Nowadays, condoms come in a variety of sizes, colours, and even flavours. There are small ones, skinny ones, purple ones, strawberry ones, peppermint ones... you name it, and it probably exists.
Soon, we might find that we already have as many types of condoms as Hallmark have cards. There used to be a time in another era when there was only one kind of condom out in the market, as far as the texture (or nubbing) is concerned. That has changed in monumental fashion. Nowadays, they can be adorned with latex or they can be ribbed. Some of them can just be on the exterior but some are studded both inside and outside. Presumably, this is also to provide the user with added enjoyment.
Exactly how many different kinds of condoms are out there? Are there in fact any significant differences at all? Basically, all condoms would fall under 8 categories in general, based on the primary consideration. These do not include the ones that would be invented tomorrow (knowing the ingenuity of today's generation, they will come up with something).
Material: It is either made from polyurethane or latex.
Size: This involves the width and not the length. However, those available in convenience shops are standard-sized.
Lubrication: Here different substances are used for different brands of condoms. Picking the water-based ones is best like those that are pre-lubricated with spermicidal gel or foam. Petroleum, baby oil or cream used as lubricant is risky. These types have the tendency to weaken condoms, even latex.
Spermicidal: A spermicidal lubricant is sometimes used to lessen the probability of pregnancy. One of the more common is called nonoxynol-9. Some individuals are sensitive to this and in fact, if used a lot of times, may heighten HIV-infection possibility.
Ribbed: There are many people out there, especially young people, who utter in disgust "if AIDS is not so prevalent, I would never use this...I cannot feel a thing." This type is the heaven-sent condom for them. It has ridges making sex more "feel-able" for the couple.
Colour: Available in almost every colour of the rainbow.
Flavour: Obviously this is for those daring individuals who have a propensity for oral s**. Tastes can range from strawberry to chocolate to god knows what else! However, these condoms should not be used for vaginal/anal sex.
Reservoir tip: Most condoms in fact have a reservoir-like end to hold the semen as opposed to the few others which have plain tips. For the reservoir type, make sure that you pinch the tip before dressing it on. This is more or less mandatory because if air gets in, it could easily break when you are busy and that is what you wouldn't like to happen.
Now that we are through enumerating them, let us go to the more important part which is to answer the question "what are the qualities of a good condom?" In terms of material, latex is probably the best; avoid the naturally made ones (lamb membrane for example). Some unenlightened souls claim that a few viruses can go through latex that is absolutely untrue. Those made from natural materials are porous and so there is a probability of virus-transmission.
What do women want in a condom? Some condoms are packaged to look like tampon containers and a few women are attracted to this. Form also counts - to illustrate, French ticklers (condoms having long appendages) have popular appeal as these (just like the ridges) increase pleasure during intercourse. For this same purpose, some women would insist that their husbands/boyfriends buy the ultra thin type. Of course, not all nationalities are alike. Japanese women in fact, are insistent on using condoms over pills but they are not particular over the kind or form of condom to be used. For as long as she gets assured that it would not break, she probably would not actually care on what specific kind of condom is being used. If you are an American though, a piece of advice: bring your own, the size being manufactured in there might not be to your liking.
And oh, women generally, do not care about the ridges, ribbing or the lubrication. The problem she claims is that condoms are designed by men. She asserts that if women were to be the ones to do this designing, they would just make "padded" condoms. Length may not really be crucial, but according to her, width does and that is where the padding comes in naturally.