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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » condom sizes

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Author Topic: condom sizes
new123
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I've been having sex with my girlfriend for about a year but have not been able to achieve orgasm during sex. I always feel I get to a breaking point but then can't seem to cross it (its rather frustrating). Recently, I realized after removing the condom that it felt like there was less pressure on my penis and I felt extremely relieved to have it off. Is it possible that the condom is restricting my blood flow and if so, what can I do to try to find a condom that fits better?

I have been experimenting with different regular sized condoms over the past year. They all unroll to the base but there is always a large amount left that can still be unrolled. I suspect that this is where the perceived pressure is coming from. I have also tried snug fit and magnum before. The former was too tight (and seemed just as long), while the later seemed too large.


Some addition info that may be relevant:

I have had orgasms before from masturbation.

We have never had sex without the condom before and I do not want her on the pill (I'm a bit paranoid about things that mess with hormones).

We are both each others first, so nothing to compare to.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Well, in terms of contraception she might take, just to get this out of the way, that really should be about what she wants, not you. After all, if she chose to use a hormonal method, the hormones would be in her body, not yours, okay?

That said, if you two prefer condoms, we can probably work this out, and hormonal methods don't offer STI protection, so there are often still sound reasons to use condoms.

When you use an average-sized condom -- not a snug or larger fit -- does the ring at the base of the condom feel uncomfortable tight to you when you put it on? Also, this discomfort you're having, is it for the whole time you're using a condom, or only at a certain point?

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new123
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Heather,

Thank you for your response. As far as the first part, it was something that I had brought up when we were first getting serious for which she did not feel either way on. I am not sure how I would feel if she did have a strong opinion opposite of mine. Obviously, as you say, it is her choice and the only say I have is from discussing this with her and her adhering to my concerns. However, I think it would have proven divisive when we got into arguments if she had felt differently. I hope i did not offend you with this post. It was not my intent. But if you do feel I am taking a bigoted stance, I would appreciate hearing your reasoning so I can think it over.

This was the first time I really felt that the condom was making me uncomfortable and I would feel better when it came off. It wasn't something that I felt the whole time it was on, but the realization that it was bothering me hit me right before I went to take it off. There was also a noticeable difference in pressure once it was removed.

[ 01-22-2012, 10:21 PM: Message edited by: new123 ]

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Heather
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So, before now, condoms have felt fine? have you recently changed brands or how you use them?

Per the first bit about contraception, I'm not offended. I was just stating what, to me, is the obvious here. Hormonal contraceptives are very safe, tested really well over decades, and most people's worries about them are unfounded (and also often tend to involve a lack of knowledge about the far greater health risks pregnancy can pose). But all the same, it's a very different story when we're talking about someone else's body, rather than our own.

It may be that sometime, with this partner or another, you get involved with someone who wants higher protection from unwanted pregnancy than a condom. If and when that is the case, I'd personally suggest you respect that, particularly if you are not someone who can become pregnant and also aren't the person using those medications, that's all.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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new123
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I tend to use condoms infrequently, about once a month, and have difficulty recalling how they have felt in the past as it was not something I particularly focused on. I do believe that there was always a noticeable difference in pressure after taking a condom off, but it was not something I had paid attention to as there was so much else going on and the difference didn't seem so drastic as to be concerning. This was the first time that I realized it felt uncomfortable, and even that was only at the end. This of course prompted the question of if it could be cutting off some of the blood flow and making it more difficult to achieve orgasm.

I have recently changed brands and type (durex extra sensitive to trojan pleasure max), but not how I use them.

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Heather
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As I understand it, though, you're saying you have always had issues reaching orgasm, not just with the condoms, yes?

If so, this likely isn't about the condom, the orgasm issue. Also, orgasm isn't about issues with blood flow: orgasm is primarily a nervous system event, not a cardiovascular one (nor a genital one, for that matter).

However, if you want to try something different, have you two tried a female condom yet to see if you like that? Female condoms have a ring winder than the penis, so there's nothing with them that holds any part of the penis tightly.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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(Also, should just check in: are condoms your only method of contraception? If so, and you and your partner are not prepared for a pregnancy, are you being sure to use them every time you engage in the kinds of sex that pose pregnancy risks?)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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new123
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I do not have any issues achieving orgasms from masturbation. However, I have not been able to achieve an orgasm from vaginal intercourse. My girlfriend has tried giving me head before, but that has always ended with her giving up after a minute, so I do not read much into that.

