Does Size REALLY Matter? (Honestly)

does size matter? Honestly?
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Well yes, it can do.  I am sure every guy wants to massage his ego and opt for the super-sized packet but the plain facts are, if the condom is too large, it can slip, tear and actually come off, proving wholly ineffective at the job it is supposed to be doing.  So how can you measure up and choose the right size for you?

Unbelievably, there are size charts but how do you know where your favourite brand sits in this respect.  The problem in the UK is that sizing is not standardised for clothing or for anything else.  A 34” sweater will come up in a different fit depending on who has made it and once you get into generic descriptions, small, medium or large, there is even more room for confusion.

Generally speaking, condom sizing is based on the girth or overall circumference of the penis.  Anything less than 4.7” would be a snug, regular comes in at between 4.7” and 5.1” and anything larger would constitute a large size.  As with clothing, condom manufacturers all vary in what they class as small, medium or regular and large.  The NHS has come in for criticism by the FPA for not providing a sufficient range of condom sizes.

How to measure up

The best measurements are taken when the penis is erect and the easiest way to do it with a measuring tape or a piece of string.  Measure the length of the penis – you can use a ruler for this bit – from the base where the penis meets the pelvis to the tip.  Then, using something flexible, measure the girth so around the penis at the thickest part, most commonly near the middle.  If you use a piece of string, keep a gauge on where the string crosses and then lay it out flat and measure it with a ruler.

Does the material the condom is made out of make a difference?

Usually, no.  Most condoms are made of latex which is incredibly flexible but only to a point.  If you really have the wrong size, i.e. too small then you run the risk of splitting on tearing the condom when it is subject to friction.  There are non-latex alternatives for men who have a latex allergy but they behave in the same way as latex in terms of flexibility and fit.

One of the criticisms of latex is that it does not transfer heat so it reduces sensation and thereby pleasure.  Some people, therefore, opt as an alternative for Polyurethane which is a plastic-based material, it is thinner than latex and allows heat to penetrate and many people find them much more pleasurable.  However, Polyurethane is not as flexible as latex so it is even more essential that you find the right fit as they are more prone to tearing and splitting.

Practice makes perfect

Practice with different sizes in the privacy of your own home and then when you have found a manufacturer and size that works

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Stuart Brown

Stuart Brown

I'm Stuart, senior Editor at British Condoms. I am an expert in all areas of sexual health and have a passion to drive knowledge to youth in the UK. Any questions for me or media enquiries, please feel free to tweet me @britishcondoms. Always open to engagement.

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