Condom week promotes safe sex

Re’Dreyona Walker, Contributor

Valentine’s Day kicked off an important week-long acknowledgment: National Condom Week. 

This week stresses the importance of maintaining a healthy sexual lifestyle and the effectiveness of condom use.

Every year during the week of Valentine’s Day, organizations across the country, from Planned Parenthood to Advocates for Youth, celebrate National Condom Week.

National Condom Week started at the University of California, Berkley in the 1970s and has now expanded nationwide to promote safer sex. 

With an effectiveness rate of about 98%, and the average single condom costing less than 50 cents, condoms are the most affordable and effective protection method for safe sex practice, according to NCSD

But condoms should not just be used as the only protection method. They can be used alongside other methods like birth control and/or PrEP as a reliable tool to reduce the risk of transmitting or acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and prevent unplanned pregnancy. 

There are also many options to choose from when deciding on the right condom. Condoms come in all shapes and sizes, colors, textures, and even flavors. There is a condom type for just about any and everyone’s preference.

Picking out condoms can be quite fun, as there are at least 11 types of condoms on the market to explore. One of those being glow-in-the-dark condoms.

Glow-in-the-dark condoms

This type of condom can create an exciting surprise, as you must expose the condom to light for about 30 seconds before putting it on. 

These condoms are non-toxic and usually made in three layers. The inner and outer layer is regular latex and the third contains a sealed glowing pigment. Most brands like Night Light and ONE Glowing Pleasure condoms are FDA-approved to aid in preventing pregnancy and STIs. 

Flavored condoms

Another type is flavored condoms. Many brands that make FDA-approved flavored condoms claim their condoms have great flavors and aromas. Popular flavors include bubblegum, cherry, orange, banana, strawberry, and vanilla. They are sometimes colored to match the flavor, with bubblegum being pink and banana being yellow.

Ribbed/studded condoms

Ribbed or studded condoms, warming condoms, tingling, pleasured-shaped, like Trojan Twisted, and colored condoms also make up the huge variety of contraceptives.

Novelty condoms

Condoms for novelty use, like edible condoms, have many available flavors. French tickler condoms do not provide protection from unplanned pregnancy or disease. There should be a second birth control method, or a regular condom can be worn underneath.

A few of the most popular, good quality FDA approved brands are Durex, Trojan, Lifestyles SKYN, and Astroglide.

And with so many options, having a safer sex life can be easier than ever.