page updated: 31-Mar-2004

I say condom like "con-dum," even though my health teacher in junior high said "con-dome" like "astrodome." More frequently I refer to them as "latex." I've never combined condoms with gel or foam or sponges or diaphragms to increase protection, but I do make a point of getting the spermicidally lubricated ones. If you want to buy spermicide separately, you can put a drop of it in the tip of the condom, but don't get the rest of the condom too slippery or it can slip right off.

I do not have a favorite brand of condom. The first ones I ever bought were Trojans, because I figured they were common enough to be an inconspicuous and informed-seeming choice. More people than me must have operated on shy systems like this. One time I ended up in the "personal hygiene" aisle of a supermarket staring at the various condom choices along with some small, balding, middle-aged guy. I picked first and ran into him later in the produce section with a matching package in his basket. Could have been coincidence except that they were some slightly odd brand in a "thin, spermicide" bonus pack (which I had switched to because my boy bought those. He isn't sure why he got onto that variety).

While I have been insecure about my choice of condoms, I am not shy about purchasing them. I don't know why. I think I am too pleased about being in a position where I have to buy them. I find that supermarkets are cheaper than drugstores, and drugstores are cheaper than convenience stores. Supermarkets are also the most impersonal purchasing outlet and tend to have the best variety.

Condoms have both come off and broken while I've been having sex, once each. Fortunately these overlapped, in that The Condom That Broke broke a week after I'd taken the morning after pill due to a condom that came off, and before I'd bled and started a new cycle. Both incidents freaked my beloved and myself out, and led to my getting over my aversion to birth control pills. I think the broken condom was due to us being quite forceful while I was not that slippery. Lubrication is important.

My beloved is the only boy I've had sex with without a condom. The first such incident was the only time I've had sex with no birth control. For some reason after The Condom That Came Off came off, and after we'd calmed down and figured out what to do about it, we thought it would be a good idea to keep having unprotected sex. This was good fun but stressed us out the next day (What if I wouldn't have gotten pregnant the first time anyway, but end up pregnant because of the next two times?).

The rest of the latex free sex has been since I've been on The Pill.

We still have condoms around as a responsible "back up method" of birth control in case I miss a pill or have to go off them. This has only been necessary once, and not because I missed a pill. Antibiotics can make birth control pills ineffective (doctors don't seem tell people this very often for some reason) so it is not a good idea to rely on pills while on them. That's on the off chance that you still feel like having sex while you have tonsilitis or an abcess or whatever.

I have never used a female condom, but they intrigue me. They seem quite involved, or maybe just large. And how do they know how long to make them? What if they end up all bunched up in shorter vaginas? Do they make crinkling sounds? I think sex with both kinds of condoms at once would be hilarious. I wonder if they would get stuck or squeak or something. I still think it is good that there are female condoms, for anyone who wants to use them or for people with latex allergies.

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