Until recently there was only one non latex condom readily available, the Durex Avanti. Fortunately for those of us with issues with latex the problem has become much more common, which has led to money and research into the issue. The Avanti did the job it was supposed to, as a safe, reliable condom but it didn't exactly feel great, and the interesting sound effect of 'shagging a crisp packet' never really helped the atmosphere! Durex Avanti's are also incredibly expensive, usually retailing for approximately £7 for 5 condoms. Unlike latex condoms, bags of which are often handed out for free in bars, universities or NHS clinics, if you need non latex condoms the NHS will fund 2 a week, and you'll probably have to travel to a specialist family planning clinic to collect them.
So, just before travelling to see The Best Man I was delighted to spot a new non latex condom in my home town's tiny branch of Boots. Made by Mates and called Skyn I was even happier to see that Skyn are sold in boxes of 12, which were on a buy 2 for £10 deal. That's so many more shags per pound sterling my poor brain can't even work it out!
As we all know, most condoms smell a bit..well, distinctively weird and unmistakably condom like. The first thing you notice about Mates Skyn is that there's no unpleasant smell. They also feel completely different when you handle them. Much more slippery in a comfortable kind of way than a typical latex or latex free condom. The Best Man informs me that Mates Skyn are also a comfortable fit, unlike most condoms which do rather tend to cut off the circulation to sensitive boy bits.
Mates Skyn are made from "Sensoprene which has a completely different structure to normal latex, making it thinner, softer and much more flexible, all with the strength of a latex condom." When using Avanti's I'm used to a background worry that the condom will split, which can be a particular problem in erm, the more petite woman. However, that's not a worry with the Skyn as they just feel more durable and less likely to decide to break open at the slightest hint of pressure. Happily coupled with that increased strength really is increased sensitivity, to the point where you can actually feel the texture and temperature of the other person's skin through the condom. I wouldn't go quite so far as to support the claim by Mates that the condom itself enhances sensation, but it certainly is the closest feeling to wearing nothing I've ever experienced whilst using a condom.
Thanks Mates, you've certainly made me a happy girl!