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Condoms have been around for decades, and now you can even buy all types of styles- ribbed, flavoured, heated, extra-thin etc.

It can slip everyone's mind that they help prevent unwanted STIs and pregnancy, particularly when you're about to get frisky with someone and they decline the condom offer.

We've heard the excuses before; "I'm too big to wear a condom", "It doesn't feel good", "It just falls off", "I can't orgasm while wearing one".

golden girls condom GIF

Blah, blah blah; the contraceptives available for women can cause long-term health issues, changes their entire hormonal system, often induces anxiety, migraine, dizziness or causes spotted bleeding.

The list of side effects goes on, but men often say no to a simple condom. The excuses often aren't valid, so tell your boy to wrap it up stat. Luckily for him, we've got a hack to help ease any discomfort.

Cosmopolitan's sex researcher Maureen Miller, PhD, offered some advice;

“Add a few drops of water-based lube to the inside of your condom before you put it on. Men report being amazed at how much better it feels.” SO SIMPLE.

emma stone snl GIF by Saturday Night Live

Many condoms come with lubrication on the outside, adding just one or two drops into the tip of the condom before putting it on and rolling it down can make the world of difference for a guy's comfort.

If lube feels unreal for you, we're fairly sure it'll feel great for him too. You only need to add a little bit of lube, however. Too much will make the condom more susceptible to falling off.

Anti-baby note to remember: Oil-based lube can break the condom or thin the walls, so if you're not on any other contraceptive, make sure it's water-based lubricant. We recommend the YES brand.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“Condoms are mighty hard to break, although not impossible. The number one reason for condom breakage is that the condom was not put on properly," Miller says. 

"The tip must be squeezed as the condom is being rolled down the penis so that there is room for ejaculate. Otherwise, the condom can burst," she adds. Remember: Safe sex is hot as f*ck.

There are plenty of ways to make putting on condoms super sexy; “Using your mouth, tongue, and hands, make the project of putting on a condom really erotic." Damn, we need to try this.

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“We’ve let our hair out, gone back to work and made our voices heard, so why are we still putting up with uncomfortable and painful sex?”

Now THAT, Durex, is a great question. One that we're SO glad advertisers are starting to ask, seeing as women make up the huge majority of consumers. It's hella dumb not to cater for our needs, if you ask us.

The renowned condom brand also have a range of lubricants, which they are marketing with a pretty great ad, if we do say so ourselves.

The ad uses examples of women fighting for our rights, using our voices to protest, to work, to rebel against societal norms, but yet many of us don't speak out against painful or uncomfortable sex.

Dryness down there is such a common aspect of our daily lives, and the ad points out that our body lubricates itself differently depending on our hormones and the time of the month.

It's perfectly normal that a lot of us would need a little help sometimes with the 'ol lube. Especially during sex, when most heterosexual men don't seem to realise that we need water for the slide to be fun, so to speak.

An advert which shows a protester, female body hair and a working mum is refreshing, so we're even more chuffed that they brought painful sex into the equation.

Millions of women face this issue in their lives, and it can be incredibly frustrating. We all deserve to enjoy sex and have as many (multiple) orgasms as physically possible, and lube is a tool in our armoury to help us achieve that.

Take a look at the video below;

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Research has discovered that ONE IN THREE women have heard the classic excuse of the condom being "too small to use."

We're feelin' pretty smug at this news, but we thought it would be three in three, to be honest…

A study has proven that just FOUR percent of people experienced problems with the condom legitimately not being big enough to use, despite so many women hearing the excuse. LOL.

golden girls condom GIF

Scientists were seeking to dispel the fallacy through their testing of condom sizes with an air compressor, and found that the condoms expanded to well over the average penis size.

The NHS and King's College London have previously said that the average size is 5.16 inches long.

However, engineering firm SGS Engineering maintain that the condoms measured roughly THREE FEET LONG by one foot wide when inflated to full capacity, so it seems a lot of men are telling fibs.

the 40 year old virgin hand GIF

A spokesperson for the engineering company who tested the barrier contraceptive said: “The condom, when inflated, would be approximately the same size as an Alsatian.”

A DOGGO. A REAL-LIFE BIG SIZED DOGGO. Let that sink in for a minute.

Researchers talked to 1,000 people in the UK to discover common attitudes to condom use, and found that only one-third of sexually active 18-24 year olds use condoms, and just 41 percent of sexually active folk across all age ranges use them. Alright then, do you want a baby/STI? Did you not see Mean Girls?

sex ed GIF

70 percent of those who were quizzed said they don't use a condom every time they have sex because they use another contraceptive method, such as the pill (24 percent of y'all are smart), withdrawal method (13 percent of y'all are stupid) and sterilisation (10 percent).

This is next level absurd; one in ten people said they didn't use condoms because of the WEIRD SMELL.

20 percent said the reason was discomfort, while 16 percent said it was because they reduced the pleasurably sensation, and 8 percent said they 'forgot'. Fools.

However, of the 70 percent of people who cited another contraception being used, one third just assumed that this was the case but there wasn't any proof. Mmmkay then. 

