How To Make Safer Sex More Fun

In my last post, I discussed safer sex, so here’s a bit more practical advice.

Although all barriers are important — gloves, dams, condoms, etc. — I will be discussing condoms, in response to an anonymous question I received. Still, it's important to keep in mind that some of the practices I'm about to mention can be easily applied to dams and gloves.

The condoms sold in grocery stores and pharmacies definitely do their job, but there are also many fancy shmancy condom brands that are simply exquisite and practically the same price per unit as your standard value pack of Trojans from the corner store. Where I live, in Detroit, a 12-pack of condoms costs around $15, but I tend to order in bulk online from places like Amazon, which brings the price down to about $0.50 per condom. Some condoms are ACTUALLY significantly thinner and just as durable as their thicker counterparts. Some have textures inside and/or outside the condom as well, which can create a nifty sensation. There are so many fantastic brands: Crown, Sir Richard’s, Kimono — the list goes on and on.

Finding the right condom brand for you is really a matter of trial and error. I recommend going to a reputable sex shop in your area and seeing if they have a condom sampler pack. If you don’t happen to live near a shop that stocks a variety of condoms, try searching for an online retailer.

My personal favorite are Lifestyles Skyn condoms. I love them so much I want to buy a million of them, bedazzle them, and ornament my entire apartment with them as a symbol of my devotion to the company (even if that's a terrible idea for so many reasons). These condoms are made out of polyisoprene, which protects against STDs and pregnancy just as well as latex condoms. I prefer them because they don’t have that weird latex smell, and they also conduct body heat better since latex is an insulating material.

Related: My Gonorrhea Experience
Buying the appropriately sized condom is very important. The fit should be snug, but not so taut that it could potentially tear or rip. I know a lot of jokes are made about slimfit condoms, and there's a lot of hype around needing larger-sized condoms, but please just buy the appropriate size. If you're buying condoms and you don’t know what you’ll potentially be working with in the near future, just buy an assortment so you have what you need when the time comes.

Having a condom break because it's too small is a huge bummer — that should go without saying. And, having a condom that's too large is pretty uncomfortable as well; all that loose material not only feels really gnarly, but also makes breakage more likely. While the Trojan Magnums have a lot of name recognition, I have not found them to be significantly larger than any other standard condom. They are, however, slightly longer. If you need to accommodate significantly more girth, Trojan Magnum XLs are about 9mm wider than the standard fit, but not sold in regular grocery stores. Or, if you need a snugger fit, a tapered condom like Glyde Slimfit is pretty chill.

I'd like to briefly add that if you don't put on a condom properly, DO NOT take it off and try to put the same one back on. Just get a new one. Even if you momentarily apply it and realize you did it incorrectly, the right thing to do is grab a new one. There may be trace amounts of pre-ejaculate that come into contact with it, and it's really not worth the risk.

Related: The Truth About Vibrators & Loss Of Sensitivity
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Want to know what the special ingredient is for making condoms even better? Lube! I've already covered this in an earlier post, but here’s my recipe for a slick and slippery condom experience.

First, you’re gonna need a water- or silicone-based lube. Don't reach for oil (which is unsafe) and do not use saliva. Spit is not lube. It just isn’t. If no toys are being used, a silicone-based lube has the advantage of more glide and transmitting body heat a bit more easily than water-based lube.

Once you have your lube, put a generous amount in the reservoir tip so that there's lubrication inside the condom. The more lube, the better. It can be a little difficult making sure it doesn’t slide out when it’s flipped over for application, but practice makes perfect, and it’s way easier than trying to flip one of those huge water jugs onto a water-cooler stand (pardon the totally bizarre analogy). Once the condom is on, put more lube on the outside. You can apply it to the outside of the condom itself or onto the orifice itself, and reapply as needed. (Read: frequently. If I could have a lube fountain, I would.)

Next: Stop Assuming I'm Pregnant Because Of How My Body Looks
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