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Condom Size vs. Penis Size

Condom Size vs. Penis Size

4 minute read

Have you measured while erect and eagerly checked out our Condom Size Chart, only to find the penis size you're shopping for doesn’t have a corresponding condom size? You’re not the only one. What's the difference in condom size vs. penis size. 

The discrepancy between the very small range of legally available condom sizes versus the enormous variety of penis shapes and sizes is an extremely frustrating topic for millions of safer sex loving folks here in the States. So why can't every schlong, from micropenis to donkey dong, find the coverage it needs to stay safer? Why are condoms limited in range from small condoms to magnum condom sizes?  After some investigation, the true culprit here is quite clear. It's the FDA, my dears.

FDA Condom Size Regulations

FDA | Condom size vs penis size | CondomDepot.com Learning Center

The Food and Drug Administration strictly regulates the condoms sold to American consumers by vigilantly insisting that condom length, nominal width and ring diameter have to fall within certain condom size guidelines. How come? Well, it all began in the 1980s with the advent of AIDs, at which time condoms became subject to much more scrutiny.

Condoms are made in certain sizes so they can use their testing equipment to approve or reject condoms based on failure rates (breakage) as shown in, “How Latex Condoms are Made.” Currently, only certain sizes of FDA condom testing equipment are available, which greatly impacts and limits the sizes of condoms we have available for purchase and distribution in the US.

A trial was run by the FDA in 2004 testing consumer's reactions to having 55 condom sizes to choose from. Unfortunately, so many people with penises chose condoms with vanity sizing (too large), the condom failure rate for the test was higher than normal due to condom slippage, and the test was deemed a failure.

Therefore, when trying to be responsible by buying and using condoms in 2015, any penis size which falls above or below the testable condom size (either in width or length or both) becomes problematic, if not nearly impossible.

Here are the FDA's male latex condom sizing restrictions:

  • maximum nominal width (base) 57mm or 2.24"
  • minimum nominal width (base) 47mm or 1.85"
  • minimum length 170mm or 6.6"

Compared to the European standard nominal widths of 41-69mm it seems American penises have gotten the short end of the girth stick on both ends of the penis size spectrum. However, when considering the maximum allowable nominal width in America was a mere 54mm in 2008, collectively we have made some headway in the fight for more condom sizes over the past few years.

Those who have a narrower penis girth than the narrowest approved condoms and those who have a larger girth than what is available can employ the internally worn FC2 condom instead of the typical external male condom. 

Is Your Condom the Wrong Size?

Have any of these things happened to you? If so, you’re wearing the wrong condom size:

  • condom won’t stay on during sex
  • condom is cutting off circulation to head or base
  • ring at base of condom leaves deep indentation
  • condom is completely unrolled yet shaft is not fully covered
  • many inches of condom material are left over which creates bunching
  • the widest part of the penis turns a lighter shade
  • erection fades but comes back without condom on
  • the condom is a struggle to put on or simply will not roll down
  • the ring at the base is loose and baggy
  • tingling, numbness or lack of sensation
  • ripping or tearing of the lubricated material

The Psychology of Penis Size

Don’t let the FDA’s condom testing equipment get you down or keep you from having great, protected sex.

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