Statistics out there about condom use is scary. The National Library of Medicine conducted several reports on usage and perception of condoms, and found some alarming data, like the fact that young men think stealthing, the act of deceiving a partner into believing they’re wearing a condom, is OK when it’s not. One report showed that many people fear simply suggesting they use a condom in their relationship could mean the end of the relationship. Another report showed that only 17 percent of sexually active adults in the U.S. who have multiple sexual partners use condoms. While some of this information carries implications that are deeply troubling, it does all point to one fact: a lot of people don’t really like using condoms.
It’s unfortunate that there’s a negative attitude about condoms because, overall, they’re one of the best forms of birth control. They don’t introduce hormones into the body the way s pill, patch or shot does. They’re highly affordable. They protect against both pregnancy and STDs and are one of the only forms of birth control that does both. Options like the pill and IUD only protect against pregnancy. So the very fact that people are willing to put so much at risk to avoid using condoms might mean condoms just aren’t made right—for them. For this reason, many innovators have worked to change that. If you want condoms to be your primary form of birth control but don’t want the experience of sex to be diminished, try some of these barely-there-feeling condoms.
These are admittedly some fancy looking condoms. But that hexagonal design isn’t just for looks – it allows the condom to be ultra-thin while still being highly tear-resistant. The condom is textured on the inside and the design makes it so that the condom sits very closely to the skin, enhancing that feeling of intimacy. Its unique hexagonal print prevents slippage, too, increasing its efficacy. The condoms are lubricated with an odor-less lubricant, so you can avoid that chemical smell that infiltrates the room when you open other condoms. At just 0.045 millimeters of thickness, these feel like there’s nothing there.
One of the thinnest condoms developed by Durex (we’ll get to their thinnest next), these boast a 0.045 millimeter thickness and are made from 100 percent natural rubber. If you can’t stand the look of regular condoms, the good news is that these are transparent, so it doesn’t even look like anything is there. Each condom has been electronically tested to ensure efficacy and is lubricated with a neutral-smelling lubricant. They have straight walls and a reservoir tip and are designed to be easy to put on. Many couples who typically report hating condoms say that they actually don’t mind when using these.
These are Durex’s thinnest condoms to date. Between the barely-there feel, transparent aesthetic and right-side-up packaging for easy use, these condoms make the process of putting on and wearing a condom pretty seamless, so nothing should interrupt the flow of things. Each condom is lubricated with a low odor lube and has been electronically tested to ensure strength. They’re made with natural rubber and have a reservoir tip.
GLYDE Ultra Thin
If you want your body and conscience to feel good about your condom choice, look into GLYDE condoms. They’ve been certified ethical and vegan by the Vegan Society, are made with non-GMO fair trade rubber and are ideal for users who are particular about what they put in and on their bodies. They have a thickness of just over 0.058 millimeters, are lightly lubricated and have a barely noticeable odor. These condoms are available in a medium fit and slim fit and each packet is stored inside of a handy re-sealable bag.
Sustain Ultra Thin
These condoms are produced by the Grove Collaborative, a company focused on sustainable and ethical household items ranging in everything from cleaners to beauty products to condoms. They’re verified vegan and gluten-free, and a percentage of each sale goes to women’s health initiative programs. Their biggest selling point is that they are free of nitrosamines – chemicals found in many other condoms that might increase one’s chances of cancer when exposure reaches certain levels. You can read more about that on the FDA’s website. Of course, Grove understands the priority is pleasure, which is why their condoms have a barely-there 0.055 millimeter thickness.
Those who have a sensitivity to latex can try SKYN’s Elite condoms, made with a latex-free material that’s just as strong as latex but hugs the curves of the member a way latex doesn’t. With a 0.05 millimeter thickness, these are 15 percent thinner than SKYN’s original condoms and offer a barely-there sensation to up the intimacy. They contain a silky smooth lubricant and have a straight shape with a reservoir tip, plus they are odor-free.
Made ultra-thin to transmit body heat, these condoms have such an authentic skin-on-skin feel that some users report having to make sure the condom is even there. These are a good alternative to latex condoms for those with a latex sensitivity because they’re made with lamb cecum – which is located at the beginning of a lamb’s intestine (the term lamb “skin” is misleading). They have a tapered shape and a water-based lubricant, which also makes them good for those who have a sensitivity to the silicone-based lube found in many other condoms.
For the, eh-em, gifted gentleman out there, there are larger condoms that feel barely there. With a contoured shape, these are comfortable to wear and create a skin-on-skin feel. They’re made of latex and have a silky smooth lubricant. Featuring a flared end and reservoir tip, they should ensure a safe and effective finish. They’re the thinnest of the large condoms offered by Trojan, and each condom is electronically tested to ensure durability.
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