Condoms 101: How To Pick the Correct Condom Size

29.10.2021
Marissa Del Mistro

Can’t take my size off you: the search for the perfect condom.                                                      

“The search for the perfect condom.” It might sound like a raunchy teen rom-com or HBO’s latest drama-slash-musical. But what if I said that it’s your upcoming Saturday afternoon plans? Or at least it should be because condom size is essential for maximizing sensitivity for your next dick appointment! As an accessible and effective form of protection, wearing condoms is one thing, but wearing one that’s the perfect fit is another. 

Size does matter

When it comes to condoms, yes, size does matter. If a condom is too loose, it risks sliding right off or, if it’s too tight, it risks leaving the user with a feeling of discomfort. There is also the anxiety or stress associated with fear of the condom failing (increasing risk of contracting HIV) taking away from the moment’s enjoyment. Plus, if something is uncomfortable, you are not as likely to want to even wear one. If you'd like to learn about how to reduce your HIV risk, I recommend checking out PrEP in Canada.

Typical signs your condom isn’t fitting correctly:

  • The condom is moving around. 
  • The condom is too short, and a significant part of the shaft/sex toy is outside the condom. 
  • Condoms regularly break or tear. 
  • The condom bunches up at the base. 
  • The condom is hanging loose off the tip of the penis. 
  • There are less than two inches of space to catch semen. 

Getting a condom that fits isn’t nearly as daunting as you may think. 

Condom calibration

Penises are all different – they range in length, size, curvature - you get the idea – all are healthy and noble. (So long there is no pain or anything too out of the ordinary) Against popular notions, there is no “typical” or “normal” penis. Some men aren’t born with a penis, and some people use different names for their parts

To get your sizing, you will need to measure both the length and the girth for accuracy. 

Length:

  • You can use an old-school ruler, a measuring tape, or even a piece of string, which you can likely find lying around the house. You should take your measurements when your penis is erect. 
  • From the base of the penis or where it meets your pelvis, run your measuring tool to the tip. 

Girth:

  • Gently wrap your measuring tool around your erect penis. It doesn’t need to be super tight, and it’s recommended to do so in the middle of the penis. 
  • You could also measure it at several areas of the shaft and take an average.

Now you’ve calibrated your size, let’s find your perfect match. Condoms do come in various sizes, shapes and there is no one size fits all. 

You will also need to implore some math skills to determine the different widths. To do this, you will simply want to divide your girth by measurement by 3.14 = width. 

Snug condoms

Condom size:

  • Length: 6” - 7”
  • Width: 1.7” - 2”

For penis/toys:

  • Girth: 4.7” and below.
  • Length: 5.1” and below.

Standard condoms

Condom size:

  • Length: 7” - 7.5”
  • Width: 2” - 2.13”

For penis/toys:

  • Girth: 4.7” - 5.1.”
  • Length: 5.1” - 6”

Large condoms

Condom size:

  • Length: 7.5” - 8”
  • Width: 2.13” - 2.3”

For penis/toys:

  • Girth: 5.1” - 6.”
  • Length: 6” - 7”

Extra-large condoms:

Condom size:

  • Length: 8” and above.
  • Width: 2.3” and above.

For penis/toys:

  • Girth: 6” and above.
  • Length: 7” - 8”

Many folks will find that standard condoms are a match, but if you’re finding that a standard is still a bit tight, you might want to look for condoms with an enlarged reservoir tip to give yourself more room. Also, depending on brands, they will vary slightly, as in you might be a standard in one brand but snug in another. 

Condoms advertise their sizing on the packages and their websites for further reference. You can also check this handy condom chart: 

Condom Size Chart: Snug Fit, Standard Fit, Large Fit

Important to note that, unlike external condoms, internal condoms are actually one size fits all.  

Is it a match?

The perfect condom will be different for everyone, based on personal preferences. However, generally, a condom should be comfortably over the penis/toy with no slipping or obvious discomfort. Condoms are supposed to be tight, but it shouldn’t feel like it’s going to snap off at any moment. 

Condom tips for trans-men

Depending on your individual preferences, transgender men can utilize both internal and external condoms. External condoms will work perfectly for folks who have had gender-affirming surgery, inclusive of neophallus, phalloplasty or metoidioplasty and for non-flesh penises. You can calibrate your size using the above method.  

Some trans men may prefer internal condoms for anal and front hole sex, which work well and can even be inserted a few hours prior to sexual activity to avoid any “awkward” moments. 

Dental dams are also a great way to protect yourself during oral sex and rimming, and can be used for both anal and front hole play. You can use a dental dam or a non-lubricated external or internal condom lengthwise. 

Let’s wrap things up

If you’re unsure after measuring, head to your doctor or sexual health clinic to get further advice. You can also grab a sample pack of condoms that includes various sizes or styles for you to try on until you find your match. There is nothing to be embarrassed or shy about when it comes to advocating for your sexual health.

Finding your perfect match that fits properly will positively impact your sex life. You’ll feel more confident, comfortable, and importantly, condoms will be able to do their job as accurately as possible. 

If you enjoyed this article, consider checking out our piece on condomless sex & stealthing.

Written by:
Marissa Del Mistro

Marissa is a writer, editor, and passionate advocate. Marissa received her master’s degree in human rights and democratization and has had the privilege to work with vulnerable communities with a focus on immigration and rights realization in both Europe and Canada. She currently lives in the beautiful unceded Coast Salish Territory of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ nations.

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