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by Alicia Guinn

Proper Attire Condoms

Condoms come in so many shapes and sizes that choosing one can be anerotic adventure in itself. There you are, in your local drugstore orsurfing the web, eyeing the rows of condoms, imagining what it will belike to use them later on!

Yet too many people approach condom use as a necessary evil,complaining that "They don?t feel good," "They reduce sensation," or"They make sex less spontaneous." You can easily cut out the first twocomplaints by choosing the right condom. (And as for the spontaneityproblem, think of the extra minute it takes to put on a condom and usesome lube as that last juicy tease of anticipation before you get downto business.) Most folks think that all condoms are created equal, butnothing could be further from the truth. If you're looking for a goodplace to start, we suggest our Condom Sampler Pack. In the meantime, here are a few factors to keep in mind while searching for the perfect condom:

  1. Strength. A lot of people steer clear of thinner condomsbecause they assume that "thinner" also means "more likely to break."This isn't the case at all, since most condoms are tested to meetcertain safety guidelines. It is a good idea to use extra lube with allcondoms, since lack of lubrication is the number one factor in condombreakage, whether you?re using a thicker Trojan or thinner Kimono. That said, some condom manufacturers have an outstanding safety record. For example, thinner Swedish condoms like Profil, Mamba, and Okeido are tested to be 15 percent stronger than run-of-the-mill American condoms.
  2. Size. Condoms do vary quite a bit in size. While most comein a size deemed average or medium, certain condoms are manufactured tofit larger- or smaller-than-average cocks.  If you have problemswith condoms slipping off, it?s worth trying a smaller-sized condomlike Mamba or Lifestyles Snugger Fit.On the other hand, if you have a problem getting condoms on in thefirst place because they seem too tight, you should try a larger condomlike Magnum. Both Okeido and Maxx are larger-sized condoms which are made with thinner, silkier latex. And the Magnum XL is the largest condom on the market.
  3. Sensation. The single biggest complaint about condoms isthat they reduce sensation for the wearer, but ingenious condommanufacturers have found ways to increase sensation. The first is tomake condoms thinner. The Kimono Microthin, one of our most popularcondoms, is thinner than most condoms and fits a bit more snugly. The other way to increase sensation is to alter the shape oftraditional condoms.  Pleasure Plus features a pouch in the head of the condom that creates friction against the frenulum, the sensitive sweet spot on the underside of the penis. These condoms have gotten rave reviews from men.
  4. Material. The great majority of condoms are made of latex,but some people are allergic to latex. If that is the case, you shoulduse a polyurethane condom like Avanti or the Reality Female Condom.While some folks prefer lambskin condoms (actually made of intestine)as a latex alternative, remember that they protect only againstpregnancy, not STDs.
  5. Flavor. Some condoms are made specifically with oral sex in mind.  STDs can be spread by oral sex, so protect yourself.  Kiss of Mint condoms are unlubricated with a classic minty taste, while Trustex Flavoredcome in strawberry and vanilla flavors. Flavored condoms are also agreat solution for folks who'd rather not swallow during oral sex, orthose who have a difficult time with the taste of their lover's come.
  6. Texture. There?s a little bit of controversy surroundingtextured condoms, which usually feature subtle nubs on the outsidesurface of the condom, designed to stimulate the receptive partner.While some people swear the nubs feel great, others think those nubbinsare hardly big enough to warrant the fuss. Women in particular areoften skeptical about the "ribbed for her pleasure" tradition in condommanufacturing.  Are you pro- or anti-textured condoms?  Theonly way to find out is to take a couple for a test run. Try Kimono Type E, Rough Rider, or Babeland Condoms
  7. Lubrication. Almost all condoms come pre-lubricated becauselubrication helps decrease condom breakage. Therefore, only a fewmanufacturers make unlubricated condoms. The Kiss of Mint comes unlubricated but flavored with powder for oral sex.  Colored Trustexcondoms, however, come completely unlubricated.  They?re great fororal sex, for covering sex toys, for easy clean up, and if you suspectyou have a sensitivity to the lube on other condoms.  Justremember to buy some lube to go with them!
  8. All-Purpose.  But what if you?re looking for a standard, best all-around condom?  We?ve got you covered.  Beyond 7 and Crown condoms are medium-sized and a little thinner than average.  They?re just good, reliable condoms.

Now get out there and play safe!

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