The debate regarding flavored condoms has been happening for quite some time. There are numerous assumptions and myths associated with the usage of flavored condoms. Recently, we had a feature on the safety of flavored condoms when used for intercourse. As a follow-up, we had an in-depth discussion with Milla Impola, the Director of Marketing at ONE® Condoms, who is passionate about education around sexual health. Here is an excerpt from our interview:
How are flavored condoms by ONE® Condoms helpful in having sexual intercourse?
Essentially flavored condoms were invented to be another way to increase condom use. They were to make condom use more fun. If you are in a partnership where you are trying to re-introduce condoms, you can say, “Hey! I have this banana-flavored condom, you want to go and try it out?” These can be conversation starters and make sex more fun, interesting, and unique.
Also, condoms are medical devices intended to prevent unwanted pregnancies and transmission of sexually transmitted infections. Texture condoms, go in the dark condoms, whatever kind of condoms are out there. Many factories make different kinds, so everyone out there finds something that fits comfortably and feels good. If you are using it and keep using, it then flavored condoms are another example of doing that.
How do you think we can remove the misconceptions regarding the usage of flavored condoms?
When I was a sex educator back in college, many years from now, I was also taught that flavored condoms are only for oral sex, and I carried that with me for years. It wasn’t until I started working at ONE® Condoms, that I learned the answer to if flavored condoms are only for oral sex is, “It depends.” It has to do with if that specific company has put sweeteners into the actual flavoring or the lubrication that is on the condoms. If they do, sugar can obviously have an impact on the pH value of the vagina. And for some people, it leads to yeast infection.
Some brands do use sweeteners. Asking out the manufacturers if they use sweeteners will help. It all comes through education. Also, we as a condom brand need to do a better job at educating our consumers. We should put that information right on the product page, talking to people more about what ingredients are there in the condom. People now are a lot more aware and are looking into ingredients a lot more often. We also work with the educators to educate by talking to people about condoms to remove some misconceptions related to flavor condoms.
Our flavored condoms don’t have any sweeteners. Hence, they don’t affect the pH balance and are nothing different than standard condoms. They are intended for great and fun oral sex, but you can use them for vaginal sex.
What is the reason behind the creation of flavored condoms for all types of sex by your brand?
It was created to add more excitement to sex. If you have your standard lubricating condom, it is exciting. But flavor condoms can give people more options. Even we have a pack called ‘Mixed pleasure’ where we have our flavored, textured, or studded different kinds of condoms.
People can try something new every night. Every time it will be a new surprise to them. Even as a company, we are always trying to reinvent condoms. Like, invent something new all the time to give something to us to talk about to the customers, something new for people to try. Flavored condoms are an example of how we can continue to make unique new experiences for people.
Even our amazing team in Malaysia launches a new flavor every year. So, they have done Nasi Lemak condoms like it’s a traditional Malaysian flavor. They just came out with curry flavor. They just went crazy. Instead of doing the usual strawberry or banana flavor, they said, “let’s do something local cuisine.” So, that is again trying to talk about condoms, trying condoms.
We are now thinking in the USA about what we should do in the next few years for our unique flavored condoms. We aren’t looking for usual flavors. We are looking for weird stuff. So, if anyone has any ideas, let us know!
Are there condoms that focus on oral sex alone?
Not necessarily condoms. But, there is something that used to be called dental dams. We call it an oral dam because it doesn’t have anything to do with your teeth. So, it’s like a latex sheet that someone either puts on their vulva or anus during oral sex. It is like a barrier between somebody’s mouth and somebody’s genitals to help prevent the transmission of diseases. For example, you can transmit herpes from someone’s mouth to somebody’s genitals or vice-versa.
If you don’t have a dental dam as it is not widely available as condoms, you can make one from the condom.
How can a buyer understand that a flavored condom is safe for having all forms of sex?
If you are looking into the ingredients, then sometimes different products pages and websites don’t list the specific ingredients. If they don’t, then you can always reach out to the brands and ask questions like, “Do you use any sweeteners as I am worried about yeast infections?”
What are the benefits of using flavored condoms by your brand?
So, the benefits are you can use them for both oral sex and penetrative sex. They protect against STIs and unintended pregnancies.
They make sex a lot of fun. We have fun flavors. At ONE® Condoms, we always like to do things differently. So, instead of doing chocolate and strawberry, we have chocolate strawberry. Instead of having bananas, we have bananas split. So, we ended up mixing different flavors to create some unique flavors. You can use them regularly as your sexual health practice.
What are some products( condoms) that you would suggest to buyers?
One of the popular things in the market is the hyper-thin condom. We have one called Vanish, which has these golden wrappers. It’s the thinner form of latex and the reason why people like that is because it helps you feel closer to your partner, not much latex between you and your partner. It’s safe to use. All condoms go through very rigorous testing and standards and regulatory stuff.
Also, people like studded condoms. We have one called Superstars, where it’s raised dots on actual condoms, it creates that fiction, extra pleasure. We have another called Tattootouch, which is like ribbing with a tattoo design.
There are a variety of packs. Most condom brands will have variety packs for us it’s called Mixed pleasure. So, comes with all kind of different styles, people can find their favorite, figure out what they like. Variety packs are highly recommended.
We at ONE® Condoms are very passionate about educating people about lubricants. Also, we like to educate how lubrication with a condom is the best combination ever. Lubricants help to add that comfort, reduce friction. It also really reduce the chances of condoms breaking during use. Any lubricant is good other than oil-based.
Oil essentially breaks the latex molecules and causes latex condoms to break. Anything is good that doesn’t have coconut oil or vaseline. Otherwise, it will cause the condom to break. We created Ultrafeel, which is a party pack where there is a lubricant pouch on one side and a hyper-thin condom on the other side.
And then another thing we hear from people is, “condoms don’t fit me right.” For many years, people have assumed that this is people trying to get out of condom use. But, this is a real challenge for people, especially if they find standard condoms to be too long or too loose. So, standard condoms are seven and a half inches long. So, a lot of people are worried about condom slippage, or they have had experiences alike. This is normal as condoms are too long for a great majority of people. So, we have something called My One, which has 60 different sizes, ten different lengths, nine different girths, and sixty combinations of those.
When people say a condom is small for them, they often mean the condom is too tight. Imagine you have a rubber band on your wrist, and then it’s too tight. It leaves that purple ring mark. That’s what people experience with a condom. Just because condoms don’t mean they are always comfortable on a penis all the time.
So, we have condoms tighter and wider than the standard size. So, everyone can find something that fits. So, many of our customers say if the condom is too tight they lose the instant erection. So, for people looking for a better fit with My One, they don’t have to worry about slippage, erection loss, or purple rings.
Our goal is to increase condom use at the end of the day. Whatever we can do from a development perspective to have people better pleasurable, more comfortable experiences with sex and condom, that’s the world we want to live in.
Special mention to our collaborator: Milla Impola, who is the Director of Marketing at ONE® Condoms, and passionate about education around sexual health. In her role, Milla focuses on educational campaigns, branding, and program development. Her favorite title is Size Specialist, helping people find a more comfortable fit through the myONE® brand’s 60 condom sizes.
About ONE: ONE® is a maker of premium condoms and lubricants. ONE® features artistic, round wrappers – designed by the community through the Design ONE® Contest. As an extension of the brand, ONE® launched the myONE® brand of 60 condom sizes. Knowing proper condom fit is key for pleasure and confidence in your condom, myONE helps resolve issues such as condom slippage, squeezing, and erection loss due to condoms being too tight or small. All ONE Condoms are vegan, non-GMO, made from natural rubber latex, and without any harmful chemicals.