The 9 Types Of Condoms You Will Want To Know All About

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

Let’s face it. When you want to do it, you want to do it, right? But you want to be safe. You don’t want any unforeseen descendants down the road, and you certainly want to protect yourself from disease. So you take a trip down to your local drugstore for a condom and .. Wow. The choices are absolutely overwhelming. Color, size, shape, taste?? How do you choose the right condom for you?

Well, the good news is that you really can’t go wrong. As someone once said, the best condom available is the one that you will actually use.

When used correctly, condoms protect against pregnancy 98 percent of the time, and that is pretty darn good. Don’t stress out so much about which rubber you use, just use it!

But in case you are wondering exactly what is the difference between all those clever boxes, we have the complete lowdown on everything you ever wanted to know about condoms.


1. Latex

This is the most common kind of condom. Latex condoms are a very reliable choice when it comes to preventing STDs and pregnancy. However, if you should put one on and you (or your partner) should experience swelling, redness, or itching, you most likely have a latex allergy. These symptoms sometimes happen due to dryness or the type of lubricant you are using, but if you have any doubts, you can ask your doctor to test you for a latex allergy or simply choose another type of condom.


2. Lambskin

This is the most natural but the most controversial type of condom on this list. Some people find that lambskin offers a more natural sensation than latex, making them the preferred choice for pleasure, however, you should know that lambskin isn’t as effective as preventing pregnancy nor will it protect you from STDs. This is because lambskin has natural pores, much like our own skin, that allow viruses such as herpes and HIV to pass through. Now if you don’t mind the thought of wearing a piece of animal skin on your own skin and you are aware of the potential risks, lambskin condoms are another possibility.


3. Non-Latex

If you should have a latex allergy, don’t worry. There are plenty of alternatives. Non-latex condoms might not be quite as effective as latex as they have a higher rate of breakage, which brings their effectiveness down to about 95 percent, but that is still pretty darn good. What kind of alternatives are we talking about? You will find most non-latex condoms are made from polyurethane, polyisoprene, or nitrile. All are perfectly acceptable alternatives to latex.


4. Spermicidal

As the name implies, spermicidal condoms contain chemicals that destroys sperm. It is often used as a foam, cream, jelly, or even suppository form. Combined with a condom, spermicides are very effective forms of birth control. Spermicides are about 70 to 80 percent effective. When used in combination with a condom, that stat can go as high as 98 percent. You should keep in mind that spermicides can damage latex condoms, making this whole shebang less effective overall. So if you find a non-latex spermicidal condom, you are talking about some serious protection.


5. Lubricated

As you know, anything lubricated is going to be more comfortable, but on top of that, it also reduces the chance that the condom will come off or break. This is because dryness causes friction, friends, and in this case, less friction means more protection. If you decide to use your own lube, beware. Not all lubes are compatible with condoms. Some compounds, such as coconut oil or baby oil, break down the material and increase the risk that the condom will break. Use lubricated condoms or stick with water based or silicone based lubricants for the best protection.

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6. Female Condoms

You might not have heard a great deal about this type of condom because they have been proven to be not as effective as their male counterparts, mainly due to the difficulty in getting them in proper position. The CDC says that the typical failure rate for these types of condoms is 21 percent. However, when used properly, they have a 95 percent success rate at preventing both STDs and pregnancy. This is only ever so slightly less than male condoms. If your only choices are female condoms or nothing, by all means, chose the female condom! However, since they can be so tricky to use, you might want to add another layer of protection such as a spermicide or IUD. One of the great things about female condoms is that you can insert them as long as eight hours before you decide to have sex, meaning there is no need to pause to put on a male condom, no running to the drugstore for a condom, and no annoying condom breaks in the heat of the moment.


7. Novelty

Did someone buy you a box of those glow-in-the-dark condoms as a joke? You might think that that is exactly what they are: A joke. The truth is that there is actually nothing wrong with those colored condoms, glow-in-the-dark condoms, or scented condoms. Most of them are made from latex and they will work just fine. There is no safety problem here at all, it’s simply a matter of preference. So if you want to practice your “light saber” skills by using those glow in the dark condoms, go ahead! Sex should be fun as well as romantic.


8. Ultra-Thin

Many, many men swear by ultra-thin latex condoms, stating that they are the most sensitive kind around. If you have shied away from these thinking that thinner might mean easier to break, you can rest assured that this is not the case. According to studies, most condom failures are from men not putting the condom on soon enough or allowing it to roll off soon after climax. So if you are looking to put a little more “feeling” into your sex life and you don’t have a latex allergy, you might want to give ultra-thin condoms a try.


READ ALSO: Seven Foods That Increase Your Sex Drive and Seven That Kill It


9. Flavored

Just like glow in the dark condoms, flavored ones are simply a matter of preference. These are nothing more than regular latex condoms covered in a slightly oily type of flavoring. They are just as effective at preventing pregnancy or STDs as their non-chocolate infused counterparts. However, if you should find that you are having a strange feeling or reaction soon after you put it on, you might have an allergy to that particular flavor. Try removing the condom, washing, and then trying a plain condom to see if this relieves your problem. Since takin the time to remove the condom and washing can really kill the mood, you might want to experiment with these types of condoms when you are alone to be sure that you don’t have an allergic reaction to them.