A Condom Challenge

A few months ago I was asked to help a blind man learn how to use condoms. This proved to be a delightful challenge because while I have taught probably over a hundred people how to use condoms, this was the first time I had to do it entirely by touch.

The most difficult part was helping him find a method to feel which way was was “up.” (A reminder: if you accidentally begin rolling a condom down the “wrong” way, you can’t just flip it over. You need to throw it out and start fresh!) After a lot of explanations, fumbling, and trial and error (I like to use goodfella for demos) we found a method that worked, and he was able to consistently and correctly complete all the steps of condom usage (except for checking the expiration date, but we discussed ways for him to be sure his condoms are fresh). Talk about a fulfilling experience for a sexuality educator!

A few days later, Searah handed me a box of Sensis Condoms to try out. The Sensis Condom is designed to make condom use faster and easier, with the goal of helping more people use condoms correctly every single time. They come with “quick strips” rolled up into the condom. The ends of the quick strips are textured on one side so you can quickly feel which way is “up” (hence the possibilities for our blind customer). After placing the condom on the top of a penis or dildo, theoretically, you just pull down and out on the strips and voila: perfectly placed condom in one quick motion.

Beyond being a possibility for that blind man, this condom could cut down on that bogus spontaneity excuse, help us get to the fun part faster without fumbling, and most importantly, cut down on user error.

Except, I hated these condoms. Granted, the textured indicators on the quick strips let me know which way was up instantaneously. But the goodness pretty much ended there.

The quick strips were not quick and did not actually roll the condom down. I read that you might have to use your fingers to get it past the head, but I ended up having to roll it down all the way every time I tried. Figuring that my test buddy may just have more to love than the Sensis was designed for, I tried it out on a relatively slim dildo. On the dildo, the strips did roll the condom down once I helped them get started.

So, we got one on and went to play… and it felt AWFUL. For both of us. I was given a pack of the micro-dot ribbed variety, described by the manufacturer as having “more than 120 dots for her and six ribbed rings for him.” So, maybe that was the problem, although I have used other types of textured condoms before without a problem. One of the many things I love about my partner is that he never ever complains about condoms, but he said this one felt like it was chafing him (ew). For me, the feeling of the condom was completely distracting and actually quite irritating. As a committed tester, I tried really really hard to stick with it, but we ended up having to take it off and switch to a trusty durex.