The Thinker

Needed: Better condoms

(Warning: Some adult content. Reader discretion is advised.)

Salon ran an interesting article yesterday about a legal brouhaha over a new type of condom. These condoms, all created by the enterprising Indian inventor Dr. Alla Venkata Krishna Reddy, claim to give the male a much more pleasurable experience than using ordinary condoms. They are marketed under the brand names Pleasure Plus, Twisted Pleasure and Inspiral. All, unfortunately, are subjects of tedious lawsuits that limit their availability.

As you can imagine as a married man I do not often need to use a condom. Pregnancy prevention is no longer a concern. However, like most men I went through times when I had to use condoms regularly. Ask any man who has used one and the verdict is unanimous: condoms suck compared to the real deal.

They suck so bad that by itself just knowing I would probably have to use a condom with another partner is powerful incentive to stay monogamous. Yeah, I know. Many condoms feature bumps and the like which are supposed to increase sensation for both the man and the woman. They lie. They do not do a darn thing for this man. Although the stable of women I have known in the biblical sense is fairly small, not one of them has demanded ribbed condoms for her increased sexual satisfaction.

The only advantage to condoms (to put it delicately) is that wearing one a man can feel like superman. Assuming he can maintain an erection with the darn thing on, he can probably satisfy a woman endlessly. So if your partner is the “keep pounding and don’t stop” type and you are normally the “five minutes or less and I’m ready to pop” type, a condom is definitely the way for a considerate male to go. Your partner will be very grateful. With luck, sweat and a lot of muscular tension you may actually have an orgasm with the condom on too. The male’s odds improve with the tightness of the woman and his current testosterone level. I wonder how many 50-something men who partner with someone their own age and who use a condom ever have an orgasm with it. For myself, I would hope the woman would consider oral sex to be safe sex because I would probably want to avoid intercourse altogether using a condom. If oral sex too were out of the question too, I would prefer to couple with my right hand.

The good news from condom manufacturers is that they have succeeded in creating a product that is very unlikely to break or come off during intercourse, when used as directed. There are exceptions of course. Fortunately, I have not personally had this misfortune. The bad news, as the makers of these new condoms understand, is that they dull male sensation markedly. When you wear condoms, it is as if your penis is vacuum locked in Saran Wrap. However, orgasm is only achieved through friction. A well-lubed condom will not create much friction if the condom is not designed to move across the surface of the penis during intercourse. Making the condom thinner marginally improves sensation. Ask any man who has tried unprotected sex vs. sex with a condom. Unprotected sex, providing you don’t get anyone pregnant or pick up a STD rates an A. At best, sex using a condom rates C. As a middle-aged man, I can say for us it is closer to a D or an F.

Condom manufacturers can and should do better for the male. We are no more anxious to catch or spread a sexually transmitted disease than our partner is. So help us out. We want condoms that really do improve sensation. So give us our Twisted Pleasures condoms!

According to the Salon article, there are some concerns that these new condoms are not safe enough. There are claims that they are easier to fall off or break. I say, if we can put men on the moon, we can solve these problem, that is if they are problems, which seems debatable. Latex is latex after all, and most condoms provide a death-like grip to the base of the penis. I am sure we can engineer a solution. I am confident manufacturers would find a ready set of male volunteers to, er, put these condoms through their paces.

It strikes me as win-win for everyone. Condom manufacturers can probably charge premium prices for these condoms. Men could take a lot more pleasure from intercourse with a condom. Partners will have the satisfaction that their sex is much safer. Of course, there will be fewer unplanned babies. In addition, society benefits because these condoms should reduce the transmission of STDs.

For the benefit of science, my wife and I will be glad to test them. Manufacturers: contact me.

 

2 Responses to “Needed: Better condoms”

  1. 11:48 am on March 25 2006, Karel said:

    Hey Mark.
    I do agree that condoms suck, at least as far as sensation is concerned. And when I put one on it becomes quite hard to maintain erection. Any tips for that?
    See ya!

  2. 3:49 am on April 22 2008, Sasha said:

    I found that polyurethane condoms are superior to latex condoms. They have a slightly higher chance of breakage and higher cost. However they make orgasming in a condom possible and even easy.

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