(Ball State Daily News, Page 8, December 14, 1992) 

Staff Reporters

For many college students, the holiday season is the time to trek home to visit the family, reap loads of gifts and spend time away from that special someone in life.

Before saying goodbye with a last-of-the-year hop in bed, let’s talk about something that may come between you and your partner – the condom.

Condoms have been around for centuries, although the exact origin of the prophylactic is unclear.

Anthropologists have found evidence which proves ancient cultures used such bizarre materials as tree bark, paper and cloth as preventative measures against conception and disease.

Today, condoms are usually made of one of two substances – latex and natural membrane (usually sheep innards).

Beside the fact that the thought of engaging in intimate activity with a piece of dead animal separating the privates may cause one nausea, this type of condom is ineffective at preventing venereal disease. So the focus of this article is on latex, or truly rubber rubbers.

It is important to use condoms for any sexual activity – including oral sex. This could prevent the embarrassment of a sore throat being diagnosed as a case of oral venereal disease. Herpes also is a risk reduced by condom use.

These latex wonders come in two basic categories: lubricated and non-lubricated. Other, more specialized possibilities exist with features like receptacle ended, fitted, ribbed, colored, flavored/scented, super thin, extra strong and extra large.

  • Non-lubricated condoms are probably best for oral sex. the slimy lubricant included with most condoms is not exactly a taste sensation. But for intercourse, these need a lubricant like KY Jelly or a spermicidal alternative to help prevent painful penetration.
  • Lubricated condoms come with out without spermicide. The most-common spermicide is nonoxyl-9, which is detergent-based. Although nonoxyl-9 is helpful in preventing pregnancy and lowering the risk for sexually-transmitted disease, many people are allergic to the substance. Individuals with soap allergies may ant to beware of possible irritation.

After the choice of lubricated and non-lubricated, the fun begins.

  • Colored condoms (or condoms of color) really don’t add much zing to the act. The effect these have vary with color, for example: green makes a penis look diseased, yellow causes a severe jaundiced look, red provides an angry appearance and blue screams of suffocation.
  • Ribbed, pleasure dotted or “rough rider” condoms are usually billed “for her pleasure.” This phrase is a fallacy. Women are not sexually stimulated by vaginal friction. One writer for Details magazine described sex with ribbed condoms as “getting pumped while going over speed bumps.”
  • Super-thin rubbers, especially the Lifestyles brand, tend to break during active or inventive frolicking.
  • Extra-strong (thick) condoms are like wearing mittens while trying to play piano – it isn’t very fun and leads to random, disharmonious banging.
  • Extra-large should not be used by the mere egomaniac since they may fall off and cause a partner to laugh or may come off inside and cause a partner the embarrassment of digging it out.
  • Flavored/scented condoms help alleviate the monotony associated with prolonged oral sex. They also eliminate that distinctive “balloon flavor” of the average rubber. Mint-flavored condoms let users have fresh breath after the acts – a definite plus if you’ve forgotten your tooth brush.

Specialized features may raise the price of a condom. The cost-conscious consumer may find a plain condom, which averages 50 cents, the best buy.