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27 November 2011

Condoms, Bareback, and Latex Allergies

If you decide that you are a full-swap couple, sooner or later you will have to deal with the issue of what your "rule" is about using condoms when you have intercourse with someone that is not your normal partner.  Couples usually end up in one of three categories:  Bareback, Condoms Required, or Condoms Optional. If you have latex allergies, we have some tips for you too, but in general it still complicates things a bit.


Bareback
Bareback is the most straightforward.  There are definitely swingers that simply will not do full swap using condoms because of various reasons.  Some are just purists and want the natural experience, or don't want to deal with latex options if they have latex allergies.  Overall, those that are firmly Bareback are in the minority, but they are often very up-front about it because they don't want anyone to be surprised at the last minute when they start playing.  Those that are Bareback-only may also be a bit more inquisitive about your health status, since they know going in that they intend to have "unprotected sex".

Condoms Required
For many reasons, most swinger couples are in the Condoms Required category.  We won't go into the health and pregnancy issues -- you already know all those, including that condoms don't prevent the spread of all diseases and are only 98% effective with "perfect" use and 82-90% effective with "typical" use at preventing pregnancy over the course of a year.  However, there are a lot of other issues to deal with when using condoms.

The only real rule for anyone who requires condoms is bring your own condoms.  It doesn't matter if you are male or female, bring some with you.  Don't count on others to actually think ahead and bring them or you could be disappointed.  Additionally, seriously consider buying regular and larger size condoms.  And by "larger" we mean wider or thicker.  Length is less of an issue than thickness.  A long penis can still technically fit into a normal sized condom, but if the guy has a thick penis then the common complaint is constriction.  Guys with a thick penis can end up in a lot of discomfort or pain if the condom is too narrow.  On the flip side, if you see a guy with a small or normal sized penis pulling out Magnum or Magnum XL condoms (trying to impress someone), you may want to offer them your own condoms if you really care ... putting on a condom that is too large increases the chance of it slipping off significantly.

Condoms Optional
Even though by nature this group is more flexible than the others, those who are Condom Optional must be prepared for some hesitation from the Condoms Required crowd since the "optional" part can cause some concern from those who are much more picky about their "safe sex partners".  

Latex Allergies
If you have itching or burning after having intercourse in the area that was in contact with a latex condom, but not usually with sex without a condom, you may have a latex allergy or a latex sensitivity.  The fortunate thing is that there are new non-latex condoms on the market.  The newer ones are made of polyisoprene, which is a synthetic form of latex that does not contain the natural plant proteins that cause the latex allergy.  A sample of non-latex condoms available can be found here: http://www.safesense.com/condoms-non-latex.shtml   However, the downfall is that there are essentially no good non-latex condoms for guys with thicker penises.  Even the SKYN Large condoms aren't really much bigger around at all, so the only viable option for use by guys with thick penis is to use the larger latex condoms and deal with the consequences, but keep reading for a possible remedy.  Other non-latex options include polyurethane, which can be thin but not very stretchy, and the "lambskin" condoms which do not provide any protection against the transmission of STDs.

If you do typically experience irritation after contact with a latex condom, we do have a tip for you that may help.  In the anti-itch section at your local drug store is a cream form of the anti-allergy medication Benadryl, which is diphenhydramine.  Buy a tube of that.  Benadryl has a cream available in a tube, as well as other generic and store brands.  Do NOT get the hydracortizone cream that is normally used for itching -- that is not helpful to prevent the allergic reaction to latex.  Also, do NOT get the gel form available in a bottle, as that has many other ingredients in it.  The cream you get should only have diphenhydramine and possibly zinc acetate listed in the active ingredients.

If you are male, immediately after using a latex condom you can wash your penis with soap and water and then apply the diphenhydramine cream to all the areas that came in contact with the latex, possibly including your scrotum.  Leave it on as long as possible.  If you are female, immediately after having contact with a latex condom, rinse with a douche (plain water if possible) and then use some method to apply the cream inside the vagina, such as applying to a dildo like a lube, or even using as a lube with your normal sex partner without a condom.  Also apply to the outside of the pussy, and when complete leave the cream in/on as long as possible.  This has helped us, but you should consult your doctor before using diphenhydramine cream in this way and use at your own risk.  One other option is to simply take the oral Benadryl (diphenhydramine) tablets, although this is often accompanied by drowsiness as a side-effect.

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