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Frisky Friday: How Do You Feel About Condoms?

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For many women, condoms are like tampons--a necessary evil. They can be awkward, they can kill the mood, and they're a poor alternative to the pleasure of skin-on-skin contact you say. Hold up, we're not in the dark ages of contraceptives anymore. There are extra-thin condoms, ribbed condoms, condoms for big guys and condoms to increase a woman's pleasure. There's even a female condom, now. We spoke to a few ESSENCE.com readers to find out how they feel about the rubber glove and came up with a few product solutions to fit their needs. Here's what they had to say: Naiya: "I think they've probably saved my life on more than one occasion. Sometimes if I go out drinking and I don't drink a lot of water, they can be uncomfortable. My favorite condoms are Durex Extra Sensitive. They're super thin. Some condoms have a very strong smell and these don't. They changed my life. I've been using them for years. Product: If Durex Extra Sensitive condoms are not thin enough, try Japanese condoms Beyond Seven, made from a special latex called Sheerlon that's super strong, increasing its ability to be made extra thin without compromising your safety. Tara: "Lately, I've only been using Trojan Magnums. It's funny because I feel like I'm handing my guy a golden ticket because the wrapper is gold. Sometimes I wish there were more options for larger men." Product: Don't feel limited to Magnum condoms because you're man is large. A few other brands that come in XL: Proper Attire, Kimono Microthin Large. Chloe: "Condoms are frustrating because it's hard to orgasm using them. They can be fun sometimes though. I've tried condoms with ridges. The vibrating condom was fun, but a little annoying. I think it's best to find one that's as thin as possible and to use lubrication.  It's also important that your partner puts in the extra effort to get you aroused before you start having sex. Product: Users of Japanese condom Kimono Microthin say that it's the closest thing to skin-on-skin sex. Non-glyceryn, non-sticky lubricant Liquid Silk could be the perfect accompaniment to get things flowing. Kimono's Type E condom combine's the super-thin latex with studs, bumps and ribs for extra fun. Pam: "I know condoms are necessary, but I hate them. I hate the look, I hate the feeling and I hate the smell of latex. However, I used to use Trojan ribbed condoms and I loved those. They totally increased my orgasm. I've got to start using those again." Product: If you want an alternative to latex, the new FC2 female condom is made from nitrile, which is said to be more "body friendly." Crown Skin Less Skin condoms boast no odor for users with sensitive noses. Tameka: "I like using condoms. There are certain aspects that are not appealing, but knowing that I'm protected is a total turn-on to me. I've used so many different kinds of condoms and I really don't know which ones work best for me. I'd like to find one trusty go-to brand and style that I can rely on. " Product: The Condom Sampler Pack, available at babeland.com, is more fun than that party platter at Chili's. If you haven't found the one after trying the Babeland Condom, Kimono Microthin, Kimono Type E, Crown Color, Crown, Vivid Thin, Rough Rider, Proper Attire Basic, Beyond Seven and Trustex Multiflavored, at least you've had sex 10 times.  This may be the best process of elimination you're ever going to go through.  Although D.C. made headlines for handing out female condoms, they are still not widely used. We asked the ladies how they felt about condoms for women. Here's what they had to say Naiya: "I tried it once just to try it. I didn't feel it, but my partner didn't like it very much. He said he kept hitting against the cervical ring that goes inside. The thing is if they don't like it, then you won't like it." Tara: "I've never used a female condom. I don't think I would try it." Chloe: "My roommate in college used them. She said it was more comfortable and that it gave her more pleasure. I tried to use it, but when I opened the package there was so much stuff going on. It's just too cumbersome." Pam: "I haven't tried a female condom. I would though, if someone gave me one. I like that it's not latex because I'm not the biggest fan of latex." Tameka: "I think it would be fun to try it out and see how it works. I like that it puts the power in the person being penetrated. The only thing is, it seems like it takes some extra effort to insert. If it gets too annoying I'll just give up." Read More:
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