Some benefits of condom use are universal. However, there are some cultures and religions that frown or ban the use of condoms, so in their opinion everything would be derogatory. Just about anyone who has access to any historical information knows that the Catholic Church has banned any kind of birth control except the rhythm method for centuries. Yet recently Pope Francis has approved the use of condoms to protect pregnant women from the Zika virus. This shows his soft heart towards all children, healthy or not – especially children of poor populations.
In South Africa it is well-known that condoms help stop the spread of AIDS and HIV. The country has a high level of infected people. However, there are powerful emotions and mores in play. This is a culture where women are still subservient to men and have no power, even over their reproductive systems. According to several studies only loose women want a man to use a condom. A husband or partner who is asked to use a condom will feel no trust for the woman. If she trusts him, she will not ask for protection.
Men regard women who insist on a condom use a threat to their masculinity and are usurping their power. Some women feel the need to abstain from sex all together since the men will not comply with their mission to remain disease-free. In a marriage men see themselves as a traditional head of the household where women are unequal. A wife’s request for a condom robs him of his rights.
Another recent study showed that 43% of men and 35% of women stated that using a condom meant you did not trust your partner. The reasoning is a reversal of the ideology of many other nations. While the couples are engaging in unsafe sex, in their minds they are engaging in a sexual act that binds the women with the men in mutual trust, love and fidelity. The men seem to ignore that they can give them women a disease – or they could get one themselves.
As an editorial note it would seem that education on and the distribution of the female condom could solve many of these issues.
There are some regions of India where the purchase and use of condoms is an embarrassment. Young men are especially timid about purchasing them, even though the law says that anyone over 18 can buy them. A woman walking into a store to make a purchase is extremely rare.
How do You define Your Condom?
It does not take a Connoisseur to know that condoms come in different shapes, sizes, materials, flavors, lubed and un-lubed, and with and without spermicides. There are also climax delay condoms for men. When you are searching for the real pros and cons of a condom, you have to define which one specifically.
As a group, condoms are the number three method of birth control. When used a directed they are over 85% effective. When used every time as directed the efficiency moves up to 97%. They become a little more effective if the condom has a spermicidal lube. But that has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Condoms are designed to protect the wearer and partner from being exposed to STIs and STDs. Other than abstinence it is the best method of safe sex. They are readily available in supermarkets, drug stores, bars, restaurants, health clinics and many other locations. No prescription is needed. If you want one, you can find one. Typically, a condom for everyday use is relatively inexpensive. Even those who cannot afford the small price can generally get a supply at their local health department or Planned Parenthood location.
It would seem that every man knows how to use a condom, but sometimes there are those who need just a bit of ‘formal’ education. While they are easy to roll on, they must be removed right away while the penis is still enlarged or else there could be leakage when it slips off. Many couples like to remain linked during post-coital bliss, but proper removal is a must. It is best to hold it in place at the base of the penis before withdrawing from your partner.
Condoms should always be stored in a cool, dry place. Do not keep one in your wallet for weeks and expect it to be worry-free. Latex condoms especially do not respond to heat very well and may weaken. Always squeeze the air out of the tip of the condom which leaves room for ejaculate.
Do not try to re-use a condom. They cannot be washed out and used again. Be careful when opening the foil. Do not use your teeth or fingernails to get it open. You could tear the condom and this would come under the classification of a disaster, especially if it was your only one. And before you go out the door, check the expiration date.
All condoms can break, tear or slip off. Sometimes they tear during sex and the couple is not aware of it. According to the Mayo Clinic two out of 100 of all types of condoms will break. Some couples who have not tried the textured condoms say they interfere with sensitivity. Also, no matter which type condom is your choice, some say it interrupts the spontaneity of the moment to have to back off and place one on
Let’s talk Latex
At this time the majority of condoms sold are latex. This is due to several factors. Latex was the material of the first mass-produced condom. It is the original. Many men have grown from teens to their golden years relying on them and are reluctant to try something new. Also, latex is one of the least expensive condoms on the market.
Manufacturers have perfected the latex condom so now it is available in various sizes, shapes, colors. Flavors, textures, lubed and un-lubed. They also are available in climax. To give the true pros and cons of each choice would take an epistle. But we can give many of the positives and negatives that users have expressed.
- Other than abstinence a condom is the best protection against infections and diseases including HPV and HIV.
- Condoms can protect against diseases during oral and anal sex in addition to vaginal sex.
- Latex condoms work with all water-based lubricants.
- Latex condoms are relatively inexpensive. Because the cost is small, they are the condoms of choice for those institutions and organizations that provide condoms to those who take advantage of their services or otherwise cannot afford them.