As I mentioned above, I feel that I get to a breaking point where I am almost there and cannot move past it. After being at that peak for a long period of time, one of us eventually gets tired and we stop.

We have not tried a female condom yet. I'll bring it up with her and see how she feels about it.

Thank you for the clarification on blood flow. I was incorrectly remembering the effect of it in relation to sexual acts.

Condoms are our only method of contraception. We are extremely careful about using condoms every time we engage in anything that could result in pregnancy. For example, I was recently talking about sharing a jacuzzi with my girlfriend without bathing suits next time we had the opportunity, to which she was worried she may get pregnant from pre-cum. After explaining to her that this was impossible due to the chlorine, she still wasn't convinced and felt it was a bad idea. I bring this up mainly to emphasize the degree to which we are concerned about avoiding pregnancy.

[ 01-23-2012, 01:41 PM: Message edited by: new123 ]

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Heather
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Gotcha.

You know, right, that not everyone DOES reach orgasm from vaginal intercourse, or vaginal intercourse alone? Including people with penises? For some, that's a "not every time," and for some it's a "never."

And that doesn't mean anything is wrong with anyone or their sexual lives. The same things don't get everyone to orgasm, and there's no one sexual activity that will get all people to orgasm or all people to orgasm all the time.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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new123
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It's something i'm aware of but was hoping that was not the case for me.

Thank you for answering my questions. I'll start looking into other things if the female condom doesn't do the trick.

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Heather
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Do you want to talk about why you feel like you (or anyone else) have an investment in reaching orgasm from one given sexual activity, especially when there are so many more than one?

If so, glad to help unpack that with you.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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new123
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Is there a list of other such sexual activities somewhere available on this site? Also, do you have any suggestions for other resources?

Generally speaking, it is never a good feeling to be denied something or told that something can't work. This is only more true in this case as it is something that is often symbolized (for better or worse) as the embodiment of intimacy. Simply put, I feel like I've just found out that I cannot be intimate with my girlfriend in a way that most other couples can be. The fact I don't know of any other sexual activities, especially those that are as intimate, does not make it better.

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Heather
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Well, you can certainly start with this: What's Sex?

And then can also look at this: Yes, No, Maybe So: A Sexual Inventory Stocklist

Let me say some things that might help, too, or at least maybe give you some food for thought.

Intercourse being presented as the penultimate intimacy is so, so problematic. One of the biggest reasons why is that it often is NOT for a lot of people. And there's really nothing about it that makes it automatically more intimate than anything else. Intimacy is emotional, not physical, so, really, what kind of sex is intimate for us, or when it is and when it isn't, is really about if we and our partners approach sex bringing intimacy to the table. Know what I mean? In other words, there is no reason at all that say, oral sex can't be just as intimate as intercourse unless a person or the people involved treat it differently.

quote:
Simply put, I feel like I've just found out that I cannot be intimate with my girlfriend in a way that most other couples can be.
I'm not sure what you mean by this. Are you saying you think, or have gotten the message, that a) with most couples, if and when they have penis-in-vagina intercourse, everyone is reaching orgasm and that is what makes that activity intimate?

Here's another thing: physical sex is about bodies, and bodies are ALL very different. All our bodies don't work the same ways, have the same abilities, or feel the same ways. That's one reason why we can do a given sexual activity with one partner one way and it can send them over the moon, while it will leave another totally bored. Or why some couples can engage in one group of sexual activities, or engage in them one way, while another will choose a different group, or do those activities differently, to account for how our bodies, and how they function and feel, are all different.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Robin Lee
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It's not necessarily true that most other couples achieve the kind of orgasmic connection through intercourse. It's a prevailing belief, yes, and one that is presented in movies, books, etc, but doesn't always reflect people's lived realities. There's a lot of variability that we don't hear a lot about both because people don't talk about sex and because, when they do, they often think they have to convey experiences that reflect that dominant idea I just mentioned.

Two things to think about: There is a lot more to intimacy than orgasm. And, Not being able to orgasm may not always be your experience. Our bodies change over time, for a variety of reasons no one can really explain. Our sexuality is really quite a fluid thing.


A question for you: What other things besides intercourse do you and your partner do to be intimate and sexual with each other?


For ideas about sexuality, check out some of this reading material.

With Pleasure: A View of Whole Sexual Anatomy for Every Body

Mouthing Off on Oral Sex


http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/oral_sex_manual_sex_anal_sex_whats_it_all_mean_jellybean

http://www.scarleteen.com/article/sexuality/start_your_sexuality_canon

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Robin

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