The Perfect Fit: Choosing your Condom Size
People say that ‘size doesn’t matter’, and while true, it doesn’t hold water when it comes to choosing the right it of condom. Whether too tight or too loose-fitting, an incorrectly sized condom can slip off or break mid-coitus, rendering the whole wearing-a-condom-during-sex thing useless.
Condom size most certainly matters because not all men are created equal when it comes to their genitals. Finding yours in the correct size is a load off your mind in the lead-up to a sexual encounter, provides comfort during lovemaking, and leads to less instances where a condom mishap means you’re not getting laid on that particular evening.
More than this however, properly fitting condoms are also much more effective. Too small, and you’re going to feel discomfort at a time that you should be focused on pleasure for yourself and your partner. The body of most condoms (ie. The shaft) tend to pose no problem no matter what size the wearer is, however things tend to get tighter around the tip. For the well-endowed man, this can lead to discomfort as well as an increased change of breakage.
So when you’re taking the time to buy condoms, get yourself prepped with a bit of homework first by taking your penile measurements to find out once and for all how big your penis is:
- While your penis is erect, measure the length by holding one end of a ruler or measuring tape pressing slightly into your pubic bone and measure along the side of your shaft to the tip.
- To find out the girth, wrap a string or a soft measuring tape around your erect penis. If you used a string, measure the length of string that you used.
This is where things get a little tricky, as different manufacturers provide different sizes. There’s no industry standard in the condom business, but there are some approximate averages that manufacturers have adopted as follows:
- Standard condoms: 7.25 to 7.8 inches (18.5 to 19.8 centimeters, respectively)
- Snug-fitting condoms: 7 to 7.8 inches (17.8 to 19.8cm)
- Large condoms: 7.25 to 8.1 inches (18.5 to 20.6cm)
- Standard condoms: 1.75 to 2 inches (4.4 to 5.1 centimeters, respectively)
- Snug-fitting condoms: >1.75 inches (4.4cm)
- Large condoms: <2 inches (5cm)
Once you’ve figured out the size that will fit you best, it’s time to choose. BUT WAIT: now you’ve got to consider condom materials as well. Most commonly you’ll find condoms made with latex, but also variants made with polyurethane, polyisoprene or even lambskin. Bet you didn’t realize how much variation there is in condoms, right?
While many condoms come pre-lubricated right out of the pack, you can always add a bit of extra lube for added glide, but please note that if you’re using a latex condom, an oil-based lubricant will degrade the latex and can cause breakage. A silicone or water-based lubricant is a much better choice when lubricating sex with a condom.
Finally, after you’ve chosen the condom that fits you exactly how you want it, set a couple aside as practice condoms; try unwrapping and applying it to your erect penis in order to not get flustered during the heat of the moment with a partner. Remember, confidence is key and condom confidence is sexy.
Colin Hanna is a Volonté contributor and freelance writer who lives in Shanghai, China with his wife. He’s written extensively about sex and human sexuality for LELO since 2010.