March 24, 2011 1:12 PM   Subscribe

What are the best birth control solutions for men who hate condoms? (NSFW)

For men who hate condoms because of loss of sensation, what are your best tips and tricks?

What brands do you swear by? Are there special lubes you like?

This isn't a case of a very large or thick penis... just about diminished sensations.

Also, what do you think of:
- the female condom
- contraceptive sponges and films
- other things I haven't thought of yet?

Feel free to memail if you don't want to post publicly.
posted by carolinaherrera to Human Relations (22 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I have a copper IUD that I love. Obviously, I'm a girl.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:13 PM on March 24, 2011

Response by poster: Sorry to threadsit, but just wanted to say that I'm asking about brands of condoms and solutions that involve some sort of barrier. Not hormonal birth control or IUDs. (Thanks, though, roomthreeseventeen!)
posted by carolinaherrera at 1:17 PM on March 24, 2011

Drop of lube on the inside. Makes a surprising difference.

Get a sampler pack from an online condom retailer to find a brand you like.
posted by supercres at 1:18 PM on March 24, 2011

Oh, oops, sorry.

When we used condoms, my husband liked the XL Kimono ones.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:18 PM on March 24, 2011

Durex Avanti Bare - it's what used to be called just Durex Avanti (was made of polyurethane, now is made of polyisoprene). Very thin and transmits a lot of heat. Also works well for people who have latex allergies.
posted by Betty's Table at 1:20 PM on March 24, 2011

Seconding Kimono, especially the Micro Thins. If you must use a condom, they're probably the best, imo.
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:23 PM on March 24, 2011

What brands do you swear by?

Durex's Sensi Thin condoms are my favorite out of all brands I've tried. Oddly, I find them way better than Durex "Extra Sensitive", which should be reasonably close, in theory.

A bunch of people on metafilter were talking up the Kimono ones so much that I ordered some online, but I dunno, I didn't think they were any better than a bunch of others.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:23 PM on March 24, 2011

If you want to stick with condoms: try putting some lube INSIDE the condom as well as out. I've heard this helps considerably.

Also, don't necessarily write off the "this isn't a matter of a large penis". The Magnums do indeed make a difference. (Of course, if you've already investigated that option, nevermind.)

If you want to try other barrier methods: I cannot sing enough praises for the cervical cap. I've used it during two long-term, mutually-monogamous relationships and LOVED. IT. Basically, it's a more form-fitting diaphragm; it's designed to fit directly over the cervix, and you also have contraceptive goop to put in it. But you do NOT have to wait until right before you have sex to put it in, and you don't have to take it out and put it back in each time. You can put it in once and leave it in for 24 hours before adding more goop, and you can then put it back in for another 24 hours if you want. Going longer than 48 hours without a break isn't recommended; you gotta take the thing out to clean it, and also give your anatomy a bit of a break (the form-fitting nature exerts suction on the cervix, which helps hold it in place -- but it gets a bit uncomfortable after a while, and can leave the cervix temporarily irritated. But very minorly so; basically the cervix has a hickey for a day afterward).

The only drawbacks are 1) the woman needs to wait 6-8 hours after sex before taking it out, to make sure the spermicide goop has killed everything off; and sometimes that gets a tiny bit uncomfortable until you take it out. (I just felt mildly crampy). And: 2) it may be hard to find a doctor who can set you up with one. The cap is FDA approved, but it isn't popular, so not every doctor is equipped to fit you for one (yeah, you need to be fitted for one). The last time I went to get mine checked out, none of the nurses in my OB/GYN office knew what I was talking about because they'd never seen one before. So you may have to ask a couple doctors if they even have them to find one. But this is more about lack of knowledge about this option than anything else.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:26 PM on March 24, 2011

Oh: I should say my partners who had penises were the ones who suggested these condoms to me. I (with a vagina) like them better than latex ones too, including Durex's Extra Sensitive. Seconding supercres on the drop of lube on the inside. Also, consider using a light silicone-based lube (like Swiss Navy Lube) as long as it doesn't touch any of your silicone toys.
posted by Betty's Table at 1:27 PM on March 24, 2011

Oh -- I admit to only having a sample size of two, but the gentlemen in question reported almost never feeling my cap. (Maybe ONCE one of my partners noticed it, out of.....let's just say copious chances to have done so.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:27 PM on March 24, 2011

Back when I was using condoms, I swore by the inspiral ones, which were — well, worse than nothing, but significantly better than yer garden-variety Trojans.

