It is a contraceptive barrier device which a man covers his penis with during sexual intercourse to prevent unwanted pregnancies and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. Though most condom ads and infomercials target heterosexuals, condoms should be used by homosexuals as well.
Condoms are the most cost-effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancies. They also stop the transmission of various STDs including the dreaded HIV/AIDS. When used properly, condoms have a 98% success rate! Nowadays, female condoms are also widely used. Much like their male counterparts, they work on the same barrier principle. And they’re believed to be more pleasurable as well, though costlier.
They are easily available, inexpensive and work effectively when used properly. The con is that there’s a certain stigma attached to buying them in many countries (including ours) and might be overlooked in the heat of the moment. The availability of the right size can also be a problem. Some also live under the impression that they decrease pleasure and aren’t as good as the real thing. A common misconception is using two condoms. Double condoms are actually worse because they increase the friction and can cause the condoms to break.
Only 3 million female condoms are made each year compared to 1500 million males ones. But in the near future, the female condom is set to play an important role in preventing STDs and unwanted pregnancies. In comparison to a male one, it’s much thinner and instead of latex, this one is made of nitrile. The upside is that it’s much more pleasurable than male ones because it’s thin. It also has two rings which help improve stimulation. It also provides lubrication and makes sex less painful.
If used properly, condoms can prove to be 97% effective. However, due to some reasons they may fail. E.g.: Putting it on wrong, not squeezing out the air, not leaving space, taking it off before they’re done, manufacturing Issues, past its expiry date etc.
Condoms are usually made of latex though sometimes more natural substances like polyurethane, polyisoprene and even lamb skin are occasionally used.