Condomologist

all things condoms

True safe sex

Posted by Condomologist on March 10, 2010

Usually we sexual health folks say safer sex, because it ain’t truly safe unless it’s abstinence, but this here is as safe as it gets. From a classic movie, The Naked Gun, that I haven’t seen since I was a little boy. This is the kind of scene that got me excited in my pre-pubescent days, and excites me now for very different reasons.

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Female condoms on the move

Posted by Condomologist on March 9, 2010

Good to see Washington DC taking the lead on some dicey issues: sexual health types like myself get excited when a big city officially goes gay marriage and female condom on you at the same time. I’ve heard rumblings that the campaign to distribute female condoms – which in more politically correct circles go by a gender-neutral name (such as receptive condom) because they can be used anally by men – is not adequately targeting the gay community, and also that it misrepresents itself as the first city to put forth such an effort. And both those gripes probably have some validity. But no matter. It’s pretty bad ass for an American city to make such a bold move.

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Condoms aren’t the only answer

Posted by Condomologist on March 9, 2010

I respect Serra Sippel and CHANGE, the organization she heads up, and I’m particularly grateful for their bringing me to a wonderful training in DC last year focused on increasing sexual health lobbying efforts. And they do wonderful work around female condoms and promoting them around the world. But let’s not oversimplify the end to the AIDS epidemic: condoms alone won’t solve our problems. A few days with teenagers in the work I do now, or a few days with the (mostly) men I worked with last year in Philly makes it pretty clear that simple condom availability is not the panacea we’ve long been seeking. There’s a whole lot of HIV happening to men and women who have access to free condoms. She briefly mentions stigma — though curiously does not elaborate — and certainly various forms of stigma lead to unsafe sex: asking to use a condom can lead to men accusing their female partners of promiscuity or lack of trust; the stigma and homophobia towards gay men leads to far too much secretive, anonymous, drug-fueled sex — to give two examples. But more than anything, people don’t like to use condoms much because it doesn’t feel good. Also, there is a lot of ignorance about the ill effects of not just HIV and AIDS, but the long-term effects of chlamydia and gonorrhea, for example; we don’t see the devastation it causes until it’s personal, and so we don’t take the precautionary steps we know exist. And then there are just far too many myths to count that lead to people the world over not believing HIV — or even pregnancy, for that matter — can happen to them.

Yes, let’s push for more political support for condoms. But contrary to what Ms. Sippel says, that’s not “it.” It is far more complex than that.

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The Situation uses condoms

Posted by Condomologist on March 2, 2010

Who ever said Jersey Shore had nothing valuable to offer society? Nothing but safer sex messages – and amazingly, they’re better advocates than The View’s Sherri Shepherd, who perpetuates the myth that hot water from a hot tub will kill sperm. (Unless her misinformation is quickly corrected  in a later part of the video not shown here.)

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I think this is real…

Posted by Condomologist on March 2, 2010

But yet this advice on how to pick out a condom brand kept reminding me of my man Smoove B from The Onion — which means I was laughing hysterically. The internet can be brilliant, life-saving, hilarious, and completely asinine.

Posted in Condom Brands and Styles, Humour | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

The right size search carries on…

Posted by Condomologist on March 2, 2010

Our Swiss friends have found that pre-teens are doing it and doing it and doing it unsafely because their wee-wees are too small for normal size condoms. So it looks like they’re producing an extra-small condom. And if it works out, I imagine there’s a market for older men with smaller penises — assuming we find a way not to emasculate them too much in marketing and selling these things.

Posted in Condom Brands and Styles, News and Current Events, Research and Study | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Condom scientists keep stepping up their game

Posted by Condomologist on March 1, 2010

There’s no questions a good chunk of change goes into developing new, eye-catching, genital-tingling condoms and that variety has seriously increased since the early part of the century. Now we’ve got Trojan Fire and Ice, made to warm the penis and tingle the vagina. I keep coming back to Icy Hot or Ben Gay and any male athlete who’s ever let those hot-cold creams near their balls knows it’s in some ways worse than blunt force to the nuts. I imagine these condoms do not induce pain, but I wonder if other guys will make that same association. On second thought, it makes me think of American Gladiators, but I digress.

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NYC Condom Contest

Posted by Condomologist on March 1, 2010

Vote for your favorite design in the New York City Dept of Public Health’s condom contest. It’s good to see a city government willing to pour money into an ongoing campaign to make condoms cool.

