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How to Buy Condoms
When you’ve never done it before, buying condoms may seem like a daunting and difficult task. However, the process is actually quite simple once you know where to purchase the contraceptives and how to sort between different sizes, styles, and materials.
Buying Condoms in Person
Buy general purpose condoms at a discount or drug store.You can find condoms at discount stores like Wal-Mart and Target as well as drug stores like Walgreens and CVS. These places stock a variety of general purpose condoms from popular brands like Trojan and Durex.
- Look for condoms near the store’s pharmacy or personal hygiene area.
- Depending on the store, expect condoms to cost between and for a box of 3.
Purchase specialty condoms at an adult store.Though you can get generic condoms at discount and drugs stores, adult shops may be your only option for finding unique or whimsical contraceptives. In addition to purely functional varieties, adult stores offer a wide selection of fun condoms with differing textures, colors, tastes, and scents.
- Normally, adult shops charge significantly more per condom than discount or drug stores.
Pick up free condoms from a local health organization.In certain cities and towns, you can acquire free or discounted condoms from your doctor’s office or a local health center like Planned Parenthood. Some places keep their condoms in an open area where you can take as many as you need. For others, you may have to request the condoms directly.
- Check websites like to locate free condom distributors near you.
See if your school offers free condoms.If you’re in high school or college, check with your campus’ health center, dorm office, or counselor’s office to see if they offer free condoms. Though not all do, many schools give out free contraceptives in hopes of reducing unwanted pregnancy and the spread of STDs.
Purchasing Condoms Online
Look for standard condoms on general purpose shopping websites.Online stores like Amazon offer a selection of popular condoms comparable to discount or drug stores. Depending on the specific brand, these condoms may even be cheaper online.
Buy specialty contraceptives on condom websites.Online stores like CondomDepot offer a far wider selection of condoms than standard shopping sites. In addition to traditional varieties, these stores carry condoms from independent producers around the world and stock plenty of fun, unique contraceptives that can spice up your sex life.
- If you want to buy condoms without anybody knowing, check the seller’s shipping policy to make sure they offer discreet shipping.
Purchase condoms in bulk to save money.Most physical stores only sell condoms a few units at a time. However, many online shops offer bulk condoms that cost less per unit than their in-store alternatives. Once you find a brand you like, consider buying in bulk to cut down on your overall spending.
Choosing a Condom Type
Decide which material works best for you and your partner.Condoms come in a variety of different materials. They all feel a little different but, when used correctly, are equally effective at preventing pregnancy.
- Latex rubber is the most common condom material. These contraceptives are cheap and effective, but you'll need to use another type if you or your partner is allergic to latex.
- Lambskin is a natural latex alternative that is incredibly effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy. However, lambskin condoms do not prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
- Polyurethane condoms are stronger and thicker than latex condoms, meaning they’re more expensive. During use, the material heats up to your body temperature, making it feel like you’re not wearing anything.
- Tactylon condoms are stretchier than other varieties, helping them better conform to the shape of the penis.
Find a condom that fits.To ensure your contraceptive doesn’t slip off or tear during sex, make sure to choose a size that fits you or your partner’s penis properly. In general, regular-sized condoms fit penises that are between 4 and 7 in (10 and 18 cm) long.
- Though trying on different sizes is the best way to find out what fits best, you can also look up size charts on condom specialty websites.
- Your condom should roll on easily and stay in place on its own.
Pick a texture that feels good to you and your partner.Some people want their condoms to feel like they aren't even there, while others enjoy the sensation of condoms that have ribs or bumps. Each texture has the same efficacy, so make a choice based on what you and your partner find pleasurable.
- Condoms may be ribbed on the inside to increase the wearer’s pleasure or the outside to increase the receiver’s pleasure.
Buy lubricated condoms for a more comfortable sexual experience.Some condoms come with pre-applied lubricant, also known as lube. This reduces unwanted friction during sex, making the experience more enjoyable for everyone and preventing the condom from tearing.
- You can also purchase lube separately. Water and silicone-based lubricants work with most types of condoms, but you should only use oil-based lubricants with polyurethane and tactylon condoms.
- For added protection, get condoms that come with spermicidal lubricant. The spermicide kills a large portion of the sperm following ejaculation. Be aware that spermicides can sometimes cause side effects like irritation, burning, and urinary infections.
Purchase colored, scented, or flavored condoms for extra fun.So that you can add some spice to your sex life, specialty stores sell condoms in a variety of colors including turquoise, orange, hot pink, blue, and black. Condoms also come in a variety of different scents and flavors including cinnamon, mint, and cherry.
Get female condoms as an alternative to male condoms.Female condoms fit inside the vagina and cover part of the labia as well, effectively protecting against pregnancy as well as STDs. Though they aren't as commonly used as male condoms, they can be a great option for certain couples.
- Female condoms are not quite as effective as male condoms, so use them in tandem with a chemical form of birth control.
- Do not use female condoms and male condoms at the same time.
- You can insert female condoms up to 8 hours before intercourse. This makes them a great option for people who dislike interrupting foreplay to put a condom on.
QuestionDo I have to be a certain age to buy condoms?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, you can buy condoms at any age at any drugstore, supermarket, etc.Thanks!
QuestionCan you recommend me a brand?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDurex and Trojen are reliable and have many varieties.Thanks!
QuestionCan a 15 year old use a condom?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. If you are going to have sex, you should absolutely use a condom.Thanks!
QuestionAre textured condoms better for anal sex?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerOnly if you're both experienced. Start off with regular condoms, until both parties are used to the sensation.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I tell what size condom I need?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerStart with regular condoms, then move up or down to bigger sizes until it is comfortable.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the average cost of latex condoms?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe price of condoms vary depending on the amount in package. For a small package (usually contains between one and five condoms), it can be around .Thanks!
QuestionHow tight should the condom be on the penis?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerJust tight enough so that you feel it's securely in place, without cutting off any circulation to the phallus.Thanks!
QuestionWhy is the date on the condom box different than the one on the condom wrapping?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMy best guess is that the box date is when they were made and the wrapping date is the date of expiration.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I know if the condom is a good fit? How should it feel, firm around my shaft or on the condom ring area?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt should feel snug and secure (like it's not going to slip off), without being uncomfortably constricting.Thanks!
QuestionAre there any laws that say what age I have to be to have sex?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis varies based on which country and state/province you live in. For instance, in Puerto Rico (US territory) the age of consent is 14, but in South Dakota (US state) the age of consent is 16. There are further laws regarding the age of your partner if you are much younger. For example, an 18 year old could be charged with a crime for having sex with a 15 year old.Thanks!
- Double check a condom’s expiration date before buying it.
Sources and Citations
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