What You Need to Know About Flavored Condoms

Medically Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, MS, DO on February 20, 2024
3 min read

Flavored condoms are the same as regular condoms but with your favorite flavors added to the lubricant. It’s a simple change, but the added flavoring slightly changes the condom’s function.

What are they? A male condom is a thin sheath that is placed over the penis for safe sex. They help protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). 

They also serve as a barrier method to prevent unwanted pregnancy. The condom stops sperm from reaching a woman's egg.

Types of condoms. There is a wide variety of condoms. You shouldn’t use more than one type at the same time. This can cause the condoms to rip, tear, or leak.

Quality regulation. Every style of condom has certain common qualities. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has laid out clear guidelines for condom quality. At their core, condoms that meet FDA guidelines are considered safe.

Using flavored condoms. Traditional male condoms can be used for oral, anal, or vaginal sex. Flavored condoms are specifically intended for oral sex.

Using flavored condoms for other forms of sex can pose health risks, The ingredients used in flavored condoms can cause irritation and infection.

Flavored lubricant alternatives. Flavored condoms have flavoring added to the lubricant. As an alternative to a flavored condom, flavored lube can be used with an unlubricated condom. 

However, not all lubricant is safe to swallow. Exercise caution and read labels before experimenting.

Using the proper lubricant is important. Oil-based lubricants don’t work well with latex condoms and are generally not safe to swallow. Oil lubricants weaken the rubber of the condom and increase the risk of breakage.

Flavored condoms pose additional risks compared to standard condoms if used improperly. 

Breaking, tearing, and slipping. Condoms aren’t foolproof. They have a failure rate of around 18%. This is typical because the condom breaks, tears, or slips off during intercourse. This can lead to STI transmission or accidental pregnancy.

Breaking and slipping can still be a problem with flavored condoms. Since they are intended for oral sex, a broken condom can expose you and your partner to STIs.

STIs that are transmittable orally include:

  • Herpes
  • Gonorrhea
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Syphilis
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)

Latex allergy. Most condoms are made of latex. A mild latex allergy can lead to rashes, hives, or a runny nose. A more severe latex allergy can cause difficulty breathing and loss of blood pressure.

If you have a latex allergy, alternatives to flavored condoms are:

  • Polyurethane condoms, a plastic alternative
  • Polyisoprene condoms, a synthetic rubber
  • Lambskin condoms, which are made from sheep intestines but don’t protect against STIs

Flavored lube. Flavored condoms get their taste from flavoring added to the condom’s lubricant. This is generally accomplished by adding glucose or glycerin (glycerol) to the lube.

Using flavored condoms for vaginal sex can lead to irritation and a yeast infection. Depending on the ingredients, certain flavoring can also cause an allergic reaction.

Like most condoms, flavored condoms can be acquired from drugstores and supermarkets. Doctor’s offices and family planning clinics often give out condoms for free. Since flavored condoms are more specialized, you’ll likely have to get them from your local pharmacies.

If you have a latex allergy, finding alternatives to flavored latex condoms might require some research. Certain brands specialize in non-latex condoms and will have a selection of flavored condoms for purchase.

Protect from STIs. Use a condom to protect yourself from STIs during oral sex. Dental dams also provide protection during oral sex for the vagina and anus.

Keep up-to-date on condom expiration. An expired condom has a greater chance of breaking. Always check the condom’s expiration date before use.

Proper storage. Keep condoms stored in a cool, dry area. Heat can cause damage to the condom and raise the risk of breakage.

Use a new condom every time for every sexual act. Reusing a condom from vaginal, anal, or oral sex can lead to several risks, such as infection and condom breakage. Put on a new condom before you have sex every time.