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Condoms: A Virtual Orgy of Sizes, Shapes, and Tastes

10 Tips for Getting the Best Use From Condoms
By
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Sheldon Marks, MD

The condom wizard is helping me choose a condom.

"I am the condom wizard," he confidently declares, "and I shall help you find the condoms that are right for you."

I have to admit I'd feel easier getting the condom wizard's advice on the best condom for me if he weren't wearing one condom on his head and another on his nose. But, hey, whatever works for him.

First the condom wizard wants to know what characteristics are most important to me in a condom. Sensitivity? Texture? Size?

Well, size, I guess.

I have two choices, he tells me, politely describing them as "snugger fitting" and "roomier."

"Roomier."

"So, you're having trouble getting that puppy on, eh?" the wizard asks.

Well, ahem, maybe just a little.

"Where do you need more room?" he asks -- not one to beat around the bush. "More headroom? Top to bottom?"

All I can say is, I'm glad I'm online at Condomania, a mail order condom retailer, and not having this conversation about condoms with the young woman who works behind the pharmacy counter.

Casanova's Condom and Other Condom History Facts

The condom wizard is just the latest innovation in the long history of protective gear for the penis. Condoms have been the contraceptive of choice for thousands years. Ancient Egyptians wore them, although whether for decoration or protection isn't clear. As far back as the 16th century, physicians knew that wearing a sheath could protect against syphilis. Casanova garbed his infamous member in a linen one. Lesser mortals usually settled for condoms made of animal intestines. Historians of the condom debate whether the name comes from Colonel Cundum, an inventor, or the Roman word condon, for "receptacle." In 1843, another word for condoms entered the lexicon, with the introduction of vulcanized rubber and the mass production of latex condoms: rubbers. Condoms made of synthetic materials such as polyurethane began in the 1990s.

A Condom to Suit Your Taste

These days, condoms are available in a virtual orgy of shapes, sizes, textures, and even flavors. "So, you say the taste of latex got you down?" the condom wizard asks when I inquire. "Hungry for a savory, succulent love pop?" For those with a taste for such things, condoms now come in grape, cola, banana, and even cherry flavor.

There are condoms treated with spermicide and others with a lubricant that supposedly prolongs sexual pleasure and prevents premature ejaculation. There are extra-strength condoms, made of slightly thicker latex "for those rough and tumble moments," the wizard explains (wink, wink). Word has it a German company is even developing a spray condom. To don this puppy, apparently, you slip your erect penis into a sort of can, which sprays latex from all sides. No word on when spray condoms will be available.

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