makes a difference. Keep them somewhere where they won't be exposed to extreme temperatures. Heat, in particular, can cause weak spots in many condoms. It's not a good idea to store a condom in your wallet as the combination of heat and pressure will make the condom likely to break.

Another thing to keep in mind is to be mindful of what the condom is made of if you are selecting a lube. Water-based lubes are the only kind you should use with any barrier made out of latex. Oil-based lubes will cause the latex to break down and will end up disintegrating the condom. Definitely not something we want to happen. So be mindful while doing your shopping to choose the appropriate lube to match the type of condoms you are using.

The last important consideration to keep in mind is being aware of nails. Sometimes it can be easy for nails to scrape across a condom while handling or putting it on. Nails scraping can cause weak spots that can cause the condom to break under the friction of sex. Be mindful of how the condom is handled to keep it in the best shape possible.

Explore All the Types of Condoms

One of the best ways to learn what you like and what you don't is simply to learn about the different options and experiment. What ends up being pleasing may surprise you. Maximizing sexual pleasure for you and your partner is all about increasing your knowledge, being open to new experiences, and experimenting. Take the next steps towards a more fulfilling sex life by sharing this article with those close to you. Get some opinions and knowledge from your lovers and friends.

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sexual wellness
Teela Hudak
Teela Hudak
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Teela Hudak

Teela is a Vancouver-based Sex Educator & Relationship Expert. Learn more at:

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