Q. I just finished a z-pack for strep throat and my doctor advised me that I won’t have the full protection of my birth control pills until I start my next pack…in three weeks. Three weeks with a backup method isn’t a big deal, but my partner can’t seem to come or even really enjoy sex if we’re using a condom. So, do you have any tips for either alternate alternate methods, or how to make a condom easier/sexier/better? I know sex isn’t solely about an orgasm, but three weeks of blue balls is unsatisfying for anybody.
A. Ah, precious one. On the one hand, I feel bad for your condom wearing companion. The thought of wrapping latex tightly around the dick I do not have is enough to make this little lady shudder. Condoms are weird. They smell weird, they feel weird, and sometimes, they taste weird. There is room for improvement on the condom market. However, that empathetically being said, tell your gentleman friend to get over it. To paraphrase my guardian angel, always try and come from a place of love, but sometimes, you just have to break it down for a mother fucker. If you aren’t on birth control and condoms are the only safe sex method you have access to at the moment, then three weeks of condom use is not going to kill him. Yes, it may agitate or not even feel as good, but this is a temporary stage and he should consider himself lucky that he has such a thoughtful, caring partner writing in to inquire about all the different ways to make sex with a condom feel good for him, especially when said thoughtful, caring partner whose own use of hormonal birth control can alter the enjoyment of sex. So baby girl, let him chew on that for a while…
Now onto the technical bits. The good news is, there are things you can do to improve your condom wearing experience. All will improve the sensation of wearing a condom but it’s tricks of the trade, not magic. Your friend will still be wearing a condom and will have to contend with that factor. Mind over matter! So here’s what you can do to take over the matter part:
Get Skinny Bitches: Dare I say, this might be the only time in my entire life where I will make the claim that thinner is better. Yes, thinner is better – in condom land. And in condom land, there is a bevy, a plethora, of thin condoms to choose from. I personally recommend Kimono condoms, especially since they pride themselves on being “America’s thinnest condom family.” With a title like that, how could one not be entranced? But kittens, there are plenty of brands out there, all dependent on what you have the best experience with. Find the one that works best for you. Most likely, your choices will run either latex or polyurethane. When in doubt, go with latex, unless you have an allergy.
Don’t Wear Magnum, If It’s A Mini-Van: Most folks will not make a mental note if they see a Triple XXX Magnum Horse condom package hanging out by the bedside. They will make note on this, if it is obvious that you are wearing a condom that doesn’t fit. Yes, welcome to discomfort station, population, find the right condom size. Too big, and that sucker is like swimming in latex and might pop off. Too small, and not only is it choking out your dick, it is more than likely to break. So find the right condom size – invest in it! You don’t buy clothes and shoes too big or too small and hope for the best– why do it with condoms?
Lubricate This: I imagine the sensation of raw, unlubricated latex, directly up on one’s genital skin to be akin to a form of torture. It makes me think of all those sad condoms I used to steal from the Health Department as a wee teen, only to bust them open and find out that they were better used as balloons. Lubrication is key to pleasure. Just a touch will do, no need to slather the dick like you are basting gyro meat, a lot of lube is going to cause slippage. But just a drop or two on the penis before the condom is put on will provide a better sensation, and a less “rubber” feel. Concentrate more lube on the tip of the penis, since thats where the bulk of sensation comes from. Once the condom is on, lube the outside and lube your partner – less friction, less irritation. And kittens, remember – water and silicone-based lube only! Oil based lubes break down latex and in general, are more likely to cause UTIs/yeast infections.
Put The Damn Thing On Right: Now, I know most of us are adults here, and at some point, put on a condom or watched a condom being put on. I like to call it, “the eternal struggle.” How a condom goes on can completely affect the comfort level of your partner, so lets remember a few truths about preparing. Roll condom over penis, making sure to not get any pre-cum on the outside of the condom. Pinch tip, and roll condom down the shaft, making sure to leave at least half an inch in the tip for sperm. You would be amazed to know that most condom discomfort and breakage comes from someone making that condom sit so tightly on their dick that it looks like an angry fist trying to break out. It’s a crucial step because if you have someone trying to get it on as fast as they can, or in a moment of frustration, it might not be put on right.
Mind over Matter: As I said previously, condom use never killed anyone. Since you both have been having sex sans condom for what may be a long period of time, I recommend to your darling companion that he just practice, practice, practice. Get him to masturbate with a condom – get him used to a condom. If you aren’t used to something, of course it feels odd and funny. So break the condom use in like you would a new pair of shoes – wear them often and always around the house. Now, again, it’s only three weeks – this is not a total lifestyle adjustment. Besides, this will make having sex even better once you are back into your normal groove of things. While condoms aren’t the life of the party, it’s kind of the price of admission right now. Sure, you can use a bevy of other non-hormonal products – female condoms, spermicides, diaphragms, sponges, shields, cervical caps, and…sigh,yes…even the following methods (I know), withdrawal, Rhythm method, or abstinence. In all honesty, the last three methods make me…uncomfortable, even if they are counted among the effective methods of non-barrier birth control. As a lady giving sex advice on the Internet, it’s not in my best interest to recommend them – at all, but they are there. But back to the original point, these other non-barrier methods may offer a bit more flexibility and freedom, especially if used in tandem with one another. Each of these methods have their own benefits and their own particular effective rates. When it comes down to it, you have to weigh the pros and cons of what is best for your situation. But honey, I digress and will say church, say it with me now): Condoms are over 95% effective when used with a spermicide. That’s a good rate.
So while your lovely partner might be bummed about the current condom state, just remember – this too shall pass. You will return from the birth control from whence you came and he will return to the state of an unsheathed penis. All will be well. So try a few tricks of this trade and see how it fares – and remember! Sex doesn’t always have to be capital P-in-the-V. This may also be a great time to explore other forms of sex and sexual pleasure. The world is your oyster, dearies. Just play it safe together, so you can be nasty together.
And report back cause we love a happy ending.
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