So let’s talk condoms, guys.
You may be very unaware of this, but February is National Condom Month, and it’s all so fitting since the one holiday where everyone will be focusing on sex is within the same month. Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean that the desire for sex will disappear from your mind. Depending on if you’re a bachelor with a few entries in your black book or a committed lover with a long term girlfriend or wife, condoms may or may not be held as a priority for you. But the fact of the matter is, condoms for both single and involved men are important, yet only spoken about in the heat of the moment or barely at all.
When bringing up the topic of condoms, I often hear the same complaints: “condoms don’t fit well,” “they don’t feel great,” “ I’m allergic to latex” or the all too infamous “I’m going to lose an erection if I wear one.” While most of these concerns are rightfully stated, there are solutions that meet every single last complaint that the average man has with condoms. In fact, condoms themselves have gone through some pretty amazing changes within the last 30 years, but it’s the mindset of the consumer that hasn’t.
Condoms: Think Again
There is a heavy push happening within the sexuality field to encourage African American men to use condoms more frequently and correctly, and it is often the aforementioned notions about protected sex that prevents more men from doing so. Every man is entitled to his opinion about wearing a layer of protection during sexual activity, but the facts are in and they prove to be a lot more supportive of safer and more pleasurable sex than what the average man thinks. It’s time to upgrade your thinking about condoms, fellas!
I know you probably don’t think about condoms on a daily basis and how they can help improve your sex life versus hindering it, but it’s time for you to become more educated not only for yourself but for the safety, satisfaction and care of your partner. So in case you have a full list of rebuttals for why you choose to go without protection, especially as a single man, I’m here to help shift your consciousness about condom awareness.
The most prominent argument about condom usage: Condoms just don’t feel good during sex, so why use them?
The issue with this mindset is that many men haven’t been exposed to the various types of condoms that are currently on the market. One unpleasant experience with a condom can scar a man for life, leading him to abandon their use, but this mindset is dangerous and can lead to unwanted pregnancy, increased anxiety during sex that can decrease pleasure, and even STI transmission.
AASECT certified sex educator and one of America’s favorite sexologists Dr. Logan Levkoff, Ph. D, has a lot to say when it comes to this very topic of the fit and function of condoms. “There is a recent study that was conducted at the research center at the University of Indiana, and one of the things they found is that people these days are now rating sex with a condom as equally pleasurable to sex without a condom,” she states.
“That’s a really big thing and that is not what people are talking about.Even though that is what the data says and that’s how people are responding. I think most of the time couples don’t realize that the condoms that exist today are super thin, they conduct a lot of heat, they are very well lubed and they are designed to make sex pleasurable so that you’re not worried about wearing a barrier.”
“These Aren’t Your Father’s Condoms”
The game-changing condom on the market right now is the “Ecstasy” condom by Trojan, a thinner condom that fits snug around the base but looser all the way around making the condom less restrictive. “The condom is shaped sort of like a baseball bat,” says Dr. Levkoff. The condom is lubed inside and out to produce a more pleasurable glide for both partners and gives the shaft and the head of the penis more room to move while still providing a strong layer of protection.
When it comes to finding the right fit for a condom, Dr. Levkoff recommends that men spend more time in the condom aisle to rediscover the types of condoms that are on the market today. These aren’t your father’s condoms of the past men. Get out there and do your research. “I think the first thing every person should be doing is looking in the condom aisle and pharmacies to see what’s out there,” Dr. Levkoff suggests. “There are a lot of products and a lot of variabilities and enhancements and lubes and fun things that get used with condoms. There are vibrating rings to go along with condoms. There are vibrators that are in the condom aisle. There are so many things that make the act of safer sex exciting.”
Condoms come in various textures with different lubricants that can create a warming or cooling sensation, and some even come in fun colors. Shift your perception about condoms by exploring the family planning aisle at your local Walgreens, CVS or Rite Aid and start experimenting with what the market has to offer. Turn it into a game or a “sex date” on a Friday night.
Making the decision to use a condom shouldn’t be viewed as a burden but as a way to have free, uninhibited sex free from the restrictive thoughts of unintended pregnancy or the spread of an STI, specifically for the single, non-monogamous man. It’s a freeing feeling knowing that you can establish a level of trust with a partner with something as simple as a condom. It shows that as a man you have your partner’s health and safety in mind, and that’s sexy.
When a man can come to the sexual experience with condom knowledge in knowing what feels good for both partners, it makes the experience all the greater.Now that you have a source of updated education about condoms, it’s time to change your mindset, fellas. Condoms are a wonderful tool of protection and pleasure!
How to Tell Your Partner Exactly What You Need
Communicating about the things you want and need in a relationship can be easier said than done. Amber Madison tells us how in this article written on behalf of the NCSH.
Take Care of Your Sexual, Reproductive Health: Latino Groups Create Handy Resource Guide
The NCSH’s call-to-action and new Spanish-language guide "Tome el Control de Su Salud Sexual" are featured in this article.
New Guide Helps Primary Care Providers Discuss STDs with Patients
This article features the NCSH's new guide, "Sexual Health and Your Patients: A Provider's Guide," and extensively quotes NCSH member Dr. Michael Horberg, Director of HIV/AIDS, Kaiser Permanente.
This Is How Often You Need To Get Tested For STDs, Based On Your Relationship Status
It's not always easy to know how often to get tested for STDs. NCSH member and spokesperson Dr. Edward Hook III outlines in this article how often people in different types of relationships should get tested.
This Is Exactly What Chlamydia And Gonorrhea Feel Like
NCSH member and spokesperson Dr. Katharine O'Connell White shares what chlamydia and gonorrhea feel like for most people, which is nothing because they are mostly asymptomatic infections.
Why We’re All So Afraid Of Herpes, Even Though It’s Actually Not The Worst STD
In this article, NCSH members Dr. Edward Hook and Jenelle Marie Davis aim to reassure that herpes can be effectively managed, and that you can still have relationships and sex.