Let’s talk sex. Just like tummy issues, it’s something people don’t love to talk about out in the public?…so leave it to me to fill in the blanks and answer any questions here, because clearly I have no filter here.
When I went off hormonal birth control (I was on the pill — ortho tri cycle lo to be exact), the most commonly asked question I got was: “what are you using for birth control?”
To be honest, first I had ZERO libido and my relationship was falling apart (for reasons other than my lack of sex drive) and then I broke up with my then boyfriend and wasn’t sleeping with anyone. However, this single lady who wasn’t sleeping with anyone told everyone condoms…because if I had been being sexually active that’s what I would have been using. This tailspun me into a funny spot. Because if I had been using condoms, I would have wanted them to be non-toxic and totally vagina-safe. So naturally, I figured I had to set off on a mission to find the worlds best, safest condom. Because if you’re not putting nasties in your mouth, why would you put them up your vagine? This lady wouldn’t dare.
The funny part about this entire experiment. It was a forcing mechanism for me to get out there and date. Because, well, it takes two to tango…and also to test a condom.
BUT before I got testing, I had to do my research. Let me tell you, my mind was BLOWN when I started digging and I think yours is about to be, too. Below are the some shocking ingredients that can be found in condoms (note, these aren’t listed on the package because it’s not required by the FDA, you have to do your own research).
This was seriously horrifying to me as a lady with a severe dairy allergy. If you’re not allergic to the protein in dairy, like I am and not a vegan, I guess it’s not such a big deal — more so just a little weird. If you were wondering, casein is often added to non-vegan latex condoms to make them smoother, but they can technically cause allergic reaction in those with dairy allergies and obviously ethical issues for vegans.
This is a spermicidal that is really good at killing a good portion of STIs (cool), but is also really good at causing inflammation in the cervix, vagina, and rectum. These inflammatory reactions are linked to an increased risk of UTIs. Apparently Trojan (who uses this ingredient in a decent amount of their products) goes so far as to say use of condoms with this ingredient should not be used for vaginal intercourse more than once-per day…though most brands don’t warn the consumer at all.
We already know about these guys, they hide in beauty and home products and can screw with our hormones. Do we want these anywhere near us, let alone in us? I don’t think so.
This is technically a sugar alcohol that’s often an ingredient in lubricant used on condoms. Though they’re made to be “fun,” they can actually increase STI risk by promoting the growth of yeast. Not to mention, if they’re left in too long it can transform into sugar and throw off the PH of your vagina…not fun if you ask me.
Do you know what this is? I didn’t. It’s a topical anesthetic used in some condoms to decrease sensitivity and increase comfort during the deed. Common side effects include localized inflammation, irritation, and dryness. Also, it’s easily absorbed through the skin and has the potential to cause dizziness, rapid heartbeat, and breathing trouble. These instances are very rare, but as an HSP, I never want to find this out. FYI trojan extended pleasure, trojan double ecstasy, and duress performax all include this benzocaine or lidocaine.
Now that we have that knowledge under our belts, let’s talk actual condoms, because I know that’s what you’re here for. I obviously had to try them myself, get reviews from multiple guys (judgement free zone people — I had to get the real scoop on these for you // multiple shapes and sizes, let’s be real), and to make sure I had enough variety of trial and opinion, I also handed them out to some friends for their review.
READ FOR UNBIASED REVIEWS!
ingredients: natural latex, cornstarch powder, silicone lubricant
Aesthetic: 4.5 (I love, but some men don’t loved that the packaging was thicker* a.k.a. doesn’t fit in their wallet — but if we’re being real and informative, let’s set the record straight, CONDOMS DON’T BELONG IN WALLETS)
Feel for her: 4
Feel for him: 4
Overall comfort: 4
OVERALL SCORE: 4.4
I love that they sell a package with lube, condoms, a vibrator, and pourable candle. P.S. the vibrator ROCKS and it will rock your wold quite efficiently.
A note on the condom. Though it fits all (large and small, it was put to the test), most average sized men felt it ran small (aka smaller than a trojan ultra thin if we need a comparison)
UPDATE - SO BEING SAD TO SAY THAT THIS IS L. DISCONTINUED THEIR CONDOM LINE.
