Condoms and other safer sex barriers, such as dams, gloves and finger cots, reduce the risk of sharing bodily fluids, which helps to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Using condoms also reduces the risk of unwanted pregnancies.
Don’t forget to use lube to prevent uncomfortable friction and to reduce the risk of condom breakage!
Most brands of condom are made from latex. But not all latex is made equal. Higher quality latex is stronger and doesn’t have a super strong latex smell like inferior quality latex.
For people with latex sensitivities or allergies, or for people just looking to try something different, there are condoms made from polyurethane or other non-latex plastics. Besides being latex-free, these materials are quite thin and transmit body heat well. They aren’t as stretchy as latex, however, so be sure to use extra lube. The big disadvantage of these plastic derivatives is the environmental impact. Their production releases some very toxic chemicals into the atmosphere and they are 100% non-biodegradable.
Condoms come in a huge variety of sizes, shapes, textures and flavours. And you can often buy them in singles so that you can try out different kinds until you find the one that’s right for you (and for whomever you might be playing with!)
Some condoms are lubed and others are not. It’s possible that lube affects the degree of biodegradability of condoms (as do the additives often used during manufacturing). But condoms are less likely to break when used in combination with lube. So lube it up! Because the environmental impact of a few condoms in landfills is pretty minimal compared to the burden of yet another human being on the planet.
Some condom tips …
- Oil breaks down latex, so don’t use oil-based products on or near your latex condoms (or other latex barriers).
- Cover porous sex toys with condoms to keep them cleaner.
- Use condoms with your toys if you’re sharing them.
- Use different condoms for different holes and partners.
- Never reuse a condom
- Never “double-up” on a condom. The friction caused by the two condoms rubbing together can cause tearing.
- Extreme temperatures (hot and cold) break down latex. So store condoms in a cool, dry place.
- Cut the tip off a condom and then make another cut right up the middle so that you have a flat rectangle. Voila! You have a DIY dental dam for cunnilingus or anal rimming.
Most condoms are manufactured using a milk protein called Casein and are often lubricated with lube containing animal glycerin. These ingredients (as well as all other additives) aren’t indicated anywhere on condom packaging. As far as we know, the brands that we sell at Other Nature (Glyde and RFSU) are vegan-friendly.
These are thin squares of latex or polyurethane, commonly used as barriers for cunnilingus and anal rimming. Simply apply lube to the interior side of the dam, lay it on the desired body part, hold it in place, and lick!
These barriers, normally made of latex or nitrile, can be used for all types of handjobs. They’re great for smoothing out jagged nails, scratchy callouses, long fingernails or other rough spots or cuts (dry skin anyone?) on hands and fingers. They can protect both the hands from infected genitals and the genitals from bacteria-laden hands. Another practical reason for using gloves is to prevent the transfer of bacteria from one hole to another without ruining your sex rhythm with a mid-boink-hand-washing-session. For example, the bacteria in the ass should never mix with the vagina or mouth, so when switching holes, simply take one glove off and put on another.