The first time you buy condoms, it can be somewhat of a confusing ordeal because without being fully informed, it’s hard to know which condom is right for you and your partner.
Why You Should Buy Condoms Ahead of Time
Your shopping experience will vary greatly depending on whether you make a mad dash to a corner store just in the knick of time, or if you plan ahead and do your shopping online. And, I can tell you from experience, getting them ahead of time will serve you well. Use me as an example of what not to do. So sit back, relax, and let me spin you a yarn about what went down when I bought condoms for the first time, at the last second.
My boyfriend at the time and I were doing some late night beach make-out sessions, when we both decided that, “Tonight’s the night.” Since I really didn’t want to be on the beach by myself in the middle of the night, I made “the run,” to the sketchy gas station down the street on my Schwinn. As it turned out, they only sold condoms in a vending machine. In the mens bathroom.
After purchasing strawberry Mentos to get change for the condom machine, I swiftly scurried through the shadows to the mens room to make my purchase. “This is it!” I thought excitedly. I put a few quarters in, made my selection and out popped a hot pink studded condom. “Nice!” I said out loud to myself.
I put it in my pocket, Baggins-style, highly satisfied with my treasure, and reached for the door knob. Which promptly fell off right into my hand. Needless to say, I was stuck in the men’s room at the gas station long enough for the, “I’m going to lose my virginity,” mood to fade away, before I was let out by a very surprised-looking truck driver who was making a midnight pit stop.
I can tell you from my own first time debacle that having condoms around well in advance, even if you aren’t sure if you’ll use them, or you are short on cash, is always a good idea. Regardless if money is tight or not, it’s not as though they cost hundreds of dollars. We’re talking more like $4.99 for a 12 pack of amazing Caution Wear brand condoms here.
Why You Should Buy Condoms Online
As you will realize, convenience stores and retail stores have an extremely limited selection of brand and sizes of condoms available for purchase. Measure yourself using this measurement guide, ‘How to Correctly Measure Your Penis to Find the Perfect Condom Size,’ since if it’s anything other than dead-average, a store bought condom won’t be comfortable and will be susceptible to either falling off (if the condom is too big) or tearing from over-stretching (if the condom is too small).
Plus, since inadequate lubrication and wearing the incorrect size of condom are the top two reasons why condoms break, getting a sampler pack of condoms like our Snugger Fit Sampler or World’s Best Condom sampler to begin with is a very wise choice. They even come complete with lube samples!
This will help you determine which condoms work best for you and your partner and whether you two prefer a water-based or silicone-based personal lubricant. Read more about various lubes in, ‘The Condom Depot Guide to Personal Lubricants.’ Retail stores simply don’t have condom sampler packs, like the World’s Best Condoms Tin, because these are Condom Depot exclusives.
Reducing Anxiety while Buying Condoms
Avoiding an awkward condom purchase at the store is like having a huge weight lifted off your first-time-buying-condoms chest. Who needs the stress, anxiety and embarrassment of standing in line while holding a gigantic box of condoms? This is especially true in a small town environment where everybody knows everybody. Chances are the cashier, bag boy or store clerk is someone you know. Do you really want them to know what size condom you need, or how many you need, or how often you need them? Probably not. Buying online can eliminate this stress.
However, if you do have to procure condoms from a store, and you’re nervous about it, here is an effective coping technique for buying condoms- simply remember other embarrassing times in your life. If the anxiety monster starts creeping up on you, just take a deep breath and think about all the things in your life that were more blush-worthy than buying condoms like:
- Your bathing suit flying off while you’re water skiing with your family- and it’s never to be found again.
- Farting really loudly during a proctored exam and everyone turns around and stares at you.
- Mistakenly finding your mom’s special hiding place for toys while searching for the remote.
- Walking face first into a sliding glass door in front of a crush and temporarily knocking yourself unconscious.
- Ripping your pants at the club while proudly exhibiting your new dance moves, on a day when you went commando.
- Flushing someone else’s toilet and seeing the contents come up, instead of down, with no plunger in sight.
- Throwing up all over your date’s crotch during the first 60 seconds of riding a roller coaster.
- Accidentally laughing about something really funny that happened in the past during funeral services.
See? Buying condoms isn’t all that bad after all.
Decoding Condom Jargon
It’s important to note that condoms are made from various materials, but the majority of them will be made from latex. Read more about this in ‘The Complete Guide to Condom Materials.’ If it’s not latex, the packaging will specify the product as being non-latex. Since you now know that condoms come in lots of sizes and materials, let’s talk features.
- Textured condoms can bring extra spice to the experience with bumps and/or ribs.
- Flavored condoms are a great tasty way to have safer oral sex.
- Sensitive condoms are thinner than average and offer more sensitivity.
- Extra strength condoms are thicker than average and provide more peace of mind.
- Magnum sizes are larger than average.
- Snugger fit sizes are smaller than average.
- Contoured condoms refers to the shape of the condom being more anatomical in nature, rather than a straight tube.
- Climax control condoms slow him down and delay ejaculation.
- Warming condoms heat up the genitals over time.
Using the All-Knowing Condom Size Chart
Timmy wants to buy condoms for his 7.5” x 3.75” penis. How would he use the size chart to determine which condoms are right for him?
Timmy would need a condom which is at least 7.5” in length. The Imperial Length column of the chart is listed from smallest to largest. This narrows Timmy’s options down from the Durex Avanti Bare (7.5” in length) all the way to the Trojan Magnum Armor (8.5” in length).
This extra inch in length is acceptable because when you unroll a condoms onto a penis, there can be some left over. It’s better for a condom to be a little too long than a little too short (because being too short can leave skin exposed for skin-to-skin STD contraction, like HSV and HPV).
Now on to determine his appropriate width. Based on his 3.75” circumference measurement, Timmy should stay within the 3.5”-3.75” range of condoms, to prevent his condom from slipping off during sex. Which condoms can Timmy use safely?
Use the Imperial Circumference column to determine which length appropriate condom corresponds to Timmy’s circumference. If one of your answers was LifeStyles THYN UltraGlide, you are correct. These condoms will keep Timmy comfortable and protected for his first time using condoms.
If you thought Timmy should use a LifeStyles KYNG Gold, you are incorrect. Although its length size is within Timmy’s size range at 7.87,” the 4” circumference could be big enough to slip off of Timmy’s 3.75″ circumference and leave him and his partner at risk for unwanted pregnancies and STDs.