Condoms have generally followed the same cylindrical shape for millennia, but have you ever been curious about why there is a little space at the tip? Condom manufacturers and sexperts call this the “reservoir tip.” Fun-fact: as much as it would be cute to add a little flair to the tip of a condom, there is actually a very real, functional purpose for this design. We’ll walk you through how this condom element was named, what it does and why it matters.
What Is a Reservoir Tip On A Condom?
A reservoir tip is a small amount of space at the tip of external condoms (formerly known as male condoms). Why the name? Well, when these were added to many condom designs, the thought process was that this space would collect contents within the condom the same way rainwater and stream run-off might collect in an aquatic reservoir near where you live. Pretty simple, right?
They are made out of the same latex material as the rest of the condom and are just as durable and very well tested, so feel free to be as enthusiastic as you and your partner(s) like to be. It’s worth noting as well, that when inserted, they lie flat to the surface of the condom and don’t create any distractions or interruptions to your pleasure.
Why Do Reservoir Tips Matter?
This function of reservoir tips is key to practicing safer sex. Condoms are an incredibly effective birth control and STI prevention option because they provide a barrier from direct skin-to-skin contact and bodily fluids like semen, blood and vaginal fluids. Fluids can unfortunately leak out of condoms if the condom is turned upside down, which could put your partner(s) at risk. So by accumulating bodily fluids at the tip of the condom (and working with gravity), reservoir tips serve an important function to prevent any leakage.
Does This Change How I Should Use Condoms?
Short answer, no! Condoms with reservoir tips should be used the same way that all types of condoms are used correctly. Want a refresher? No worries, here are some tips and tricks for proper condom use:
- Before you start your sexual experience, you will want to check the expiration date and make sure there isn’t any damage to the outside of the condom wrapper. Condoms are best used and most effective when they aren’t expired and don’t have any damage – this is one way to make sure you’re getting the best possible protection from unintended pregnancy or STI transmission.
- When you’re opening the condom, be careful not to use scissors or teeth as you might accidentally catch part of the condom itself and cause a microscopic tear. You will want to tear the condom open carefully. If you do think you’ve damaged the condom, better safe than sorry – discard the damaged condom and start fresh with a new one.
- As you put the condom on, remember that condoms are not reversible. You want to make sure you put it on in the right direction. We at ONE® like to say, you want the condom to look like a top hat and not a shower cap. Once you have that determined, make sure to pinch the tip, roll the condom down your penis, until it is fully covering the penis comfortably and snugly. Bonus: If you have foreskin, you might consider retracting a bit before rolling the condom down.
- A word on lube: if you’re using lube (which we highly recommend), make sure to stick to water-based or silicone-based lube. Why? Well some lotions, creams and oils are actually more likely to damage latex condoms. Don’t forget, you can also add a drop or two of water based or silicone based lube inside the condom to make your sexual experience even smoother and silkier.
- After you’ve hopefully had a wonderful and pleasurable sexual experience, remove it by carefully rolling the condom back off, being careful not spill any potential contents, and discarding (pro-tip: you can tie off the condom at the base just to make sure). Unfortunately, condoms are single-use, so if you do decide to go for another round later, you’ll need to start with a fresh condom.
- If for any reason you feel that the condom may have broken or you might have come into contact with bodily fluids, you can explore options, including emergency contraception and STI testing. We have a bunch of information and resources on what to do in this case when something goes wrong with your condom.
And there you have it, that’s the inside scoop on how to correctly use condoms for the maximum protection from STI transmission and unwanted pregnancy. You can always read more on this here, where we went even deeper! *wink*
Where Can I Get Condoms With Reservoir Tips?
We have you covered here. While there are many different styles of condoms out there, we’re proud of our ONE® condoms and would love to get you in ONE®! All of our condoms include a reservoir tip for additional protection, and the variety includes everything from textured and flavored condoms to custom fit condoms and bundles. Check out our ONE Condoms collection here.
If you are looking to spice up your sexual experience, we have just the thing for you. Why not try using a special condom? If that sounds fun for you and your partner(s), we would like you to meet the ONE® Pleasure Plus condom. It’s designed with all the same premium quality materials and reliability with an expertly designed pleasure increasing tip.
Have we piqued your interest? Well, the design team at ONE® added a small but mighty pouch to the tip of the condom, ribbed for pleasure. Throughout your experience, the pouch will move, stimulating both you and your partner(s). How cool is that? Get yours today!