I am picky about my condoms, and have every right to be. A condom embraces your genitals, lovingly protecting them from pregnancy, a number of STIs and maybe even a little ball sweat. Condoms and other barriers provide so much more than protection; they provide peace of mind. Companies are always trying to come up with ways to change and improve the classic condom, whether that is with a new material, a new applicator, or a new way to magnificently embarrass your entire brand. Some condom makers are doing awesome things. Glyde Condoms are vegan, fair trade, have different sizes, and use high-quality lube. This is the closest to my ideal condom-seller I’ve seen, but still, one can have dreams: dreams of a shiny, beautiful, perfect condom company.
My ideal condom is an untextured, unlubricated, external condom made of non-latex in a size medium to fit my partner. Isn’t that specific? Obviously, everyone has a preferred type of plasticky barrier. Some prefer “in” condoms (sometimes know as female condoms), some prefer water-based lubrication, some would like some texture, and of course not everyone will be the same size! There are so many condom companies, collectively offering so many types of condoms with so many types of lubricant in so many sizes and textures. Although awesome shops like Lucky Bloke provide a large assortment of different brands, there isn’t one company that offers a perfect variety of protective genital wear. Every person has their own different tastes and needs for what kind of barrier they place on their bits, so maybe everyone should have a custom condom of sorts. My ideal barrier company would be like build-a-bear, but for condoms.
Purchasing these would be like building the barrier of your dreams. Either peruse the site, or click through a series of selections to pick each aspect of your condom. Each component lets you be as picky as you want or need to be, and just with the sample selection here, there are about 90 combinations for your perfect condom.
First selection: Type of barrier
For this choice, you would pick an “in” condom (A condom that goes inside the vagina), an external condom (the normal type of condom that goes over a penis), or a dam. I think in-condoms (like the FC2) are pretty neat and would love to see them become more mainstream. Protection is important no matter what genitals you sport or activities you do, and it would be great to see a company cater to the needs of more varying sex acts. Even seeing these options as the first thing someone clicks on can tune them into types of sex other than penetration, and ways to protect yourself from STIs that might come from them. It’s effortless sex-ed!
Second Sub-Selection: Size
It’s great to see some condom companies beginning to deal with this issue. I too once touted the myth “Since condoms can stretch over your head, they can fit any penis!”. Condoms can definitely be too loose or too tight. Not only can this be very uncomfortable for the wearer, but an improper fit can reduce the condom’s effectiveness by increasing the risk of breaking or slipping off. I’d like to see condoms offered in at least three sizes, perhaps labeled “A”, “B”, and “C” so as not to hurt some feelings about having to buy a “small” condom (Yay masculinity!). Some discourse on penis-positivity here would also be awesome.
Third Selection: Material
Latex is the classic condom material, but more types of genital-encompassing stuff are showing up on the market. Resin, polyurethane, nitrile, lamb intestine, and polyisoprene condoms all exist and are all pretty nifty. So many people are allergic to or just irritated by latex, and personally I think non-latex condoms tend to feel nicer. This company of my dreams would probably only start with Latex, polyisoprene, and maybe nitrile condoms, but who knows what they could experiment with!
Fourth Selection: Lubrication
Lubrication is possibly the thing I loathe most about condoms. Most are coated in low-quality silicone lube. I hate silicone lube. I hate how it feels, the mess it makes, and its incompatibility with silicone toys. That being said, many people love silicone lube. To get more general, though, the icky ingredient-filled lube on many condoms irritates my bits. I’m left with itchy genitals and the bad kind of post-sex squirming. An ideal company would partner with one or a few trusted lube brands to offer multiple types of body-safe slipperiness. I think the obvious choice would be Sliquid for their diverse offering. From Sliquid alone you can get pretty much any type: water-based, water-based thick, silicone, hybrid, coconut oil based, warming, and flavored. The only other lube I might add to that is pure coconut oil on compatible materials like nitrile.
Fifth Bonus Selection: The Fun Stuff.
If that wasn’t enough choice, here there would be a little selection of various fun stuff, like the classic “ribbed for her pleasure” textures. I don’t think these would fit into the flowchart, and would instead be little bonus ones you can purchase separately. One could have ridges, one with bumps, some cool colors, glow in the dark, and the handiest-dandiest little thing I can think of (even though I don’t know if it would be possible) patterns! Imagine looking down at a pretty floral condom on your femmed-out penis! So fucking cute! Or using a condom that has a mustard and ketchup print along the top, and buns on the sides so your dick looks like a hot dog? Hilarious. Man these would all be nifty. No one could ever say “man, I hate condoms” when your dick is wearing a little ballpark frank costume. It would truly give meaning to the slang term “porking”.
