I sometimes wonder if I was born twenty years too early – there are so many ways in which life has been made easier and more fun through the application of improved technology. This occurred to me when I was looking at my car today – the thing is nine years old and apart from needing a wash it still pretty much looks like it did when I bought it. The first car I ever bought was ten years old and it was a rusted-out piece of shit, not so much a car as a collection of automotive projects bolted to a chassis and painted orange. Admittedly when things went wrong with it I could fix them myself – nowadays if one of the “you’re fucked” lights on my dashboard came on it’d be in the same category of “things I could do myself” as intestinal surgery, dentistry and tattoos.
Other things also got better. I haven’t been watching developments in the condom industry very closely over the years but back in the day things were relatively simple. The machine in the pub toilet would give you a choice of Featherlite or Fiesta (basically plain or colored); it wasn’t worth spending a lot of time deciding because invariably your coin would get jammed and you wouldn’t get either. Even if you went to the chemist (drugstore – this was back in the UK) you didn’t exactly have to wade through a hundred options. In fact the only ones I can remember were regular, colored, extra thin and “ribbed, for her pleasure”, which roughly translated into “ribbed, so you won’t feel a fucking thing”. I know there were flavored ones, glow-in-the-dark and stuff like that, but they were typically novelty shit, not the sort of thing you’d trust to prevent unscheduled offspring. Who needs a glow-in-the-dark penis anyway? Unless your partner is going to attempt to run-up, do a double handspring from the bedpost and land on your erection with the light off I can’t see the point. “Look, I know it’s dark in here but if you haven’t worked out by now that my prick is down here, right above the sack with the balls in, I think we have bigger problems.”
I just checked out the product line at Durex (for the Brits out there) and Trojan (for the Americans) and things certainly moved on a bit. I’d give the edge to Durex, but that might just be nostalgia. Years ago I used to go shopping with a girlfriend and the first section of the supermarket was the healthcare products aisle. I’d throw a family pack (that doesn’t seem right, does it?) of Durex Elite into the bottom of the shopping cart and she’d immediately try and cover it up with fruit and vegetables, in case people noticed that we were HAVING SEX. Durex don’t spell things out too graphically though. Their “Extra Safe” product, with thicker walls and extra lubricant, should really just be called Durex Arse Grade. And what’s with “Performa”? A benzocaine additive for climax control seems like maybe a bit too much technology. How about you just imagine a fat bloke sitting naked on a glass-topped table instead?
The Trojan site is much more fancy but there are a few things I wondered about. For a start, there’s this thing called the Twisted Pleasure condom which looks like it would completely kill any sensation in your nob-head. In fact it reminds me of one of those ice creams we used to get as kids from the van that drove around – you know, the ones that were coiled down on the cone from a dispenser. Perhaps that’s the idea – you want your partner to think “That looks just like an ice cream – maybe I’ll lick it.”
The other one that caught my attention was the Magnum XL. It’s even bigger than the Magnum – for all of those guys that are way too big for a standard size. The Trojan people aren’t stupid though – they know blokes will buy the bigger size even if they don’t need it, so they “taper” the base (i.e. make it narrower) in order that it won’t just slip right off your “average size” dick. I can see why this would be a big seller in the drugstore, where blokes can ask for it by name, or conspicuously present it to the check-out girl, but will people really buy this online, where there isn’t anyone to notice?
Both brands now have “warming” condoms that are supposed to bring extra sensation. I suppose it’s like Bengay or Deep Heat on your dick, but presumably not quite so strong. Here’s where I part company with technology and remind myself that on the other side of the condom is something that was already designed to provide all the pleasurable sensations necessary. In fact the only thing I used to require of a condom was for it to feel as much as possible like it wasn’t there at all. No color, no flavor, no glowing in the dark, no need to prolong the pleasure or provide ribs, dots and twists.
There was one brand I tried which was fantastic. The sensitivity was great and I thought I’d found a product I could really love, right up until the point where I pulled out and found the ripped rubber all rolled up, concertina-style, around the base of my shaft. Which just goes to show that the best condom of all is the one you don’t have to use. (Of course this doesn’t apply if you’re planning to shag a transsexual street prostitute, with track-marks on her arms, up the arse tonight.) At least technology has given us the Trojan Mint Tingle – designed so she can blow you without swallowing and you can kiss her afterwards and get the taste of minty freshness. Everyone wins! (She being your girlfriend/wife, etc, not the street prostitute – I hope I didn’t have to spell that out.)
By the way, don’t get me started on the female condom – that thing’s like a fucking bin liner. I’ve seen flat-pack furniture that’s easier to assemble. Unless you’re planning to fantasize that your partner is a plastic love doll I’d give it a miss if I were you…
Copyright © 2008 Edward Bison