In Search of Smaller Condoms
The basic issue remains the same: Condoms are not one-size-fits-all, and it’s a disservice to those who use them if sex educators pretend otherwise. Discomfort with condoms can discourage people from using them, and ill-fitting condoms are more likely to slip off, roll off or break, which defeats their purpose.
Because of our porn-fueled cultural bias towards “bigger is better,” when it comes to penises, it can be even more difficult than usual for those with smaller penises to talk about fit-related issues and ask for condoms that suit them. There has been a trend recently for health clinics to give away larger condoms in addition to standard ones, and you can usually find plus-size prophylactics in drugstores. It’s much more difficult to get smaller condoms.
Take it from someone who owns a sex toy store: the “bigger is better” trope is a myth. We sell many sizes of dildos and other toys used to penetrate various orifices. When buying a sex toy, the user is able to select the perfect size for them. In my store, larger toys definitely do NOT outsell smaller ones. Some of our most popular dildos are 4 inches to 5 inches long and 1 inch to 1.25 inches in diameter, slightly smaller than the average human penis.
I’m not saying size doesn’t matter. It does. But different people like different sizes. Everyone’s body is unique, and a dick or dildo that feels pleasurable to one person may be painful to another. I get quite a few questions when I’m in the store from people whose partner’s penis causes them discomfort because of its large size.
I mention the “bigger is better” myth because I hope that it helps people who need smaller condoms feel comfortable asking for them. Several companies make condoms that are specifically labeled as being a smaller size, such as Glyde Slimfit (which is also vegan, by the way) and LifeStyles Snugger Fit. Even if they are not labeled as being smaller, some manufacturers’ standard sizes are smaller than others. I often recommend Beyond Seven or Kimono condoms to people who are looking for a smaller-than-average fit.
Every penis is different, so try several of these brands to see what works for you. If you find that condoms slip off because they’re too wide but you like the feel of them otherwise, you can also try placing a stretchy cock ring at the base of the penis over a condom to help hold it on.
Laura Anne Stuart has a master’s degree in public health and has worked as a sexuality educator for more than a decade. She owns the Tool Shed, an erotic boutique on Milwaukee’s East Side. During her time off to focus on Tool Shed, the Shepherd Express will be running the best of her advice columns from previous years.