I'm married and monogamous, but not yet ready to have children. So -- since neither my husband nor I like the feel of condoms during sex (it dulls his sensitivity, and I just love the warmth of skin rubbing against skin) -- we rely on The Pill as our main method of birth control
to keep us baby-free.
I've been taking Yaz for a couple years now, which also helps with my PMDD
(also known as that crazy, dark, slightly psychotic half that emerges from the shadows every month or so). Then, the other day, I read this scary-as-hell story
about how Yaz could be (way) riskier than other birth control pills. And while I had never experienced anything negative while on Yaz, and I know medications affect different people in different ways, I began to wonder, Should I go off the pill entirely and start using condoms?
My husband was, understandably, less than thrilled about the idea. So was my vagina, but it was trying to keep an open mind. So we got our hands on a variety pack of condoms from Babeland
and started our search for the Perfect Condom.
First, we tried Crown's Skin Less Skin condoms
, made to be thinner -- but no less strong -- so that we could perhaps trick ourselves into believing that we weren't actually using a condom. That little bit of self-delusion failed to work.
Next was a Rough Rider
condom, studded with tiny bumps so as to provide my vag with extra stimulation. All I could feel was the rubbing together of rubber and skin. My husband started threatening mutiny. I couldn't help feeling discouraged myself.
In With One, Out With More
At that point, we began just going through the motions. Babeland's Shear Latex
condoms were pretty basic: smooth and lightly lubricated. They did the job, but still left us feeling dissatisfied. Kimono's MicroThin
condoms were as thin as Crown's Skin Less Skins, but still couldn't trick us into believing we were condom-free. The same was the case with Vivid's Extra Thin
condoms. All of them performed admirably, but just left us wanting more.
Skins With Style
We tried a non-lubricated Trustex
condom, which meant that we had to pile on extra Sliquid. This was a drawback, as I often have problems with dryness, but I had to give it points for being purple (my favorite color).
Going a little more formal was LifeStyles' Tuxedo
condom, outfitted in a stately black color that only disturbed me (approaching your vaginal opening is the Penis of DOOM).
The LifeStyles Kiss of Mint
non-lubricated condom did indeed taste of mint, and made me love the fact that my breath post-blowjob made me extremely kissable. But, beyond that, I resented the lack of extra lube.
At Last, a Winner
The winner in the end? The Trojan Ecstasy
. Encased in so much lube that our fingers got sticky while grappling with it, it made intercourse so easy and pain-free that I couldn't stop raving about it.
Still ... I have to admit ... I think I'm going to risk the blood clots and stay on The Pill. What about you? Have you found a rubber that works?
Steph Auteri is a writer specializing in sex, relationships and other sources of angst related to the back-and-forth between men and women.