Dear Miss Meghan,
How do I choose the right condom to use? (continued from previous article)
So, in my last article, I covered female condoms, male condoms, and why they come in different colors, flavors, and sizes. So what else do you need to know about male condoms? I would cover which brands to buy, but I realize that you all are going to go with what is cheapest, and that means free from health services (or the condom fairy). In the future when you do have to pay for them, know that some novelty condoms aren’t safe. Always choose condoms that carry the European CE or Kite mark, which is a recognized safety standard. Also, check the date on the packet as condoms don’t last forever. Yes, somewhere in the world there are a few faulty condoms floating around, but odds are it is not in your box or pocket, and unless you have some super classy friends, no one is sitting around with a needle poking holes in all of your condoms.
According to anecdotes and the “best condoms” list I’ve seen, Crown and Beyond Seven typically rate the best; however you won’t find them at CVS or Target because they come from Japan so they need to be ordered online. Durex Maximum Love and Lifestyles Ultra sensitive also make the top of the list, both of which you can find here, on campus, for free in Chance Hall (also improperly referred to by you all as the Health Center).
You can also find condoms that have studs, extra lube, or are ribbed. These options do not affect the quality of the condom, so they exist mostly for the preference of the partner.
Some myths to debunk while I have your attention:
-It is NEVER a good idea to double-bag it. Two condoms at once just create friction and will tear the latex.
-Non-latex condoms are great if you are allergic to latex, but they tend to be more permeable. So they will stop sperm, but may be less effective at stopping viruses (like HIV).
-Lastly, don’t store condoms in your wallet, purse, or pocket unless you have a carrier for it. Yes, I would prefer you use a beaten up condom than no birth control at all, but they are sensitive to light, heat, and weathering so they should be stored in a cool, dry, place. No, “cool” does not mean in the refrigerator. Room temperature will be fine.
Please remember that safe sex is better sex!
Sincerely keeping it classy,