Can't find a condom with an elastic ring that fits me!

Originally Published: September 30, 2005 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: March 18, 2014
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Dear Alice,

I am finding that the thin ring of the unrolled condom cuts into the base of my penis, especially the urethra tube. I am just below average length, but over 7.5 inches in circumference at the base. All sizes of condoms have the same effect. Please suggest something please.

— from painfully pinched

Dear painfully pinched,

A variety of condoms is available, with new ones being introduced all the time. Not all have the same circumference and some have more elastic "give" than others. In addition, some condom manufacturers offer specialized sizes and styles, such as "large" and "extra large," but this may or may not affect the rubber band elasticity. As a result, it's a good idea to try on a variety, and see which brands and styles you like more than others. You might also be interested to know that several condom manufacturers actually market sized-to-fit condoms. These companies offer a variety of sizes (between 55-95 different ones!) where penis length and circumference measurements correspond with letters and numbers to create a custom size. Availability of these sized-to-fit condoms vary between countries.

So, unless you really have tried every available brand and type (not limiting yourself to the few kinds usually available at your local drugstore), you might do a little extra research. You can order condoms by mail, over the Internet, or by visiting a sexuality specialty store, such as Condomania. There you have the bonus of getting direct customer service to ensure better matches for you. You can also ask around, as silly, private, or embarrassing as it may seem, and see what brands have worked for other men with similar discomfort with the elastic ring of the condom. Once you have your new finds, test them out, on your own or with a partner. It's likely that you will find a condom that won't leave you feeling painfully pinched anymore.

Condoms with water-based lubricant on them are both easier to get on and more comfortable. Also, applying a dab of water-soluble lube to both the inside and outside of the condom (outside only once it's covering your erect penis) eases penetration, enhances comfort and pleasurable sensations, decreases friction, and reduces risk of condom breakage.

If after experimenting with A LOT of different varieties of condoms, you've truly exhausted every possible alternative and still can't find a comfortable condom, then perhaps you could ask your partner if s/he would be comfortable using female condoms. The female condom is effective against pregnancy and most STIs for vaginal sex. The female condom can also be used during anal penetration/intercourse with the removal of the inner ring, but it is not marketed for this use at this time.

Hope this helps,

Alice

March 22, 2012

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I have this problem too, and it's made worse by antidepressants I'm taking. It's hard to maintain an erection because of these meds, and nearly impossible when I'm being choked by a condom, even the...
I have this problem too, and it's made worse by antidepressants I'm taking. It's hard to maintain an erection because of these meds, and nearly impossible when I'm being choked by a condom, even the large ones. Here's something that helped me: My girlfriend was able to get free female condoms from the local "free clinic." (We're poor, and they're expensive.) They didn't work right in her body the normal way, and the inner ring rubbed against my penis in an uncomfortable way, but we found that by removing the inner ring, I could wear it as a normal male condom. Yes, it slips around a lot, but the ring around the opening prevents it from falling off into her. It's noisy though... This is not how it was designed to be used, but it worked for us. I can't think of any way this would make it less safe or effective. Hope this helps!