Posted in Condom Art, Condom Brands and Styles, Contests, News and Current Events | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Surprise: Guys (and gals) have condom-fitting issues

Posted by Condomologist on February 23, 2010

It’s about damn time sexologists start researching and asking the tough questions about condom fit and guys’ perception of how condoms feel in terms of size, and then how that relates to breakage, slippage, pleasure and a number of other intercourse-related outcomes. The good folks at Kinsey did an internet-based study that found not only did almost 45% of these  vaginal intercourse-having men deem the length or width of their condoms too short, long, wide or narrow, but of those reporting ill-fitting condoms, there were much higher percentages who had erection problems, irritation issues, condom and breakage incidences, reduction in pleasure, etc. than those who reported an “OK” fit. Basically, if you don’t like how your condom fits, you’re gonna not have as safe or good time in the sack.

All this makes general sense to me, but I’m left a bit empty their conclusion: “Men and their female sex partners may benefit from public health efforts designed to promote the improved fit of condoms.” That’s all well and good, and I’d appreciate more substantial, thoughtful messages from the often simple-minded, hand-out-a-million-condoms-and-all-will-be-well public health advocates across the globe.  I fear, though, they have missed the point: There’s a mighty good chance that the fellas who reported ill-fitting jimmies wouldn’t like the fit no matter the most massive public health effort we’ve ever seen. The report failed to address the possibility that their cause and effect are all backwards. Take me for example: I don’t really like any condom I’ve ever worn, so chances are I’m not going to like the fit regardless. Or furthermore, I’ve tended to enjoy condoms more the better the sex has been, and when the sex is kinda blah (forget downright bad), I don’t think too highly of the plastic sheath rubbing against my sensitive penile skin. On a related point regarding breakage or slippage: I wonder whether, in the aftermath of a broken condom, one would then be more likely to report an ill fit than had it not broken. After all, we have to point to some reason — crappy material, improper use, no lube, and so on — so when asked the question, I may very well respond that the size wasn’t quite right either.

Seriously, I don’t mean to bash the study, and take a listen to the podcast  done by Drs. Waugh and Yarber (from Kinsey) discussing the study, and you’ll hear Yarber note rather emphatically that “public health has real, real challenges” and in particular, we’d do well to find out why it is that those who reported an “OK” condom fit felt as they did and how they differed from their ill-fitting counterparts. (You’ll also, if you have a decent sense of humour, find it laugh-out-loud-while-alone funny to hear two older distinguished gentlemen – one British for whatever it’s worth – discuss two people “going pretty hard at it” and “how vigorous the sex should be” and the “speed…of pelvic movements.” All in the context of the study, of course. Call me immature, I know this is serious stuff, and I aspire to be these dudes one day, but trust me that it will crack you up.) So clearly those behind the study know there begs further research.

There’s also the very basic issue of what guys’ idea of a good fit should be. We’re talking the difference of millimeters here, so it seems a bit of a stretch to glean too much from this study. Let’s say I reported a condom was “too narrow” or “too long.” How much wider or shorter would I want it to be? I might want a wider condom ’cause I got good girth, but I wouldn’t want it too wide — or maybe a condom doesn’t even exist that would be wide enough for my liking. And no public health effort will remedy these issues. I’m just not so sure that fit is the right topic to tackle. It’s surely an important one, but condoms still suck to use, and we have to question that a bit more before getting stuck on size. I might be wrong, and I’ll stand corrected with proper study, but let’s take the TheyFit condom, which is made to fit different penis lengths and widths. It could be the perfect size, but if the latex feels too thick, you’re going to have unhappy customers. They’ve been around for awhile, but something ain’t quite right if they haven’t become all the rage.

And lastly, I’ll continue my broken-record crusade about lube. Promoting lube with condoms will do more for condom use than all the eroticization of condoms alone could ever do. Maybe I’m just biased because my sex life couldn’t function without it, but I have worked in the field a few years and anecdotal evidence bears out my conclusion, if only a little bit. Far too many people, teens to seniors, haven’t got the slightest idea they can purchase a $10 bottle of high quality (non-KY) lube at the store, put a few drops inside the condom, outside the condom, on your partner’s vulva or ass, and have their sex lives transformed. Instead they settle for dry, irritating, painful, condom-breaking sex because no one talks about this stuff openly and honestly.

So let’s keep talking about poor condom size and its ill effects on safety and pleasure, let’s let the people know they’ve got more than just Trojans, Lifestyles and Durex, and let’s promote condom experimentation. But let’s also be realistic and recognize that well hung guys still won’t be doing backflips over Magnums and our smaller fellas are not transformed by Snugger Fit Lifestyles. And let’s ask more extensive questions next time we do such a study.

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Condom dude is back

Posted by Condomologist on February 17, 2010

My one dedicated reader has asked that I make a (less-than-triumphant) return to the blogosphere. And it was a few weeks ago I came across this ad — or “pub,” as it’s called in French, pronounced “pube” with a French accent — and thought, I think it’s about time I return the Condomologist to his proper place. So the blog is back, with slightly less commitment, but again open to the viewing pub-lic. Man I love me some French ingenuity. Enjoy!

Posted in Humour, Pleasure, Videos | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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