See more from L.A. Weekly's Sex Issue: "Condoms Suck," "The Swingers' Story: How Two Married People Found True Love While Swapping Partners," "9 Best High-Tech Vibrators to Buy for Your Valentine, Reviewed by our Experts," "Twelve Tales of Sexual Mortification," and "UCLA vs. USC Sex Survey 2012: Who's Sluttier?"
No one feels all that sorry for a guy whose "problem" is a huge cock. But when that guy tries to do the right thing and practice safe sex, finding a condom that doesn't feel like a choke hold can be a challenge.
One of the main problems: One size does not fit all. Sure, condoms are stretchy, but penises are subject to even more variation, and if you're anywhere outside the range that condom manufacturers consider average, all you get for your trouble is an angry red ring at the base of your shaft.
Labels don't help much. Condom makers aren't required to provide specific numbers on their packaging, although they are permitted to use phrases like "XXL" or "thinnest ever!"
How large is "large"? How thin is "ultrathin"?
Our friend Mr. Big knows this problem all too well. He measures 6 1/8 inches long by 6 9/16 inches around, measured multiple times and verified by his girlfriend. According to data from condom brand LifeStyles, those dimensions put him at the 79th percentile in length -- and, more importantly, the 99th percentile in girth. (Yes, girls, you heard that right: We said 99th.)
As a public service to readers of the Weekly, this pair agreed to test-drive a variety of condoms, most of which claim to be made for the bigger-than-average man. They tried two normal ones for comparison and ruled out "custom-made" varieties because the measuring charts showed they were far too small in circumference.
Here's what they found, on a scale of 1 to 10 -- with 10 being equivalent to the joys of condom-free sex.
Fit: Way too tight. Killed sensation.
Notes: Normal-sized condom. Felt like winter in Cleveland. Couldn't come, couldn't focus. Had to go with an oral finish.
Fit: Like wearing a rubber band around a sock.
Notes: Threw an "enhanced" condom into the mix, but the studs that were supposed to provide extra excitement just made her itch. This normal-sized condom wasn't quite as tight, but still felt like wearing a sock to fuck a sock.
Fit: Better fit, but not enough sensation.
Notes: The Magnum series tapers outward from base to peak to heighten sensation, but the material felt thick. Didn't come, but maybe could have, maybe, if dog hadn't gone on a barking jag. Oral finish.
LifeStyles Skyn Large
Fit: Slightly better fit, although still too snug at base and tip.
Notes: Couldn't come, but got close -- with a lot of work. Oral finish.
Trojan Magnum Thin
Fit: Too snug at base, but the outward taper of this style worked its magic -- insofar as any condom has magic.
Notes: Now we're getting there. Not nearly as nice as unsheathed sex, but good enough for orgasm if focused and purposeful.
Fit: Too snug at base, but more sensation where it counts along front of shaft. Head a little too squeezed for long-term pleasure.
Notes: Just sensitive enough for an orgasm. Could stay in the moment and admire details, like that tattoo on her lower back.
RFSU Okeido X-Large
Fit: Too snug at base, but thin and roomy enough near head to provide sensation.
Notes: This worked, despite the base. Came by focusing on her hot, sienna nipples.
Trojan Magnum XL
Fit: Best fit at base and nicely floppy at top, but so much so that, after 50 minutes, head of cock became desensitized.
Notes: Also good enough to come with a little concentration. Went anal and ... ahhh.
Okamoto 0.02 Large
Fit: Tight at base but thin at the important point -- high front of shaft.
Notes: Japanese import ordered online. Very tight on lower shaft, dulling that portion of the cock. But condom was somewhat looser on top half and was so thin that it felt sublime. Came fairly naturally.
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Fit: Tighter than Magnum XL at base, but better sensation up the shaft.
Notes: This is more like it. Came fairly naturally. Second time, 40 minutes later, required more focus. It had the best feel of any, but still far from the real thing. Is this the best condom makers can do?