5 Ways to Talk About Smaller Condoms with Your Partner

Love, Sex

Using condoms that fit properly can increase pleasure and safety for both you and your partner

With 35% of men needing a smaller than standard size condom (Yes, really 35%!) you are not alone if you have ever wished your lover was wearing a smaller condom.

If you (or your partner) are worrying about a condom slipping and sliding, neither of you will be able to enjoy eachother (and the experience) as much as you could. If you have ever had a partner lose a condom inside of you...well...no one should have to go through that (it actually happens!) It may come as a surprise that smaller condoms exist. So let's talk about them and how you can navigate the waters to bringthe topic up with your partner. In a culture that stigmatizes penis size, proposing smaller condoms to your partner can be tricky business — but it doesn’t have to be so.

"Have you ever been insecure about your penis?" I asked my friend — someone I admire for his ability to undermine societal expectations of masculinity.

"Yes, of course, especially as teenager. I felt like all women had this preconceived notion of what a penis should look like. Then there were my guy friends insulting each other with small dick jokes."

Statistics have shown that over 30% of British men are very dissatisfied with their penis size...and that's just in the UK! Nearly half of men want their penises to be larger. Men who are dissatisfied with their bodies are primarily concerned about their weight, muscularity, height and penis size.

I question my friend again: "Would you be embarrassed to buy a box of smaller condoms –especially ones explicitly marketed as small?"

He replied by saying, "I don’t know, I’d like to think I wouldn’t care but doesn’t shopping online solve that problem, I mean, because it is more discrete?"

Penis-shame is a real struggle for many guys. In a culture obsessed with size, it's no wonder why many are uncomfortable purchasing smaller than average rubbers. In fact, it's so pervasive that some would rather practice unprotected sex than shop and try out different sizes. Others will argue that there simply are no condoms made to fit them.  These excuses are bogus. There are hundreds of sizes and shapes on today's market ranging from 44mm wide to 68mm wide. Yet many people are still using the wrong condom size — at least 70% according to Lucky Bloke.

As Lucky Bloke states, virtually all condom complaints come down to fitting — specifically, condom width. If you (or your partner) experience condoms slipping off during sex or feel a lot of extra baggy material, then what you need is a slimmer, more tapered condom. Another common problem is too much material bunching at the head of the penis, this could mean you are using the wrong condom shape. A condom with a less bulbous, more close-fitting head may be much more comfortable and increase sensitivity.

If you establish that smaller condoms are what you and your partner need but you're unsure how to approach this topic with him, here are some tips that will help.  

Before we go further, I want to acknowledge that I am using "him" pronouns more often for the sake of brevity, but with the recognition that not everyone with a penis identifies as "he", and I apologize if I use any language that excludes certain transgender and gender nonconforming people. This is not my intention.

In any case, finding the right condom boils down to communication and experimentation. Here are some suggestions to start your discovery:

Introducing Smaller Condoms:

  1. This is about condom fitting, not penis size.
    Semantics? Yes, but it’s important not to frame his penis size as the problem to solved.  It’s not. The matter being addressed is condom fit. This is especially important if he is already insecure about his size. Besides, all this societal penis scrutiny is bogus and arbitrary. There are far more important human qualities (such as intimacy and psychological connection) that impact sexual satisfaction. However, condom fitting is absolutely essential. When you find the right fit, both your pleasure and safety dramatically increase. Be honest with him and communicate that you are unsatisfied with the condoms you’ve tried and want to experiment with new ones.
  2. Whip it out in the heat of the moment.
    Keep in mind that proposing smaller condoms isn’t something that should be awkward no matter how casual or serious your relationship.  You might not need to say anything at all. You can simply buy the condoms on your own and introduce one when the time is right. For example, when you start to feel things heating up, take a quick break and retrieve the new rubber. Have fun with it and tell him you’ve bought a lot of new condoms and have a lot of experimenting to do.  As you put it on, ask him how it feels. Tell him how you like it.Remember it’s not about tricking him into using smaller condoms, or “making” him do it. It’s about doing this together for each other.
  3. Buy new condoms together.
    Alternatively (and I highly recommend this one!), you can shop for new, smaller condoms together. This has a lot of benefits. It involves communicating with each other about what you like, don’t like, are unsure of or curious about. Talking about what feels good together will make talking about other sexual facets a lot easier. In many ways, shopping for condoms together is like an extension of foreplay.
  4. Order sample packs
    There is a variety of different styles of smaller condoms out there. Try them. Don't just stick with the first one you find. The real trick to finding perfect condoms and knowing what you enjoy together is keeping an open mind and experimenting. Condom sampler packs are the most fun and cost efficient way to try condoms. Lucky Bloke offers a small condom sampler with 9 leading condom brands and a generous variety of styles like pleasure shaped, ribbed, studded and ultra thin. Offer to try them all out with him!
  5. Try Japanese Condoms
    Condoms like Kimono and Okamoto’s Beyond 7 are not only celebrated as the best thin condoms but they also tend to be made on the slimmer side of the "regular" condom sizes. This is a perfect option if your partner isn’t much smaller than average. It is also a discrete way to purchase a snugger condom that’s not marketed as such. Not sure which Japanese condom to try? Then try them all with Lucky Blokes’ Ultimate Japanese Condoms Sampler.

Using condoms that fit increase safety and pleasure. Finding the right condom for you and your partner will dramatically your improve safer sex experience. So, what are you waiting for?!

By Lara Worcester, CondomMonologuer and Lucky Bloke contributor.