The last couple of times I have had sex, my penis was dry and burning afterwards. I always use a condom. My partner and I have been tested, so I don’t think it’s an STI. What’s wrong with me, SHIC?
—Burning Penis in Iowa
First of all, it’s great that you and your partner have been tested! While we hesitate to diagnose anyone through the S&B, one thing that could be going on here is a latex allergy. Some of the common symptoms of a latex sensitivity are itchy skin, hay fever symptoms or a rash. Latex allergies can develop over time (especially if you are allergic to chestnuts, bananas or avocados, actually!), so its possible that while you were comfortable using latex condoms in the past, they may no longer work for you. The good news is that there are plenty of widely available non-latex condoms that you can try instead! The most common non-latex condoms are made from polyurethane or polyisoprene, and are sold under the brand names Trojan Supra Bare Skin, Lifestyles Non-Latex (which we have at the SHIC, for 25¢) and Durex Avanti, among others. While there are non-latex dental dams (such as Hot Dam Non-Latex Dental Dams) available, we don’t think there is any store in town that carries them, so your best bet is probably to buy them on the Internet. Another option is to use non-microwavable plastic wrap (because microwavable plastic wrap has microscopic holes) that you can cut down to whatever side you need. Keep in mind that some sex toys (especially soft ones) may have latex in them too, so if you’re not sure about the composition of your sex toys, be sure to use a non-latex condom with them.
What are the differences between regular condoms, thin condoms and ‘extra large’ condoms? Can you give me some highly unscientific information about them?
In response to your question, our highly qualified SHIC testers (Isaac and Radhika) decided to conduct some experiments and publish our results in the S&B.
Methods: We put condoms on our hands, and felt them.
One Classic Select Condoms are 7.5 inches long, while Magnums are 8.07 inches long. However, the Magnums seem to be much stretchier and wider.
Isaac says, “I can only fit two fingers comfortably into the One Classic Select, but I can fit my entire hand, and make sock puppet motions inside the Magnum.”
Isaac put an Atlas Colors condom on one hand, and an Atlas Ultra Thin on the other hand, and said that the Ultra Thin is noticeably thinner and has better sensation. However, Radhika, when she rubbed her hand on Isaac’s hand, could not really tell the difference, but did think that the Ultra Thin had better glide. Also, the Ultra Thin broke more quickly when Isaac made jazz hands inside it.
Ribbed and Studded Condoms:
Radhika put a ribbed condom on one hand, and a studded condom on the other hand. Independent consultants Joel and Taylor said: “They both feel like what they’re supposed to”.
In conclusion, we probably can’t conclude anything from this. Come to the SHIC and try ‘em for yourself!
SHIC is having a holiday sale this month! All condoms (including non-latex condoms!) are 5/ $1, so stop by the SHIC to stock up for winter break!