Condom Types and Styles to Explore

Picking out condoms can be a fun experience. But with so many condom types on the market, how do you choose between them? An important thing to consider is whether or not you plan to use the condom as contraception or if you are just want to use it for sex play. If you need a condom for pregnancy or STD protection, make sure to read the condom label to see if it is approved by the FDA for those purposes. Also, check the expiration date to ensure that the condom is still safe to use. Here are some of the different types of condoms available.

1

Glow-in-the-dark condoms are playful. Most brands are also FDA-approved to help prevent pregnancy and STDs. You expose the condom to light for at least 30 seconds before putting it on so it is able to glow. They are usually non-toxic and made in three layers. The inner and the outer layer consist of regular latex while the third layer contains a safe pigment that begins to glow and is sealed between the two ​​latex layers. This type of condom makes for a fun surprise.

2

Many condom brands claim that their condoms have great flavors and tantalizing aromas. The flavor may be contained in the lubricant or coated on the condom. You'll find flavors such as mint, grape, orange, banana, strawberry, bubblegum, chocolate, vanilla, bacon, and cola. Sometimes they are colored to match the flavor, with yellow for banana and red for strawberry. 

These types of condoms are meant to add a dimension to oral sex, and many of the condom brands are also FDA-approved for strength and protection. If you are planning to use these condoms for vaginal sex, make sure they are sugar-free—sugar flavored condoms can throw off the pH in the vagina, which can increase the risk of yeast infections.

3

You've probably heard the advertising expression, "ribbed for her pleasure." These types of condom are shaped and textured to increase pleasure for either the female, the male, or both of the partners (depending on where the raised studs and ribs are).

Some of these condoms have two sections of ribs, on the top and at the base, which adds stimulation in just the right place for females. Others contain hundreds of raised studs on the outside for female satisfaction or on the inside to enhance male enjoyment.

These condom types are sometimes marketed for mutual pleasure. Those varieties tend to be wider, have bulb-like tips, and a more contoured shape. This increases male comfort and allows nerve endings to remain in their most sensitive state, adding significantly more male pleasure. Make sure to check for FDA approval.

4

Warming condoms tend to be made of thinner latex to help heighten sensation. They usually contain a warming lubricant that is activated by natural body moisture, heating up during sexual intercourse. The gentle, warm sensations aim to enhance pleasure for both partners.

5

The idea behind pleasure-shaped condoms is that they tend to be looser with enlarged, pouch-like tips. The wider tips of this condom type allow for more friction because the extra latex stimulates the nerve endings at the tip of the penis.

Some, like Trojan Twisted, also introduce a winding, twisting shape that allows for more vigorous action. This type of design stimulates nerve endings and heightens sensitivity for both women and men.

6

Condoms are available in almost every color. You can even find tri-colored condoms that feature the national colors of countries, such as America, France, Spain, Russia, and Italy. Dual-color condoms are also available, which may be fun to use during the holidays—like black and orange for Halloween, red and green for Christmas, and pink and red for your Valentine.

Many of the colored types of condoms are FDA-approved for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, so make sure to read the label on the condom.

7

Sensis Condoms (lubricated and made of latex) represent the first new FDA-approved condom technology in over 50 years. These condoms have QuickStrips—which work very much like the pull-off tabs on a band-aid. They help you put on the condom, avoiding a common pitfall that can lead to condom failure.​​

When the Sensis condom is taken out of its foil package, the ridged ends of the pull-down strips are uncovered on the top side of the condom. You can then feel for these ridges. By holding the QuikStrips, you can pull down the condom and quickly and correctly put it on (then discard of the strips).

They are available in thin and micro-dot ribbed option, which has a contoured shape (for a comfortable fit) and dots/bumps and ribbed rings to provide pleasure to both men and women.

8

Mint condoms are invigorating. LifeStyles brand offers Kiss of Mint, a non-lubricated condom coated with a powder that provides a sweet spearmint taste. Trustex Mint condoms are green and are made of a sugar-free formula. Mint condoms are a favorite for safe oral sex and they are also FDA-approved for pregnancy protection. These condoms tend to be a little bit wider than average and have a flared, reservoir tip (it balloons out a bit) which allows for heightened male sensation.

9
French Ticklers

Tickler condoms either have a soft rubber tickler tip or are made of soft jelly. They come in various styles with nodules, nubs, and ridges and shapes that provide stimulation by "tickling" the inner walls of the vagina.

As they are novelty condoms, they do not provide prevention of pregnancy or disease. They might be used by couples where the woman is using a hormonal or permanent birth control method. If not, a man can wear a regular condom underneath the tickler to ensure pregnancy protection.

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Tingling pleasure condoms are formulated to provide an intensifying, tingling experience for both partners. Durex's Tingle brand contains a safe spearmint tingling lubricant as well as a minty scent.

11

Edible condoms usually come in packs of four and are available in a variety of flavors. The condom is rolled on, and then can be eaten off. Edible condoms are for novelty use only—they do not provide any type of protection against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.

A Word From Verywell

You can be playful in choosing a condom while also protecting yourself and your partner. Whether you're buying them for your partner or yourself, you have more choices than ever before. Be sure to check whether it is FDA-approved for protection against pregnancy or STDs as needed.

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