Physical Health Reproductive and Sexual Health

Are Condoms on Your Christmas List?

With the winter holidays approaching, we all enjoy the idea of cuddling up with our loved ones, including a significant other (or others). Most of us find an alternative to staying warm by sitting beside a fireplace or a heater with our hot chocolate. Others, however, find heat under the covers with someone else.

While bare sex sounds nice, it’s possible to have a pleasurable sexual experience while preventing nasty conditions that can last for the rest of our lives. I highly advocate one of the ingenious inventions that our fellow people have created with our fun in mind—condoms! How else are us guys supposed to please our bedmates with a steamy session? These handy and inexpensive contraceptive tools have been used since the 15th century, so you know that they are effective for preventing pregnancy and reducing STD risk when used properly. For those of you who don’t know how to slip on the rubber, packages come with instructions.

Some of us may not know how to choose that exemplary condom, especially with so many different types on the shelves that house them, but I will happily point you in the right direction and tell you about all of the possibilities that these lifesavers are presented with.

First, you want to make sure that you’re wearing the right size. If you have a condom that is too small—well, just think of wearing really tight underwear—it’s not going to feel comfortable at all! If it’s too large, just come to terms with your ego (which may be tough for some) and get the right size that fits you. Also, make sure that it has a bulb at the end that catches the semen upon ejaculation in order to prevent oozing.

A great, even necessary, companion of condoms is lubricant, although some condoms can be bought already lubricated. K-Y Jelly is a popular one on the market right now, but many other water-based lube are also available. (Some even have honey in them!) The purpose of lubrication is to make your sizzling session even more satisfying. Apparently, some people (both the receiver and the giver) can climax more easily if the condom that is being used is properly lubricated. It also makes sex less painful for both anal and vaginal sex. Keep in mind that some lubricants can cause some irritation, so try it out to see what works for you.

Condoms come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and even flavors! For oral sex, having a scrumptious tasting condom can make the venture more fun and spicy (maybe they have that flavor too?). Additionally, some condoms come in different textures, such as ribbed, dotted and studded, which may heighten sexual experiences. They can be made with materials like latex, polyurethane, polyisoprene, and lambskin.

If you’re using latex condoms, know that they can only be used in conjunction with water- or silicone-based lubricant, since oil-based lubricants can deteriorate the condom and cause breakage. Some people can also have allergic reactions to latex, such as rash, burning, itching, and even swelling (ouch!). But don’t worry, that’s why there are other types of condoms made for us! Poly-condoms are made of synthetic materials that are effective at preventing STDs and pregnancies, just like their rubber counterparts.

Lambskin is the most “natural” feeling condom available. Although it has an increased pleasure rate, it’s porous because it’s made from a lamb intestine. This means that even though it prevents sperm from going through the condom, the microscopic holes still allow bacteria and viruses to be transmitted. I recommend this magical condom for couples in monogamous relationships in which STDs are not an issue.

You can find condoms and lubricants in most convenience and grocery stores. Luckily for us, the Tang Center gives them out for free, so you can grab some extra for your wallet or purse. For students who live in the dorms, your health workers can provide them as well if you’re unable to find an open store during the nighttime. Keep in mind that condoms have expiration dates like everything else, so pay attention to that!

Now that you know all of the benefits and fun that condoms can bring, make sure to be giving this holiday season and be thoughtful. Put condoms on your Christmas list!

Article by Jonathan Trejo

Feature Image Source: JSTOR Daily