Tuesday, August 26, 2008

if anyone knows condoms, it's me

Did you know that 1 in 20 District residents is HIV+?

Yeah, it kinda makes you rethink that random hook up from this past weekend.

I can't stress this enough with my clients or the 5 people who read this blog: use a condom every time!!! Since I practically live and breathe this message, I know quite a bit about condoms. I'm constantly reading reviews and testing what's out there to see what condoms the community would actually use. Sure, you can give people your basic Durex condom for free (with some lube and some educational materials), but they won't use it unless it feels good. And your basic Durex condom (which DC's HIV/AIDS Administration loves to give out for free--despite my disappointment--when they have condoms available) is really no fun.

So here is what I know...*

Worst Flavored Condom
Trustex Flavors
(image courtesy of condom.com)

Maybe the vanilla flavored works but the others all have a lube-y aftertaste, which might lead to an activation of the gag reflex which is so not sexy during oral. Also the smell is not pleasant (smells like lube but with sugar). But I have to give Trustex some points on the cheeky banana flavored condom, despite it's grossness.

Best Flavored Condom
Lifestyles Flavors
(image courtesy of condom.com)

If you're about to perform oral sex on someone, this is the condom to use, girls. There's still a bit of a lube-y aftertaste, but it's very minor compared to Trustex. And the smell is similar to the flavor--for example the Strawberry flavored condom actually smells like strawberry! Imagine that!

Worst Condom for Sensitivity
Trustex Extra Strength
(image courtesy of undercovercondoms.com)

Yes, I get that no one wants a condom to break during sex. So maybe you're tempted to pick up an Extra Strength condom. Well, don't reach for the Trustex! Their Extra Strength condom is so thick, you might as well kiss sensitivity out the window.

Best Condom for Sensitivity
Crown Skin Less Skin
(image courtesy of condomdepot.com via amazon.com) 

I had never even heard of these condoms before I started my HIV prevention job, but apparently everyone loves them! These condoms are light pink in color and super thin, yet incredibly strong. Forget "ribbed for your pleasure"! This is the condom you want to use if you want to feel like you're not using a condom at all.

Best Condom for Large Girth but Average Length
Lifestyles XL
(image courtesy of safesense.com)

Honestly, the only thing that is XL about this condom is the width. It is about 15% wider at the base that your typical condom, but it's less than 8 inches long (average condom length hovers between the 7 to 8 inch mark). So if your partner is stocky (down there, I mean), then this is the best condom for you.

Best XL Condom that lives up to the Hype
Trojans Magnum
(image courtesy of allcondoms.com)

I like to go against the grain sometimes and these condoms are so damn popular that I really wanted to hate them. But I can't. However, this condom is truly for the well-endowed man (wide girth and long length) as it is wide (though not as wide as Lifestyles XL) and definitely long. Remember, fit is everything when it comes to condoms (a good fit ensures less slippage and less breakage). So if you're really not that big or wide, don't get these condoms just to boost someone's ego.

Best Condoms when you're fumbling around in the dark
One Glowing Pleasures
(image courtesy of onedesigncontest.com)

One Condoms are awesome. Their packaging is great and unique (each individually wrapped condom contains a message on it with a play on the word 'one') and the Glowing Pleasures condom glows in the dark for about 30 minutes which should be more than enough time to find it while you're making out in the dark. In addition, the condom, while lubricated, doesn't smell very lube-y.

Best Condom Overall
Crown Skin Less Skin
Oh, Crown. Everyone who's tried this condom totally loves it. It has just the right amount of lube (however, if you like lube, you might want to add a bit more) and DOESN'T SMELL. I don't know about you, but smelly condoms are a bit of a turn off. Also, the material is so thin that most guys I know who have used it claim it feels like there's nothing on. If you don't like using condoms because of *insert excuse here*, then these are the ones for you.

Remember, peeps--no glove, no love. Keep yourself and your future partners protected.

* These reviews are from my experiences and the experiences of other people in the field, as well as feedback from clients. If you know of other great condoms out there (or really crappy ones) then please make your case in the comments.


Zipcode said...

good post! I keep in my drawer next to my bed lol

anOCgirl said...

thanks! i'll have to give you some samples. i've got plenty of crown too.

intellileg said...

...and then you move country and all the condoms you can get change too. Le Sigh. It's like shopping for your favorite brand of skin cream that just isn't there any more! I'm now back to being a Durex, er, 'fan' as all the Lifestyles I had left over from the States are gone.

At least it's easier to buy condoms here (walk into supermarket or corner store, pick up a pack with the milk) rather than negotiate CVS' disapproving attitude. Buying condoms in DC always reminded me of when I was 22 and went off to a late night gas station to get condoms. The attendant refused to sell me any as he couldn't see why a nice young woman like me wouldn't want to get pregnant... Poor dude. Little did he know he was preaching to a fully-fledged HIV peer educator.

He changed his mind :)

instatick said...

This is awesome.

King of New York Hacks said...

Why haven't I seen a review like this before !!! Damn it !! Alll the wasted money on my trial and errors , I remember those lambskin ones that were comfortable but did not prevent STD's , WTF? This was a well done essy on what our priorities should be ALL THE TIME so we don't become a statistic. You rock girl for writing this , and you get added to my blog roll to boot !! Be safe,

The King Of New York Hacks

Zipcode said...

this should be in the WaPo Express and mentioned on DC blogs hands down

anOCgirl said...

intellileg: ah yes, the CVS condoms on lockdown. with a target in the city now, people should just go there for all of their prophylactic needs. they've got a great selection too (and the prices are great).

instatick: thanks!

King of NY Hacks: why thank you for the many compliments. i'm glad you find the post useful. i hope that people who google 'condom reviews' will find this post and get the right condom for the occasion.

Zip: no DC blogs mention. :(

VeronicaCole said...

Check out One Condoms @ www.onecondoms.com to find more information on safer sex!

Fratatat 'Dores said...

Hey, big thanks. Just stumbled upon this and have always had trouble finding a condom that isn't too long but doesn't choke my weapon of mass destruction. Lifestyles XL, checking that out. Thx