Condom size matters—super size me?
By Andrea Arscott, Senior Columnist
You’re super horny right now. You think, “Why did I bring this guy that looks like an underwear model up to my bedroom? I knew I wouldn’t be able to control myself, and any condom I find in the back of my nightstand drawer probably expired last year.” Then he whispers into your ear, “Do you have a condom?” You respond, “I sure as hell hope so.” Reaching into the naughty section of your drawer, you find one. Knowing that it’s old, you surrender to your desires, refusing to check if it’s expired and/or damaged, and start ripping into it with your teeth.
Unfortunately, you’re not the smart one in this equation. The supermodel looking down at you says, “Wait, slow down! Geez, turn the light on, and let’s make sure this bad boy’s ready to roll.” Trembling, you stutter, “Oh, okay. Yeah, that’s probably a good idea.” But you know it’s a horrible idea. He checks the date and says, “Sorry, tonight’s not your lucky night. This expired in 2012.” Your face turns red, and you let out a sigh and mutter, “Damn it!” He asks if you want to watch a movie, and you scurry off for popcorn, chocolate, and an extra-large glass of wine.
The next day you go shopping for condoms at the closest Walmart. You sneak into the forbidden aisle keeping one eye on the merchandise, while the other looks out for people you might know walking by. There are so many types and brands of condoms: extra-large, flavoured, sensitive, thin, glow-in-the dark, fire and ice, Durex or Trojan, lubricated or non-lubricated, latex or polyurethane, and the list goes on.
Sweat drips down your face and you make a dash—empty-handed—for the McDonald’s, conveniently located inside the store. You buy a cheeseburger meal with a sundae and chow down while you Google on your phone “how to choose the right condoms.” An article titled, “Pick the Perfect Condom for Your Penis” at MensHealth.com comes up (pardon the pun), and you read on. The article explains why size, shape, and texture matter.
Although you find the information helpful, you choke on a French fry while reading the part about a trick that the CEO of LuckyBloke.com recommends to determine what size of condom fits a penis best. According to the author, the CEO—Melissa White—suggests that men, “Grab the cardboard tube of an empty toilet paper roll and slide it over a full hard-on. If there’s extra room, your best bet is a smaller condom. Just enough room means you’re at a medium, and if the cardboard tube is too tight for you, opt for a large.”
As you lick the ice cream from your spoon, you think back to your recent sexual encounter and decide he’s probably got an average-size penis, so you settle on “medium.” In the language of condoms, this translates to “regular.” Most condoms are sold in this size, which also fit smaller-sized men. However, Durex sells a size smaller and labels it “snug.” Other sizes for most brands include “large,” and “XL.” For more information look for size charts at CondomMonologues.com. It’s important to get the right size because you don’t want the condom to fall off inside your partner if it’s too big, or bust open because it’s too tight. In either situation, you risk pregnancy and contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI), including HIV.
Feeling rather bloated, but more confident, you head back to the sexual health aisle. You purchase what you need; regular, latex, lubricated condoms because you also read that lubrication prevents breakage, while latex and polyurethane protect against STIs and HIV.
As you leave past the gumball machines, you feel uneasy because even though you found so much information about condoms on the Internet, you’re now wondering if you even know how to use them properly. Better pay attention to next week’s article.
Stop HIV now. Wear a condom that fits.
Come down to the Purpose Society testing clinic at 40 Begbie Street in New West the first and third Friday of the month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for anonymous and rapid HIV testing and STI and HCV testing. We also provide vaccines, free harm reduction supplies, and condoms! You can also get your questions answered by emailing email@example.com