I think it would be handy for each condom to be sold separately, with discounts for larger purchases. That way, you wouldn’t have to commit to buying a whole box of condoms you aren’t sure you’ll like. For example, a single condom could be $0.60, but a five-pack of the same kind could be $2.75. Maybe each condom could have a nifty little applicator thing like Wingman condoms do. For a higher price than regular condoms for bodies, it would be cool to see custom toy covers offered. You could send in the dimensions of a favorite sex toy, and they would make some nice little toy covers out of the material of your choice!
In addition to the various barriers, They would totally have some neato-cheeto sex positive gear. Classic stuff like T-shirts or condom holders would be nice, but mini “Sex on the go” kits with a variety of condoms, lube packets, wipes, and maybe some mints in a little bag like those at Lucky Bloke would also be rad. They would also carry discounted “surprise me” variety packs of condoms, a kit to find your condom size, full-size bottles of lube as well as sample packs like Sliquid’s Lube Cubes, and maybe some low-price but body safe sex toys like Tenga Eggs or mini vibrators like the ”Smartvibe” ones from Fun Factory. I also think it would also be important to sell a device that rolls a condom down for you, especially to aid those with mobility issues like arthritis. If you know of anything like this that exists, I’d love to hear about it!
These condoms are for the everyday lil’ human just booping about through life, navigating the often awkwardness of sex and learning to accept and giggle at accidental farts and knocked teeth. All of it, the whole thing: the site layout, the colors, the language used, the packaging, would have friendly, casual, fun vibes. No “Gold Label Luxury” cursive crap, no silk ribbons, and no Red On A Black Background. I don’t think these are too common for condom companies anyway but there would be none of that fancy pants baloney within a 100 mile radius of this thing.
This dream company would do everything to support sex positivity, education and innovation (did I just come up with it’s slogan?). They would use gender neutral language, not assuming that everyone that sports a dick is a “he” or that everyone is having penetrative sex with someone of the opposite cis-gender. They would teach that sex doesn’t mean penetration, and elaborate on all the beautiful forms sex and intimacy can take. They would provide resources to body-safe sex toys, ethical porn, body positivity, polyamory, reusable menstrual products, birth control education such as Bedsider, and sex-ed initiatives like the CSPH or BISH.
Especially important for a condom company, providing factual information on STIs would be a must. Instead of scaring people into using their products with horror stories and STI-shaming, they would provide medically accurate information on different kinds of STIs: what they are, how they spread, the best forms of protection, and resources for those recently diagnosed. I would hope to see “KNOW YOUR STATUS: GET TESTED” emblazoned across the site on some sort of banner, encouraging people to regularly get tested for STIs, talking about how knowing and communicating your status is the best way to prevent STIs, and all the while advocating for de-stigmatizing STIs.
A company can have really great products, but really shitty ethics. From a business standpoint, the ideal company would operate on a basis of kindness and respect. They would listen to customer feedback and improve their products in response. They would take responsibility for their environmental impact with vegan condoms, commitments to sustainability and carbon neutrality, and recyclable packaging. They would treat their employees and distributors right, ensuring proper pay, collaboration, and business ethics. Condoms would be affordable, and donated to those in need when possible, and the business would give back to the community by supporting sexual health organizations like Planned Parenthood and other non-profits.
Probably Impossible, But One Can Dream
I have no idea if this dream condom company or any of the ideas for it would even be physically or financially possible. All I know is that it would be pretty neat. Although it would be cool to build this business myself, I definitely lack the know-how and I’m pretty sure this is the sort of thing I would have to commit my entire life to. If you want to steal this idea and run with it, be my guest and please let me know when it opens and maybe let me have free condoms since it was my idea and all that. That would be cool. But even if you didn’t let me have free stuff and denied my involvement in any of it, I still wouldn’t even be that mad. I just want this to exist. I just want the world to get excited about safer sex and barrier methods. I just want everyone to know more and want to know more and experience sex positivity, and I think condoms are a great place to implement that goal.
If you want to chat about your own dream condom company, or blast me with more ideas, comment here or hit me up on twitter @Squeaky_Springs!