Beginner's Guide to Condoms

Written by Lovehoney, 4th Dec 2020

Medically reviewed by Dr Armin Ariana

Last updated 15th Dec 2022

The typical condom is a latex rubber sleeve you wear on your penis to stop your sexual partner from getting pregnant. It also prevents you and said partner from contracting STIs (sexually transmitted infections) from vaginal, oral or anal sex. Yay for that.

Condoms = happy sex

At Lovehoney, we're all about people’s sexual happiness. And who could be happier than people bonking like rabbits without a care in the world?

It means you can get stuck in - as it were - and go for it. Wearing a condom frees you to fully enjoy your sexual shenanigans without hesitation.

Advantages of condoms

When you wear a condom, you’re setting yourself up for sexual happiness. Why?

You can happily…

  • relax and prevent an unwanted love child
  • feel safe and avoid getting an STI
  • send a strong signal to your partner that you care about their health - how erotic
  • add to your sex play tasty and textured frangers
  • add or reduce stimulation to prolong and improve your sexual experience.

How effective are condoms?

Glad you asked. They are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy (according to AU’s Health Direct site) in ideal conditions. In real life - adding in booze, clumsy handling and a rush to get down and boogie - about 85% effective. Take care out there, peeps.

How to choose a condom

Our handy video guide has all the answers.

Condom quiz questions

Who invented condoms?

No one knows, but it may have been a cavewoman named Ms I. M. Condom who didn’t want to get pregnant just yet to her boyfriend, Rocky Stoner. In modern times, credit is given to a man, of course - Charles Goodyear, who invented rubber vulcanisation in 1839. Goodyear is now famous for rubber tyres and for a blimp which looks like a giant condom in the sky.

When were condoms invented?

11,000 years ago, according to cave wall drawings by horny cavemen in France. 5,000 years ago, the king of safe sex, King Minos of Crete, used a goat’s bladder condom to protect his wife from the ‘serpents and scorpions’ in his semen. Think how relieved she would have been. The first rubber condom was made in 1855 - that’s also why condoms are called rubbers.

How long do condoms last?

Up to five years if stored properly, but our Medical Reviewer Dr Armin Ariana suggests it’s better to update or renovate your stash after a year. Always buy a new one if you’re in doubt and buy regularly rather than bulk.

Where can I buy condoms?

Lovehoney has about a gazillion condoms to choose from.

What are female condoms?

Think of an ‘inverted’ male condom. It’s a pouch made of latex or polyurethane with two flexible rings at either end. One ring goes into your love tunnel or up your clacker, and the other one sits outside ready to welcome an erect donger or toy. Insert it into your vajingo hours before your horizontal folk dancing if you want, and avoid any interruptions or delays when the moment strikes. A great option to consider. Learn more about female condoms.

Regular Condoms


You’ll enjoy a regular condom if you’re a standard size in the Old Fella department. For math nerds or blokes who want to whip out a tape measure for your wang, regular condoms measure 190mm in length and 54-66mm in width. See our range of regular condoms.

Flavoured condoms


Have safe oral sex and enjoy taste sensations from minty to fruity when you strap a flavoured condom on your sidekick. Why not try some of our flavoured condoms?

Textured Condoms


These beauties bring textured beads, ribs and dots to the spear-the-bearded-clam party. Both partners can get their kicks from the extra sensations offered by these textured condoms.

Extra Sensitive Condoms


You can feel even closer to your bonk buddy with these minimal-thickness condoms that offer intimacy and enhanced pleasure.

Size-Appropriate Condoms


We love men of all sizes at Lovehoney, so come on down and find yourself a condom that fits like a glove. A penis glove. We’ve got small condoms to give you a snug fit if regular sizes aren’t fitting as well as you’d like. If you’re packing bigger junk in your trunk, large condoms can feel more comfortable. As a bonus, some large condoms have extra thickness that is ideal for anal play. We’re not here to tell you your size, but our 8 inch regular condoms (19cm for us Aussies) should work for almost every peen.

By wearing a large size, your penis won’t suddenly larger and, to be frank, you risk breaking the condom, getting STIs and facing pregnancy while wearing a loose condom. Oh and whatever size you are, adding lube to your protection routine is a bonus for some extra lovely loving. We recommend using our water-based lube - condoms and oil-based lube don't mix.

Latex-Free Condoms


Do you have a latex allergy? Then non-latex condoms could be just the thing for you. Their innovative materials can provide a natural sensitivity that may have you dipping your wick more often while enjoying safe sex.

If you’re unsure whether you have a latex allergy, you can read more here.

Glow-in-the-Dark Condoms


Add some fun to your night-time rock ‘n’ roll by strapping on a glowing condom that you can use as a night light to find your way around the house. Or to find the nearest Mappa Tassie.

Top Condom Recommendations

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