Why should I wear a condom?
Condoms revolutionised not just sex itself, but also global sexual health – they are your ultimate sex essential. Since the mid-1500’s, linen sheets held in place by a ribbon were used as a prevention for syphilis,* condoms have evolved technically beyond belief.1 Now they are used for preventing pregnancy, and to reduce the chance of you catching or spreading many sexually transmitted infections2 at the same time allowing you to have a spontaneous, fun, exotic and hassle-free sex life. Readily available in most shops and pharmacies they are convenient to buy and affordable. Unlike hormone-based contraceptives, no doctors’ appointments are required – with a condom all you need to do is go out and buy some. Condoms are also available free at sexual health clinics, youth health services, and some family planning clinics.
What are the different types of condoms?
Just like people, condoms come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they come in different flavours and textures too. The choices can seem overwhelming. But to help you find the condom that’s most suitable for you and your partner, this guide will help you to understand the different condom choices available.
Most condoms are made of latex, a type of natural rubber that has been used since the early 20th century. Latex is non-porous which means it provides a barrier to help prevent sperm and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) from being transferred from person to person. Latex condoms are thin and easy to produce making them a material of choice for many condom manufacturers.2
Latex condoms are designed not to slip or break easily, but you should always take care when using condoms. Latex condoms should not be used with oil-based lubricants (e.g., baby oil, hand and body lotions, massage oil) as these can affect their integrity – this means whipped cream is off the list too!2
For a smooth, latex condom, that’s designed to be easily put on, try Durex Originals Condoms. These transparent, lubricated natural rubber latex condoms help to prevent pregnancy and the transmission of STIs. They are available in a regular fit (nominal width: 56mm) with extra silicone lube for additional comfort.
Wearing a condom can sometimes be used to increase stimulation during penetrative sex. Condoms come in a variety of textures such as ribbed or studded with dots, which can be located on the inside, outside, or even on both sides of the condom to heighten sexual pleasure for both people involved.2 These different textures are strategically placed to provide extra stimulation to the nerve endings for one or both sexual partners. So, if you’re looking to add a bit of variety to your sex life, give textured condoms a go.
Durex Pleasure Me Condoms are textured condoms that have been designed with both you and your partner in mind. They contain ribs and dots for extra stimulation compared to smooth condoms, whilst providing protection against STIs and helping prevent pregnancy. These thick condoms are available in a regular fit (nominal width: 56mm) and are teat ended for comfort and fit.
Some of us know that lubricant can be a total game-changer during sex. Lubricant can provide extra comfort for those who experience vaginal dryness or those engaging in anal sex. Lubricated condoms are condoms pre-lubed so you can jump straight in, without pausing to apply lubricant to your condom. Additional lube can be applied on the outside of the condom if that's a preference, and is recommended when engaging in anal sex. Lubricant reduces friction during sex and helps minimise the risk of condom breakage, which can put you and your partner at risk of STIs and unwanted pregnancies.3
Latex isn’t for everybody so latex-free condoms are available for those that are allergic to natural rubber latex. Synthetic condoms (polyurethane/polyisoprene) are an option for people with latex allergies.
Durex Real Feel is a condom made from a technically advanced non-latex material (polyisoprene) to provide a natural skin feeling. This is a non-latex material, so they are suitable for people who have an allergy or are sensitive to natural rubber latex. They are available in a regular fit (nominal width: 56mm) with silicone lubricant for additional comfort.
Using condoms to improve sex
Believe it or not, condoms can actually add to the ride, bringing extra sensation and pleasure. Using a condom gives you peace of mind for protection against STIs so you can relax into it more knowing that you are protected. You can even use them as part of the foreplay, in fact there is something exciting about the moment that time has come and a condom has to go on – it signals something, a change in momentum.
Choose the right condom for you
Since people come in all shapes and sizes, with different sexual needs, there are a wide range of condoms designed to suit a variety of sexual desires. Comfort and security should always be front of mind to ensure you choose the right fitting condom that protects both you and your partner(s).
Different Durex condom sizes are available with an aim to provide a comfortable experience no matter what your shape or size. For some, Durex condoms with a standard nominal width of 54mm may be fine, while others may find Durex condoms with a nominal width of 56mm more comfortable. Condoms are also available in varying thickness to suit a variety of sexual scenarios. Sometimes you may feel more confident using a thicker condom, whereas other times you may want to maximise sensitivity with a thinner condom. For example, Durex Thin Feel Condoms are thinner than Durex Originals condoms. This ultra-thin condom thickness is designed to help you feel even more sensitivity than Durex Originals condoms. Their straight-walled shape and teat-ended smooth material also helps make them easy to put on to ensure you have a comfortable sexual experience. Remember no method of contraception works 100% against pregnancy and STIs.
*Khan F, et al. Ind J Urol 2013.
This article is for general information only and not intended as a substitute for medical advice.
Always read the label and follow the directions for use. Reckitt Benckiser, Auckland.
- Khan F, et al. Ind J Urol 2013;29(1):12-15.
- Mahdy H, et al. Condoms. 2022 Apr 21. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan.
- Kennedy CE, et al. Sex Reprod Health Matters 2021;29(3):2044198.