No glove...awww, sad, no love...
August 13, 2009 11:31 AM   Subscribe

Can you hook a gal up? I'm looking for recommendations for a good latex-free, powder-free disposable exam glove for safe and very tactile sex.

I understand nitrile is strongest, and slides on well. But does does such a smooth fit make your hand extra sweaty? I have mild eczema, so potentially that's a problem. And how does vinyl compare in your opinion?

Most options available in either material seem to assume that one is a lab tech wanting to restore fine motor control via added fingertip texture. For my purposes, this is less than ideal. I'd rather find something with a completely smooth glide. I've contacted a few manufacturers whose product details are ambiguous on this front, but so far they've been slow to reply.

Finally, it's unclear to me which size to get. Nitrile gloves in particular apparently run small. For dishwashing gloves, medium is a quite loose though comfortable fit; while small runs slightly short in the fingertips. Can you help me translate this into good sizing for an exam glove?
posted by nakedcodemonkey to Human Relations (13 answers total)

Best answer: I can only bring experience from the lab research area, but I wore nitrile or latex gloves pretty much 8 hours a day for almost four years. I've used several brands and sizes and in my experience sizes tend to run very similar between brands (though there are outliers).

Nitrile is my favorite for comfort (not overly tight, warm them in your hands for a minute before pulling them on for added ease), and durability, far above latex, and both nitrile and latex far above vinyl which just feel awful on me and tear very very easily.

I would recommend just going into a drugstore, walmart, or any auto shop and picking up a pack of small and medium gloves of the same brand and see what fits. I have a pack of Kimberly Clark nitrile gloves I got from a local drugstore for $7-8 that I use during auto repairs now.

You can also ask for some size samples from the nurses at your doctor's office or clinic. Worst case: bring them a simple treat and ask for a few gloves of different sizes. Lots of food service places use plastic gloves (avoid), but many use vinyl, so ask your friends who work in food service for some demo pairs.

Then you can order online or just buy from a local store.
posted by Science! at 11:44 AM on August 13, 2009

Sorry, tons of latex and nitrile gloves are smooth. Look out for "textured" or "textured tips" if that's what you want to avoid.
posted by Science! at 11:45 AM on August 13, 2009

Best answer: Also speaking from a lab context. Latex made my hands very sweaty but I was comfortable using nitrile for many hours at a time.

You can get ones with smooth finish from Fisher Sci.
posted by special-k at 11:49 AM on August 13, 2009

PS: If you have a friend at a university lab ask them for a box. We get it for dirt cheap.
posted by special-k at 12:02 PM on August 13, 2009

You may want to consider surgical gloves. They are available in a variety of materials and come in different sizes as well as right and left hand pairing. They are obviously more expensive but should be reasonably affordable assuming you won't be going through several pairs a day. These are the powder free gloves most of our surgeons use, but there are many others.
posted by TedW at 12:14 PM on August 13, 2009

I honestly want to know what purpose these examination gloves would be used for.

There are really only two options and the answer for both should be the same, I think.

Nitrile is definitely the right answer for almost anything. Latex gloves should go extinct.

Actual rubber can be sexier, of course. But it's much heavier and hot/sweatier.
posted by rokusan at 12:17 PM on August 13, 2009

Response by poster: @TedW: thanks for the surgical glove suggestion. I'm totally clueless as to the distinction. What would be the difference?
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 12:21 PM on August 13, 2009

Best answer: Surgical gloves are sterile (which is probably irrelevant for your purposes) but are fitted to right and left hands and are sized like actual gloves; i.e. 6, 6 1/2, 7, 7 1/2, and so on rather than S, M, L, XL. This means they fit much more precisely. They are comfortable to wear for several hours at a time and allow for very good tactile feel, as you would expect given their intended use. They are typically sold in cases of 100 pairs or boxes of 25 pairs, so when you see a price of $300.00 a case, remember that works out to only $3.00/pair (and there are cheaper varieties out there; if you know someone who works in a hospital they can probably get you a few pairs to try on for size and so on).
posted by TedW at 12:33 PM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Oh interesting, good to know!
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 12:37 PM on August 13, 2009

Mod note: "Tell me what kind of sex you're having" isn't anything like an answer to the question. It's fine to be curious, but please don't derail the question by asserting your curiosity on it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:58 PM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: i've used nitrile for sex with good effect. (OR SO I'VE BEEN TOLD)

if you're likely to be involving your nose and tongue as well, be aware that some nitrile gloves have a slightly weird smell that might put you off.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:38 PM on August 13, 2009

Response by poster: Ah, yes, thanks for that tip! Any brands you might suggest for minimizing smell/taste issues?
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 12:44 AM on August 14, 2009

i haven't checked out many brands -- this was back in the early 1990's when i was snagging nitrile gloves from work. i don't even remember the brand, unfortunately.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:02 AM on August 14, 2009

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