tight condom
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Condom too tight - maybe you're too big?

Size does matter. Condoms are more likely to break if too tight or slip if too loose says Theodoor van Boven, who runs the Condomerie, the "world's first specialised condom shop" in Amsterdam.

‘I can’t find one that fits’ is an excuse many of us have heard. But for some guys it's true, says Theodoor. 

He estimates that 20 percent of men who come into the shop have problems finding condoms that fit.

Men with ill-fitting condoms are more likely to have trouble with:

  • Condoms breaking or slipping off during sex
  • Keeping an erection
  • Having an orgasm

Women complain too. Men who say their condoms don’t fit also say their partners find their vaginas are drier during sex and they have trouble climaxing.

Size does matter

Length and width are two things to keep in mind when buying condoms. The average condom is about 18 centimetres long and five centimetres wide. Yet this is up to five centimetres too long for the average man. So it’s not surprising that men say they just don’t fit.

Penis sizes vary around the world. Length can be anywhere from four to 26 centimetres. And width can be anywhere from three to 19 centimetres. So when it comes to buying condoms size does matter!

Too tight

Of the 20 percent of men who can’t find condoms that fit, 15 percent of them say it's because their penis is 'too big', says Theodoor.

If a condom is too small, it doesn’t necessarily mean it's too short, he points out. It often means that it's not wide enough to fit round the penis. So what he hears from men is that the condom is too tight around the base, shaft, or head of the penis. For them, he picks out wider condoms.

It’s less common for Theodoor to hear is that the condom doesn't roll all the way down to the base of the penis because it’s too short. In this case, he’ll recommend a longer condom.

Too long, too loose

The remaining five percent of men with penises on the small side often complain that condoms are either too long or too loose. Or in some cases both.

Often the problem for men who say their condoms are too long is that it isn’t fully rolled to the base of the penis, Theodoor says. These men need shorter condoms.

However men who find condoms too loose often have another problem - their penis is prone to slip out of the condom during sex. In this case, Theodoor would suggest a snugger condom that has a narrower width, like the Ceylor Hotshot.

Another good option for men who need both shorter and snugger condoms would be to ask their partner to use a female condom, which can't slip off during sex, but stays firmly inside the vagina or anus.

Width matters

Of all the complaints, Theodoor takes the ‘too tight’ and ‘too loose’ ones most seriously. This is a sign that the condom is more likely to break or slip off during sex. So his take-home message is that width matters (circumference).

*To protect the identity, names have been changed and the person/s in the picture is/are models.

Did you ever find your condom tight? Comment below or share with Love Matters (LM) on our Facebook page. If you have a specific question, please ask LM experts on our discussion forum.

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