If sex doesn’t give you the pleasure you desire, don't worry, you're not the only one. Have you ever considered that the latex in the condoms you're using might be responsible for this?
Sex wasn’t very pleasurable for me in the beginning. It would hurt, burn, and sting during and post the act. My partner and I tried everything to make it better - from different positions and lubricants, to restricting ourselves to oral sex - we did it all. Since nothing worked, we ended up at a gynecologist's clinic, having to run tests and buy prescription pills. I was wrongly diagnosed with bacterial vaginosis, a urinary tract infection. Some doctors even suggested that my partner had multiple other partners, because of which the disease was passed onto me.
Ten gynecologists, multiple vaginal invasions, and a pap smear later, I discovered that the problem was not me. Yes, it wasn’t me, it was you - latex condoms. For those of you who want to know if you, too, have been cursed with a latex allergy, here are some signs:-
- Vaginal itching, red skin, rashes or burning sensations.
- More severe symptoms include difficulty in breathing, excess coughing and wheezing, sneezing, a runny nose, itchy eyes, or a scratchy throat.
- The catch is that these reactions are generally delayed. They can show up anywhere between 6 and 48 hours after exposure.
- You may also be sensitive to foods that contain similar proteins: bananas, avocados, chestnuts, kiwi fruit, and tomatoes.
I decided to break up with latex and move on to non-latex and trust me, it was the most pleasurable and smooth rebound ever. How so, you might ask?
- Polyurethane condoms saved me; they were thinner, stronger, less constrictive, and better at transmitting heat than latex. They also don’t reek of industrial chemicals.
- They also protect you from unwanted pregnancies at the same success rate as latex condoms (which isn’t 100% too - bummer!)
“I bought a packet of Trojan Ultra Pleasure Extra Sensitive condoms: ‘No. 1 in AMERICA’. They smell nothing like a positive first sexual experience.”Joe Dunthorne, Submarine
Of course, they’re not perfect - they’re more expensive and the chances of them breaking are higher, so you would have to be careful if you’re concerned about STI transmission. Nonetheless, since they finally made sex pleasurable for me, I chose them.
What are some options you could move onto?
- For starters, STOP using latex condoms!
- Durex - the Avanti range (you will get them online)
- SKYNN by Kamasutra (again, online)
A warning signal before you make the big switch- ladies, do go back and check if you are breaking up for the right reasons. Make sure that you are not reacting to either the spermicide or a lubricant or have any other kind of vaginal infections (which can be caused by yeast, bacteria, or viruses, and need to be diagnosed by a medical professional).
But if you have any of these signs and none of your judgemental gynaecologist visits has been able to diagnose you, try non-latex condoms and see if sex feels like it should - Awesome!
If you make the switch to non-latex condoms, the fear of the ex popping up with pains and burns might not allow you to get wet enough naturally. But give yourself some time and extra lubricants, and soon you’ll be relaxed and awaiting your next sexual encounter.
A large part of relationships is intimacy and if you ride it without any bumps and burns, chances are, your destination will be easier to reach!
Shreya Lahoty has done her Master's in Clinical Psychology and is very passionate about the subject. Sexuality and sexual disorders are her primary area of interest in the field of Psychology, and she intends to dedicate the rest of her life to the betterment of people's sexual lives.