I found ultrathin (e.g. Kimono) and polyurethane condoms underwhelming, but some people love 'em.
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:33 PM on March 24, 2011

nth lube on the inside. Makes a huge difference for me.
posted by MillMan at 1:45 PM on March 24, 2011

The female condom has been described as "like fucking with a garbage bag" by some of the clients at the agency where I work. Some people like the sensation, however, and claim it provides more stimulation as a result of the different texture.

It is thick (we demonstrate the thickness by pushing a fingernail into it - no rip, no tear - while simultaneously easily shoving the other fingernail through a male condom), huge, and somewhat ridiculous looking when 3" of it is hanging out of the vagina.

The benefits are that it can be inserted hours ahead of time, the aforementioned durability and, unlike the male condom, it can actually be washed and re-used (though it's usually recommended that you use a new one each time). Lube on the inside and you're good to go.

It is also highly recommended for gay men and anal sex - and gets rave reviews from those clients. Generally the female condoms run around $3 CAD each, if purchased individually, which is another reason they haven't caught on in a big way. But I'd recommend giving one a try - you might like it! Most safer-sex agencies give them out for free.
posted by VioletU at 1:54 PM on March 24, 2011

Oh! And contraceptive films -- eeeek!

The most traumatic sexual experience I had was related to VCF - Vaginal Contraceptive Film. I inserted it as directed, waited the required amount of time, and about 2 seconds after the deed started, my partner began screaming - and promptly leaped up, ran out of the room, and attempted to wash his junk off in the bathroom sink. Still screaming.

Nothing makes a lady feel sexier than a man running out of the bedroom screaming.

No idea what the actual effectiveness on it was in terms of birth control - but with this partner, there was a full-on assurance of no more sexy-time with me unless I promised to never use VCF again.

But, uh, your mileage may vary on that.
posted by VioletU at 1:59 PM on March 24, 2011 [3 favorites]

There's a roundup and pictures of lots of different kinds of female barrier methods at
posted by needs more cowbell at 2:07 PM on March 24, 2011

Lucky for me, I used the contraceptive films with no "running screaming" reaction from my partner for several years. (And no babies either, for that matter.) We used one of the inserts, though - encare, something like that? And it didn't make him run and scream to the bathroom - but it did ME! Oh, ouch with the burning. Unfun.

I liked the films because there's no taste or odor, and you can put them in up to an hour in advance, (at least 15 minutes in advance). You do have to insert a new film for each act of intercourse, but there's no waiting afterward however many hours before removal like with a diaphragm or the sponge (both of which I used, and found much less convenient).
posted by lemniskate at 4:11 PM on March 24, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'm a guy who has real problems with condoms. Thankfully, for various reasons, I haven't had to deal with the fucking things for a long, long time. But I dimly recall that Durex Elites were pretty good (inasmuch as condoms can ever be good), sensation-wise. Mind you, that's a UK brand so possibly not much use to you...

Of course, the best solution is vasectomy. Things have been wonderful since I did that. If you don't want kids, do it. If you do want kids, reconsider. ;-)
posted by Decani at 5:14 PM on March 24, 2011

Vasectomy. Microsurgeons are pretty good at reversing things these days if you change your mind. Just make sure you get the all clear from your surgeon before you start firing blanks, as sometimes the vas repairs itself while you are healing up.
posted by humanfont at 5:50 PM on March 24, 2011

Kimono microthins are great. They have no odor or taste, and are really thin (and I haven't had one break). The aqua lube Kimonos were kind of sticky, sadly, so if you need more lube I would add your lube of choice to the microthins

Crown Skinless Skin used to be great, but production was moved and last time I got a batch they smelled like fish and looked like powder had been added to the lube.
posted by Logic Sheep at 6:45 PM on March 24, 2011

Have used both Durex Avanti and the Kimono Micro Thins, but ended up preferring Crown Skinless Skin over either of them. Putting some silicone lube on the inside really does help too
posted by Fin Azvandi at 6:45 PM on March 24, 2011

oh HAI preview button
posted by Fin Azvandi at 6:46 PM on March 24, 2011

Contraceptive films work great, I used them for years. Do make sure you're not allergic to them beforehand though!
posted by fshgrl at 7:35 PM on March 24, 2011

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