Looks like cavemen and cave women were apparently the first users of condoms, because paintings from almost 120 centuries ago, show the first evidence of humans using condoms. The oldest condoms discovered date back to the mid-17th Century. Looks like those of us who do not use condoms (unless with a monogamous, dedicated partner), are more outdated in our sexual awareness than the condoms themselves ?
This said, condoms do have a lot of myths surrounding them. People seem to find lots of excuses to not wear condoms, and have loads of condom-related questions. On our quora profile, a lot of people ask these questions in the inbox. So, we collected some questions, that are asked the most, and have answered them here.
- Condoms can have manufacturing defects
Condoms are class II medical devices. Their manufacturing is strictly regulated and they have to meet industry standards. So, no they cannot have holes and other manufacturing devices. In fact a lot of manufacturers, electronically test every condom for such defects. Additional and random leak tests are conducted from each batch and the authorities even inspect manufacturing facilities to ensure quality.
- Condoms don’t expire
They do. Just like any other medical device or even medicines, condoms also have a manufacturing date and a suitable expiry date. The expiry date has to be clearly printed on the box. So, if your chemist tries to sell you a box with no expiry date on it, you know better than to take it.
- Using two condoms is better than using one
“Double Bagging” as it is commonly called, doesn’t offer more protection. In fact, it usually renders condoms less effective. If friction happens between two condoms, it is likely that one of both of them can tear. This also means that a male condom shouldn’t be used with a female condom.
- Condoms are only for men
Nope. There are female condoms also. However, female condoms haven’t been as widely tested and used as male condoms. Also, female condoms are relatively difficult to use, in comparison to a male condom. Hence, they haven’t gained as much popularity.
- Latex Condoms are the only effective condoms
This bit’s a little tricky. Depending on how you define ‘effective’, the success of condom types varies. Typically, there are four types of condoms – latex, polyisoprene, polyurethane and lambskin. The first 3 are usually approved as medical devices and are equally effective when it comes to preventing pregnancies and STIs.
That said, latex condoms are more elastic in nature and looser-fitting. So, their chances of tearing down during ‘real’ use, are lower. That said, a lot of people may be allergic to latex. In which case, latex condoms are rendered ineffective for them.
Similarly, lambskin condoms have tiny pores. While they do not allow sperm in and hence prevent pregnancy, they do allow virus and bacteria to go through. Hence, it can cause STIs.
They do! Since penis size varies, condom size varies too and using the correct size of condoms is important. In order to be most effective, condoms have to fit properly. If one’s wearing a smaller-size of condom, it can break during the intercourse. If one is wearing a loose or a big condom, it may slip off. In either case, malfunctioning of a condom isn’t something desirable.
- Pills are good enough, why do I need Condoms?
If used properly, condoms are 98% effective against pregnancy. However, with typically how condoms are used, the efficacy is 85%. This means, 15 women get pregnant out of 100, despite their partners using condoms.
That doesn’t mean condoms are not good enough or pills are. Condoms serve as a way to prevent STIs besides preventing pregnancy. Pills cannot do that. Hence condoms are necessary. Also, there are other precautions that need to be taken. For instance,
- Just like pills condoms need to be used every single time.
- Condoms need to be worn throughout, and not be put on too late or removed too early.
- Condoms need to be worn in the proper size, based on your penis.
- Ensuring your condoms are not expired.
- Ensuring the condom isn’t punctured by jewellery or fingernails.
- Not reusing condoms.
- Ensuring that water and silicone-based lubes are used.
All this said and done, condoms are the best option humanity has when it comes to the prevention of STIs or Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
- Condoms can be harmful
Nope. Some people can be allergic to latex, or the lubricating material of the condoms. However, generally condoms should not have any negative effects on you. In case, you’re allergic to glycerine, spermicides or latex etc. you may need to do some of your research in order to find the best suitable condom for yourself. Or consult an expert to get more clarity on what to use.
- Condoms are cumbersome to use
Most people who find condoms cumbersome to use are either picking a wrong size or are trying to put it like a shower cap, rather than a hat. The best and the simplest way is to roll a condom on without inserting your fingers in it to pull it. There are even condoms that are designed in a way that you can’t put them wrong.
Usually it’s the women’s condoms that can be difficult to use, but male condoms are one of the simplest medical devices, designed to be used so far.
- Condoms are only function and lack variety
Again, no. There are dotted condoms, ridged condoms, flavoured condoms and even condoms that give tingly and warm, sensations. Most new-age condoms are designed to ensure not just the functionality but also to enhance sexual pleasure. Additionally, combine them with some nice flavoured lube and you’re all set to go.
I hope I’ve answered a lot of your questions related to condoms. If there are any other questions that you’re looking for answers to, feel free to reach out and ask. We may or may not have all the answers, but we promise to seek them out for you.
Till then, play hard, play safe!