What sizes are traditional condoms? You might think that condoms are already available in a wide variety of sizes; indeed it's a view shared by many people:
But this perception owes more to clever marketing of things like "XL" or "Magnum" condom sizes than any significant difference in their actual dimensions.
Before TheyFit, most traditional condom sizes were 8.1" (205mm) in length. In fact, all condom sizes (excluding TheyFit) were at least 7" in length - even the supposedly "small" ones.
Take a look at condom size chart below - you might be surprised by the results:
As you can see from the condom size chart, most traditional condom sizes are extremely similar. All of them are at least 7" long (most are 8"+), and the vast majority of the nominal widths are clustered around 52-56mm.
In comparison, TheyFit condom sizes start from 3.1" in length, rising to 9.4", and matched with nominal widths from 41-69mm. Never have such a wide variety of condom sizes been made available before.
What exactly is "nominal width", and why is it so important?
Nominal width is a peculiar condom industry term that most people have never heard of. It measures the diameter at or near the open end of a particular condom size, when it is laid (squished) flat. It is printed on the box of every condom sold in Europe and, if you know how to interpret it, will let you find the perfect fitting condom size for your requirements.
Indeed, very few young people are taught what nominal width means or how important it is when receiving formal sex education either. That's a shame, because it's the single most significant aspect when choosing the correct condom size for your requirements. Get the nominal width right, and you'll go a long way to achieving the perfect fitting condom size (which will stay securely in place) and having enjoyable safe sex. When young people enjoy condom safe sex, they are more likely to use a condom in the first place.
Most erections are widest (greatest circumference) at their base, which is where the opening of a condom rests during sex. So the nominal width of the condom size you choose is directly correlated to this part of your erection. This base area of your erection is also critical for comfort and the sensation that you feel during sex, as it's where all the nerve endings and blood vessels exit back into the body.
If you choose a nominal width condom size that is too small (see image, right) then the condom will be too tight a fit at the base. It's a bit like putting an elastic band on your wrist - it will feel tight, leave a red mark and hurt. Most men who report that they "can't feel anything when wearing a condom" are actually using too small a nominal width condom size. The condom is pressing into the flesh of their erection, cutting off the blood supply and squashing the nerve endings - that's why they can't feel much during sex.
Typically, most of these men then try to fix the issue by buying "thin" condoms - but if the nominal width of these is still incorrect, the problem will remain. In turn, a lot of these men will be put off using a condom full-stop. That's a shame, because the fix (get the correct nominal width of condom size) is so simple!
On the other hand if you choose a nominal width condom size that is too large (see image, left) then the condom will be too loose a fit at the base - during sex it will probably slip a little, or even fall off all together. It'll do a poor job of transmitting the sensations of sex correctly and again these men are unlikely to enjoy using a condom during sex.
The fix this time is equally as simple - choose a condom with a smaller nominal width condom size.
Remember - all condom size fittings need to have at least some element of 'snugness' to ensure that they stay in place during use. But too much snug (too tight) and it will not be pleasurable - you won't feel much and might lose your erection as a result. However - too little snug (too loose) and the condom will slip or in the worst case fall off entirely!
Were you surprised to learn this about condom sizes and to see our condom size chart?
Did you know what nominal width was, or how important it was to enjoying condom sex?
If you'd like to see more condoms added to our condom size chart, or have any other questions, please do get in touch and we'll be happy to assist.
You can learn more about why a poor condom fit can cause problems during sex here including more of our diagrams.
Why not take a look at how TheyFit condom sizes compare to some popular Durex condom sizes by clicking here? Durex is a very popular condom brand in Europe, similar to Trojan in the USA or Okamoto in Japan.