Overview of Novelty Condoms

Condoms for Each Day of Week
Rick Gayle / Getty Images

Novelty condoms are condoms that are not designed to be used for sex. They're joke condoms or gag gifts. Sometimes people don't realize that novelty condoms are novelties, however. That has the potential to make them dangerous. While most novelty condoms are labeled as not for use for sex, sometimes that label isn't so easy to find. 

Novelty condoms may be cheaper than regular condoms. They also may be substantially more expensive. The price depends on what the novelty condoms are made of and how they are being marketed.

Novelty condoms are easily found online and occasionally in gift shops or joke shops. Some sex shops may also carry novelty condoms if it is a store that carries humorous products. Ideally, if a sex shop is selling novelty condoms, they will not be shelved with the condoms that can actually be used for safe sex.

Novelty condoms should not be used for contraception or to prevent STDs.

Novelty condoms should not be used for anal sex. Instead, people should use a regular latex, polyisoprene or polyurethane condom to make anal sex safer.

Novelty condoms should not be used as protection during oral sex.

The only thing novelty condoms should be used for is to make someone laugh.

The Verdict on Novelty Condoms

Novelty condoms usually carry a warning stating that they should not be used to prevent pregnancies or to protect against STDs. Such warnings may reflect the fact the way in which the condoms are made. They may also simply be a sign that the manufacturer has not taken the time to put the condoms through the regulatory processes required to label condoms as effective for contraception and STD reduction. Since there is no way to tell which of these categories any given novelty condom falls into, novelty condoms should not be used for safe sex.

In general, when buying any non-standard condom product, it's a good idea to check the box. You want to make certain the condoms are actually approved for use during sex. Novelty condoms are not always clearly marked. Therefore, I would strongly advise against storing any of these products with your safe sex supplies. That makes it much less likely that you'll accidentally use a condom you should not be relying on.

It's possible that novelty condom products and products designed to look like condoms may serve a role in making safe sex more acceptable. They might, for example, encourage people to talk about condoms. However, it is important to remember that safe sex isn't a joke. It's an important part of sexual health, and you should never present a novelty condom to someone as the real thing.

That said, there are plenty of fun condoms that are approved for use during sex. Many major condom brands now make specialty condoms to liven up the safer sex experience. These include condoms with bumps or ridges to change sensation. There are also colored condoms, which stimulate the senses in a different way and flavored condoms, too. There's nothing wrong with experimenting with products designed to bring a little zing to the bedroom. You just want to make certain that's their goal, not setting you up for a joke.

Was this page helpful?