I did something different recently. I ventured out of my comfort zone and bought an entirely different brand and type of condom while I was at the store on my weekly shopping trip. I’ve been sexually active for a while now, but after a sexual experience where I found myself turned off because of the scent of the condoms I’d been using, I thought it could be worth the risk to try a new brand.
So, there I stood in the pregnancy aisle, amongst several strangers, staring at all the types of condoms I had to choose from. I settled on a non-latex brand I recognized from Google searching “types of condoms” prior to visiting the store. I pulled them from the shelf, dropped them in the cart and went on my merry way.
When I tried these new condoms, I was thrilled! They were completely unscented and pleasant to use. Then it occurred to me that not all condoms are created equally. I had been using Trojan condoms almost exclusively, or using whatever condoms my partner brought with them. I hadn’t thought about condoms the way I should, which is that, like moisturizers, makeup, toothpaste or soap, I must be highly discriminating when using products that go on or inside my body. I started thinking about condoms the way I think about other products — if I don’t like them, I try something else.
Changing the type of condom I used made a world of difference, and I bet if you haven’t tried different types of condoms, it could make a big difference for you, too. Here are some reasons why you should try different brands and types of condoms.
You may feel less irritation during and after sex.
I had noticed that I was feeling some irritation in and around my vagina, especially directly after sex. But I never connected that irritation to condoms I was using. I don’t have a latex allergy, and irritation can be caused by many different factors, so I was stumped as to why I would be experiencing so much irritation post-sex. When I tried out a non-latex condom, all of the irritation disappeared, and I wondered why I hadn’t tried different types of condoms sooner.
You’ll feel more invested in the moment.
Doing the prep work of seeking out and testing different types of condoms added a layer of ownership to my sexual experiences. Before, I would use whatever condoms my partner brought with him. When I spoke up and said “can you use this condom instead? I like this condom better,” I suddenly felt infinitely more invested in the moment. We live in a society where women often don't have the opportunity to take charge and make decisions, whether it be in the bedroom or the boardroom. So, I felt an increased sense of excitement and ownership in this moment just from advocating for using the type of condom I wanted.
It will improve your memory of the moment.
I was really struggling with the way my condoms smelled, which a couple of friends later pointed out to me could be the smell of latex. And they were right! When I used latex condoms, the smell was triggering memories of previous, unpleasant sexual experiences, which, in turn, would take me out of the moment. Switching to an unscented, non-latex condom eliminated the triggering smell and vastly improved how positively I remembered my intimate moments going forward.
You’ll enjoy sex more.
This is a given, but with every adjustment you make to better your sexual health, the more you can enjoy sex. Changing the types of condoms I used was a huge step toward improving my sexual experiences.
Intimate experiences can be tough to talk about. But, the more we open up about our experiences, the more we can help each other have the best experiences possible, sexually and across all facets of our lives.