THIS IS L.
ingredients: reduced protein count latex, dimethicone (hypoallergenic body-safe silicone-based lubricant
Feel for her: 5
Feel for him: 4.5 (ultra thins got a 5, large size got a 3-4)
Overall comfort: 5
OVERALL SCORE: 4.9
Their ultra thin rivaled trojan and the response from most men was that they didn’t notice a difference (that’s the best possible response you could ask for). On my end, I love it. Lubrication is great, smell isn’t there, and yes you can feel it (it’s a condom), but it certainly doesn’t get in the way of anything. SO total bummer, but I will be sticking with Maude.
ingredients: natural rubber latex, cornstarch powder, silicone oil
Feel for her: 3
Feel for him: 2 (only one size available + not versatile)
Overall comfort: 2
OVERALL SCORE: 3.1
Wanted to like these because I was an OG Lola tampon fan (I’ve since switched to a menstrual cup)…but these fall flat every time. I’ve heard from men that they’re uncomfortable — the fit seems fine which leads me to believe it’s a texture thing. I’d totally by that because on my end the lubrication factor just is not up to par and something is just off about it.
ingredients: is made of natural latex, doesn’t contain a spermicide, is vegan, and contains a silicone based lubricant
Feel for her: 5
Feel for him: 4 (comes in two sizes - both same thickness!)
Overall comfort: 5
OVERALL SCORE: 4.8*
This one I have mixed feelings about. I was told that it felt too flimsy, but that’s because they “redesigned the condom,” so yes it does feel different than a normal condom. I personally think it’s fab, but am TOTALLY weirded out that I’ve contacted the brand multiple times and STILL don’t have an official ingredients list — I only know what’s NOT in it. ALSO, a sex blogger brought up the fact that it’s “re-engineered” means that when it breaks, it breaks differently. Read here to fully inform yourself and make your own decision. Since I’m a crazy hypochondriac, even though it scored high, I probably won’t be using it again for this reason.
Ingredients: natural Latex, ammonia, potassium oleate, potassium hydroxide, emulgin B2/vulcastab, lwvultamol, sulphur, zinc oxide, zinc di butyl di thio carbamate, irganox 1330, bentonite clay, silicone lubricant, calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate powders
Feel for her: 2
Feel for him: 2 (comes in four sizes - tapered, normal ultra thin, large comfort fit, extra large)
Overall comfort: 2
OVERALL SCORE: 2.3
UGH is all I have to say about these. Cool that it comes in four sizes, but if we’re being honest they all SUCK and not in a good way (insert smirky face). Don’t waste your time here.
ingredients: all natural rubber latex tapped freshly (80.17%), silicone oil, a hypo-allergenic, long-lasting lubricant of the highest grade (18.12%), corn starch & magnesium carbonate powder aka a natural material taken from corn kernels & an inorganic salt (1.71%)
Aesthetic: 2 (caters to the pre-teen ladies except not)
Feel for her: 4
Feel for him: 4 (comes in only one size, though that one size is a bit larger than “normal")
Overall comfort: 4
OVERALL SCORE: 4
This one is kind of a crap shoot. I’m one for honestly, so here goes nothing — I was only sent three. I gave one to a friend leaving me with two. One didn’t make it inside me (the guy hated it upon first feel and I had multiple option on me, so we moved onto the next - yes this became a game), the second was with someone else and that’s what the rating above is from. He had no opposition to it, but preferred a trojan. I will test again for your sake and update. Promise.
One more note! In case you forgot, I have a corn allergy. Luckily, this hasn’t posed a problem on my skin or in my vagina (i also use face products and natural deodorant with corn derived ingredients without a problem) — it’s purely ingesting corn that’s my issue. However, for those who do have severe corn issues, it is important to note that many of these brands use cornstarch powder so that the condom doesn’t stick to itself in the wrapper. It’s noted on the ingredient list (minus hex because they kind of suck).
PROMO CODE FOR MAUDE: NOWHEYLADY (gets you $5 off your order — that’s basically 5 free condoms — you’re welcome!)
Also, I took one for the team after trying all of the above and used a trojan a couple times (magnum and ultra thin). Trojan uses quite a few of the no no ingredients in a lot of their products, but their ultra thin and magnums aren’t horrible ingredient wise. BUT, let me tell you. I actually wasn’t into it, especially the magnum. Not because of the condom itself but because of the smell. It was horrid and I just couldn’t even get into it. It was all I could focus on. So if // when a guy tells you he likes his trojan condoms better than what you’re bringing to the table (well in this case bed…or maybe table! haha!), you can have him do a smell test. Guaranteed any of these will win against one of those in a smell test.
Do you have a favorite condom or any questions about non-hormonal birth control? Tell me // ask away below or reach out to me on instagram @nowheylady !