The Pleasure Priority: The Best Condoms For Pleasurable Safer Sex

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Safe sex doesn't have to be less fun. Here are some of the best pleasure-promoting contraception options on the market.

Condoms

Photo: Adaptor-Plug on Flickr.

A mannequin models safer sex fashion at Cabbages and Condoms Restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand.

One of the top reasons men and women engage in sex is for pleasure. Yet, it has taken a while for safer sex promotion and innovation to act upon the fact that safe sex has to be pleasurable for it to be practiced. Things are changing in the contraception world…and there are some options out there now that really do value pleasure. Here they are:

Trojan Pure Ecstasy
This condom claims to feel like there is nothing there. I’m not so sure that’s the case, but it does aim to please with its double sided lubricant for slickness inside and out and its unique baseball bat shape for more friction and more pleasure.

Durex Performax Intense
The delayed release lubricant inside this condom (I have no idea how they made that happen) in combination with the texture appeals to the pleasures of all involved. As a bonus, the reviews on this condom have men boasting longer lasting sex on their end.

ONE Tantric Pleasures
These condoms have a similar flared shape to the Ecstasy (though a little less pronounced), but also provide ribbing down the whole shaft that is unique in its pattern – they call it a “tattoo-inspired” pattern. Their packaging is also pretty innovative and handy, with a tube the transforms into a small carrying pack for safe, subtle, and convenient transport!

LifeStyles THYN
Boasting the statistic of “21% thinner” and a “next-to-nothing feel”, this condom appeals to those looking for a more natural feel. It also has a unique reservoir tip for increased pleasure. It may be helpful to add a little extra lubricant to the inside of this condom (and the outside if you feel it is needed), but remember to use water-based lube so you don’t mess with the condom’s effectiveness.

Trojan Bareskin
Another condom appealing to those looking for a thinner condom without the bells and whistles is the Bareskin. When using this condom as well, boost the pleasure factor by adding a few drops of lubricant to the inside and extra lubricant to the outside (remember, water-based). Adding the extra lube will help prevent breakage, too.

Kimono MicroThin
For those who want the thinnest of the thin, this is the condom for you. The Kimono MicroThin condom is top rated for thinness aimed at maximizing pleasure for all of those involved. Our Kinsey Con folks have nothing to say but “amazing” to this condom. Adding some additional lube will intensify the pleasure of this one as well.

ORIGAMI Condoms
This line of male, female, and anal condoms have pleasure at the forefront with a unique accordion-like design, without compromising safety.  Additionally, they are made from silicone, so are an especially great option for folks who have a latex allergy. Unfortunately, they haven’t hit the market yet and will seek pre-market approvals in 2015.

For those of you with a latex allergy, it was tough to find pleasure-based condoms for your use that are currently on the market. The FC2 (new generation female condoms) are apparently pretty amazing, though, and they would be suitable for those with a latex allergy. Hopefully the innovation departments at these condom companies start working on additional pleasure-based solutions for non-latex users.

There is a lot of work being done in this area in order to revolutionize the condom. In fact, The Gates Foundation recently awarded $100,000 to 11 different ideas for this task. These include ideas of: heat conducting condom infused with antibacterial drugs, using materials like elastic, self-tightening, mucous, break-resistant, shape memory, wrapping, super elastomer, cow tendon, rapid application, and an applicator pack. You can check out descriptions of each of these here. I just hope they don’t miss the mark by focusing solely on disease prevention and ignoring pleasure. Surely at least one of those ideas will be pleasureful.

Additionally, just knowing you’re protected from STIs, HIV, and unintended pregnancy can boost pleasure. If you’re not worried about it, you can be more at ease in the sexual experience, freeing more of your mind for pleasurable satisfaction. Now you’ve got a list of different condoms to try – go forth and engage in protected pleasure.

Kristen Mark, PhD, MPH

completed her PhD in Health Behavior and her MPH in Biostatistics, both at Indiana University. Kristen is an Assistant Professor in Health Promotion at University of Kentucky. Kristen's research focuses on sexual pleasure, sexuality in long term relationships, sexual function, and women's sexuality.
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