I happened to be in a local store and wandered over to where they keep condoms. I had no idea there are so many different kinds! Where does a beginner start? Are women responsible for buying condoms? What about latex allergies? And lastly, what should I keep in my nightstand? Do I have to buy various types and sizes since I’ll have no idea what my date may be into?
Help! I’m so lost.
A: DEAR KAREN,
It’s true, there are so many different types, sizes, materials, and brands of condoms out there. Especially if you’re just returning to the game, it’s overwhelming, to say the least. Not to worry: I’m here to be your guide back into the condom world.
1. Everyone who is sexually active is responsible for carrying protection.
No matter what gender or sexuality you identify as, everyone’s responsible for buying protection. Unfortunately, not everyone does, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and have a stash of your own condoms.
2. Size barely matters.
Condoms are tested to withstand incredible lengths of stretching and durability, so having various sizes doesn’t necessarily need to be at the top of your list when looking for the perfect penile wrapping. While some guys swear they need an XL, most will be just fine with whatever condom you have on hand.
3. Lubed and studded and ribbed—oh my!
While size may not matter much, material can. Latex allergies are common, and it can cause irritation or dryness—neither of which is a recipe for a good time. I like Skyn condoms as an alternative—they’re nonlatex, so they won’t dry you out, and they’re ultrathin but durable, so it feels like you’re wearing nothing.