One of the big factors that held me back from going off hormonal birth control was knowing I’d need to use condoms again. I had nothing but bad memories of them: how they taste and smell, how they dried me out, and how they made intercourse feel different (yup, I said it). I tolerated them for a bit when we first started having sex, but once we went steady, we relied on my hormonal contraception alone.
Ultimately, I decided to go off the Pill. To my pleasant surprise, condoms have come a long way since the last time I used them! Increased consumer awareness around ingredients as well as recognition that they do impact sensation has led to a host of new, often female-led, companies making condoms. From better materials to manufacturing processes that remove harmful ingredients and that latex stank, here are some of the best condoms out there today.