scorecardHow to know what condom size is right for you, according to an expert
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How to know what condom size is right for you, according to an expert

Julia Naftulin   

How to know what condom size is right for you, according to an expert
LifeScience2 min read
  • You should buy condoms based on the girth of your penis, not the length, according to a condom company CEO.
  • If you don't size for girth, your condom could slip off or tear during sex, reducing effectiveness and pleasure.

If your condom isn't the right size for your penis, it could be getting in the way of your pleasure.

According to Melissa White, CEO of online condom company Lucky Bloke, pinpointing the right condom is a trial-and-error process, but lack of education around the topic stops people from finding the perfect one for them.

The wrong fit can lead to condom failure if it breaks or falls off and limits the feel-good sensations you could experience during intercourse, White told Insider.

She said to focus on the girth of your penis instead of the length when sizing yourself.

Use a toilet paper roll to measure your penis girth

The average erect penis is 5.16 inches long and 4.59 inches wide, according to a review of 15,500 men's penises.

The average condom is 7.5 inches long and 2 inches wide, Dr. Laurence Levine, a professor of urology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and Promescent Medical Advisor, told Men's Health.

Since a standard condom won't suit everyone, White suggests focusing on girth when shopping around, since the width of the penis can impact condom slippage and breakage more than length will.

"This does not mean you have to have a 7-inch penis, as you will only need to roll the condom out to the base of the penis," Levine told Men's Health.

To do that, save an empty toilet paper roll and slide it over your erect penis, White said. The paper tube has a girth between 5.5 inches and 6 inches, so if it's too tight you should look for large-sized condoms, according to White. If the roll is loose, look for small-sized condoms, and if it's just right, a regular condom will work for you.

Buy and try a few different brands in your size

Online and at the drugstore, condom packaging will refer to smaller sizes as slim, snug, or tight. Larger condoms might say "large" on the package, or magnum, XL, king-sized, or jumbo.

In each category of small, regular, and large, condoms will be in a range of sizes, according to White.

She said her company, Lucky Bloke, created sampler packs that include multiple condom sizes to give buyers more options. If you prefer getting your condoms from the local drugstore, you can buy a few brands in the same size to experiment with, she said.

"If the condom doesn't feel good or sit right, stop using it and move to the next one," White said.

You can also test a condom's fit by putting one on all the way, then gently pulling on the receptacle tip, according to Levine. If it starts to slide off with ease, it's a sign your condom is too big. And if you can't roll a condom down on your penis or it feels painfully tight, it's too small.

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