February is designated as National Condom Month. When you think about condoms the first thing that commonly comes to mind is latex rubber condoms for males. There are many diverse types of condoms. There are unconventional forms of condoms too and people use them for various pleasure reasons however they provide no real value of protection and increase your risk of exposure to infection or pregnancy.  Condoms have been called many things from rubbers, the jimmy, nightcaps, love covers, and the wetsuit.

History of Condoms

The first documented use of condoms in history was the female condom by the wife of King Minos of Crete. She employed a goat’s bladder in the vagina so that King Minos would not be able to harm her as his semen was said to contain “scorpions and serpents” that killed his mistresses (Fahd Khan, 2013). 

Based on the context of the story it may not be fact, but it does suggest a method was used that required the insertion of a barrier made from animal tissue for protection in what we now call condoms.

There is also documented use of male condoms during the Egyptian period, Ancient Rome, Japan, and China. During these specific times before the 19th century, condoms were made from different materials ranging from oiled silk paper, animal tissue from intestines or bladder, and linen sheaths. Specifically, in Japan and China, condoms were in use before the 15th century and made of tortoiseshell and, later, thin leather.

Charles Goodyear, the American inventor, significantly changed the face of the condom, with the introduction of rubber vulcanization during the Industrial Revolution, and by 1860, condoms were produced on a large scale (Fahd Khan, 2013). By the 1920s latex rubber was invented. As condoms evolved into the many variations today the female condom became an alternative.

During the 20th century, a woman by the name of Marie Stopes who is a birth-control activist and supporter of positive eugenics promoted one of the first female condoms in 1923. By 1993 the first modern female condom was released (Cain, 2014).  

condom | national condom month | kiss and tell

Earlier I mentioned there are many variations of condoms depending on personal preference, health status regarding skin allergy, comfort, size, pleasure, and topical agents added for increased lubrication, spermicide, and premature ejaculation.

List of distinct types of condoms and their uses…

  • Edible condoms– This type of condom is for novelty use purposes and has no protection value against STDs and prevention of pregnancy. You simply put it on and eat it off. It is great for oral play.
  • Latex condoms– This is the most common. There are assorted brands and sizes to choose from.  Check your local drugstore. 
  • Polyurethane or polyisoprene condoms– This condom is an alternative to latex for individuals who have a latex skin allergy. This material is a latex-free rubber and can also be found in your local drugstore.
  • Lambskin condoms– This condom is made of the intestinal skin of lambs. Some prefer this for the natural feeling as if you were not wearing a condom. However, it’s not effective to protect against STDs and prevent pregnancy due to the lambskin being porous which provides a gateway for disease or sperm to seep through anal, oral, and vaginal sex.
  • Textured condoms – This condom was created with raised ridges, dotes, or spikes on the outside of the condom for enhanced pleasure through more intense stimulation. Ribbed condoms are textured on the internal side of the condom for enhanced pleasure for the individual wearing it. However, the ribbed design can also be on the external side as well.
  • Spermicidal condoms – This condom has a dose of spermicidal contraceptive gel to kill the sperm and prevent fertilization. Also, this type of topical agent does not protect against STDs and can cause a skin reaction in some individuals. 
  • Delayed Condoms– This type of condom is designed to assist men that suffer from premature ejaculation. The topical agent that is placed on the inside of the condom is a numbing agent called benzocaine. 
  • Female condoms – This condom can be remarkably effective if placed inside the vagina properly. However much of the time it is not effective due to the incorrect insertion of the condom. But once adjusted to correct insertion it can be a highly effective alternative to traditional condoms. 
  • Ultrathin condoms–   These condoms are for individuals who have experienced little to no sensation during sex with a regular condom and will use ultra-thin for a more natural feel and sensation as if you did not have a condom on at all. This is a better option compared to lambskin.
  • Flavored Condoms– These condoms come in a variety of flavors and are used for oral sex. A layer of flavored lube is placed on the external side of the condom or comes with the package. A good rule to remember is once you have used the flavored condom dispose of it and replace it with a regular condom before engaging in penetration sex.
  • Colored Condoms– These condoms work just as a regular condom but can come in a variety of colors and themes like holidays or specific art that may go with a particular kink play you want to enhance. 
  • Sensation-induced condoms– These condoms can induce warming, tingly and cool sensations for enhanced pleasure during penetration. The lube can be placed on the inside and outside of the condom for both parties involved.
  • Unique pull condoms– These condoms are lubricated and made of latex and have quick strips, which work very much like the pull-off tabs on a Band-aid. quick strips help you put on the external condom. They are meant to help you avoid common mistakes that can lead to condom failure.​​ (Stacy, 2021)
  • Tickler condoms– This type of condom either has a soft rubber tickler tip or a tip made of soft jelly. They come in several styles with nodules, nubs, ridges, and shapes that provide stimulation by “tickling” the inner walls of the partner’s vagina or anus.  (Stacy, 2021) This condom is considered a novelty condom and not suggested to use for protection. It’s recommended to wear a traditional condom underneath the tickler for protection. 
  • Glow-in-the-dark condoms –  This condom is multilayered to seal in a dye that emits a glow when in the dark for enhanced play before sexual activity and during. 
condom | national condom month | kiss and tell

Having a strong understanding of safe sex practices can enhance your sex life in a healthy way.  Practicing safe sex can be fun and enjoyable. Understanding your body and what works for you will make all the difference in exploring and keeping yourself and your partner safe, healthy, and in tune with your practices.  

Knowing the several types of condoms give you more options to be careful, secure, and hopeful that you can be protected and feel pleasure rather than taking a chance and not using a condom to feel pleasure.


Cain, T. (2014, November 19). History of condoms from animal to rubber. Retrieved from Wellcome Collection: http://www.wellcomecollection.org

Fahd Khan, S. M. (2013). The story of the condomIndian Journal of Urology, 12-15.

Stacy, D. (2021, September 13). 11 External Condom Types and Styles to Explore. Retrieved from VeryWell Health: http//:www.verywellhealth.com

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