- Latex condoms can be found everywhere
- Latex condoms can be up to 97% effective in preventing pregnancy when used as directed every time the couple has sex.
- A latex condom is easy to use. The first few times a teen may roll one on may feel cumbersome and embarrassing. However, like most things in life, practice makes perfect.
- Latex condoms come in a multitude of shapes, sizes, colors, textures, flavors and special lubes. This includes those with spermicide and those that delay climax for the man.
- They are not artificial chemicals that are ingested into a woman’s body. She will not realize any hormonal changes nor is she putting herself at risk for blood clots, stroke and other side effects of the birth control pill.
- Because there is a thin layer of latex between the man and woman, a latex condom could help a man last longer without any medications or inclusions into the condom itself.
- If the wrong size is worn, if it is past the expiration date, if the wrong extra lube is used, or the couple engages in extremely vigorous mating, the condom can break or tear. Also tearing the condom packet open with teeth or fingernails can place a tear in it.
- Some couples believe they interfere with the excitement of foreplay. It is an interruption. However, couples can learn to use this time as part of foreplay and the act will intensify the anticipation.
- There are members of both sexes who say that a condom interferes with sensitivity. There is nothing like bareback. Latex condom companies have poured millions of dollars and years of research in developing textures condoms that increase sensitivity beyond the bareback stage. There are options with ribs, dots and nubs. There are condoms with warming properties for him and for her. Nothing is the same feeling as skin on skin, but there may be an even better choice.
- Latex condoms that have a spermicide, like spermicide Nonoxynol-9, can irritate the woman. Another option may be to purchase a different spermicidal lube that does not cause irritations and use it with a non-lubed latex condom.
- Probably the largest complaint about latex condoms comes from those with latex allergies. The novice may ask how they can tell they are having a reaction. The symptoms are immediate.
- 1.The most common complaint is a burning sensation. If this is the only symptom it may be caused by latex or the lube. The burning can be felt on the penis, in the vagina or any skin that has come in contact with the condom.
- 2.If you develop a rash within eight hours of using a latex condom you could very well have a sensitivity. As with any rash it can be mild or moderate and it can appear red or pink. Sometimes they itch and flake, other times they do not.
- 3.Without a doubt the most embarrassing allergy comes with itching and the itch can be anywhere the condom has made contact. For the man it can be his entire penis and even close to the groin. Women on the other hand can have an itch within the vagina, or around the vagina, labia and vulva. If you have used the latex condom for oral sex, your lips, tongue and throat may itch.
- 4.If you continue to use latex condoms even if you know you have sensitivities, the allergy may be able to build and develop into blisters. Unfortunately these blisters can occur in any area we have mentioned previously. Most of the time they will look like blisters you have gotten on your feet from wearing new shoes. They will appear water-filled. It is important that you do not try to break them. If you do the content of the blister can spread to other areas.
- 5.The absolute worse reaction is anaphylaxis. This is the same reaction that individuals suffer when they are allergic to peanuts/peanut butter, bee strings and other life-threatening allergies. If you notice shortness of breath (not from sexual exertion), trouble breathing as if you were having an asthma attack, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat you must seek help immediately. There is no time to wait and see what happens. Sooner rather than later your throat will swell and you will not be able to breathe at all. You will die. Chest pains can also occur.
What if you have Latex Sensitivity?
For those who have latex sensitivity, you have several options. The first option is the condom made from polyurethane. This is actually a clear, thin piece of plastic. As a general rule they are not as tight as a latex condom and can be thinner and stronger than their latex cousins. They have undergone the same rigorous testing by government agencies and have the same level of protection against pregnancy and disease.
- Since they transmit heat better than latex, they can be more pleasurable.
- Of course, they protect from unwanted pregnancy and HIV.
- Polyurethane condoms are available in both male and female versions.
- Both water-based and oil-based lubes are acceptable.
- Polyurethane condoms are more expensive than latex condoms
- While they are thinner than latex condoms, they do not stretch as well. This means they can slip off during sex if the fit is not perfect. To keep them from breaking you can use some added lube.
Some men will tell you that lambskin condoms are the best thing since sliced bread. They have been used for generations and are probably the most expensive condom you can buy. This is because they are actually made from part of a sheep’s intestine.
This casing is malleable and men swear they cannot tell they are wearing a condom. They are a great alternative for couples who are allergic to latex and do not want a pregnancy. The number one ‘problem’ with skins is that they do not prevent disease. The lamb’s intestine is (was) a living thing. It has tiny holes in the skin. Sperm is much thicker than viruses and bacteria, so sperm will not permeate the skin and be transferred to another person. The bacteria and viruses will.
Without a doubt there are pros and cons of condom use. The pros outweigh the cons, especially if you are concerned about your health and that of your partner.