Half of people experienced an unplanned pregnancy because they didn't use condoms. See? Sex Ed is IMPORTANT people.

Condoms are up to 98 percent effective at protecting against STIs and unwanted pregnancies, 15 percent of people in the survey said they didn't trust condoms for fear of splitting.

Only three percent if these worries are based on this happening to them previously though.

andy samberg flirting GIF

A spokeswoman for SGS Engineering, Natalie Richardson, commented on the results;

 “The findings were surprising – particularly how anti-condom some men seemed to be, despite them not considering any other contraceptive methods."

“Potentially women are being told the excuse as a way of avoiding condom use because of sensation reasons. However, in most cases the risks far outweigh the benefits of ‘increased sensation’,” she added. Damn right they do.

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Ian Green of sexual health service organisation Terrence Higgins Trust said that the best way to protect against STIs remains to use condoms;

“There is the right condom out there for everyone. Penises come in a whole range of different shapes and sizes – and condoms do too. For example, if you do find standard condoms too small, then you should try a king size option."

“Last year we saw big jumps in rates of both gonorrhoea and syphilis, which is why more needs to be done to promote condom use, the range of different shapes and sizes available, and the importance of regular testing," he continued.

"This is particularly true among groups most affected by STIs in this country, which includes young people, gay and bisexual men, and people from BAME (black, Asian, and minority ethnic) communities.” 

The Family Planning Association, said regular sized condoms are suitable for most penis shapes and sizes.

Karen O’Sullivan, who has 30 years of experience working in sexual health wrote : “We would advise anyone who knows that regular condoms aren’t suitable for them, for whatever reason, to carry appropriate options with them so they can have safe sex."

Sexual health provider SH:24 said health providers need to move away from the “one size fits all” contraception mentality.

“When patients come into a clinic, they can often assume all condoms are the same size so we also want to see better education around choices and how to use condoms properly,“ they said.

It just goes to show, we need to massively step up when it comes to sexual health education, because myths are still circulating.

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It's time to double check your johnnies.

A recall for two types of Durex condoms, Durex Real Feel – Latex-Free and Durex Latex Free Polyisoprene has been issued by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA).

It comes after fears arose over the affected condoms potentially bursting as they come closer to the end of their shelf life. 

If you have purchased "Durex Real Feel – Latex-Free" and "Durex Latex Free Polyisoprene" condoms, please check their batch number to see if they are amongst the recall.

The batch number for the Latex Free are as follows: Durex Latex Free 12-Pack – Sku number 3014272: Batch numbers 1000444367 – expiry February 2021 and 1000433145 expires January – 2021.

As for Durex Real Feel 12-Pack: the Sku number is 3014277 –  Batch numbers 1000419930 January 2021, 1000444367 February 2021 and 1000416206 December 2020.

The HPRA is urging consumers to check the date at the bottom of the outer packaging and the brand.

You should also check the foil wrapping to see if they are amongst the recall batch.

If you are in possession of the condoms with the brands/batch numbers, the authorities have advised people to “immediately discontinue the use of the affected product” and return them to the store where they were purchased for a full refund.

The regulatory authority has cautioned that six and 18 pack boxes of the Real Feel condoms on sale in the UK could be on Irish shelves. 

The HPRA is “requesting consumers to also check the below list of batch numbers. Although the HPRA have received no confirmation to date that the following batch numbers are on the Irish market, we strongly believe these products may have reached the Irish market,” its statement warned.

The batch numbers for the UK products are Durex Real Feel six pack: 1000438054, Durex Real Feel 12 Pack: 1000444370, 1000474804. Durex Real Feel 18 Pack: 1000434066, 1000430479 and Durex Real Feel 18 Pack (RF Tag): 1000430479

Safe sex is sexy!

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Your sexual health is more important than ever, as latest figures show an increase in sexually transmitted infections.

In response to the concerning rise, HIV Ireland, in collaboration with Durex is launching its Just Carry One initiative.

Be prepared to see half of our beloved Dublin Buses transformed into hubs of information reminding us to practise safe sex.

If you aren’t already, it’s time to buckle down and get serious about safe sex as 10 people in Ireland are diagnosed with HIV every week.

Furthermore, 2017 saw a 10 percent increase in STI notifications compared to 2016 in Ireland.

Chlamydia cases climbed by 7.6 percent and gonorrhoea grew by 15.6 percent.  

Reports of genital herpes also rose by 14.2 percent.

The age group which have the highest rate of STIs are people aged 15 to 24 years of age.

According to research, they account for half of the chlamydia diagnoses, 39 percent of gonorrhoea cases, and 38 percent of genital herpes cases.

Additionally, Durex found 68 percent of Irish people in the 18-24 age group have never had an STI check.

Another one in 10 have experienced an STI scare.

The campaign will be running from June 22 to July 6 and will promote the use of condoms EVERY time you have sex.

You can avail of a free packet of condoms when you pop into HIV Ireland’s offices.

Condoms are the ONLY form of contraceptive to protect against STIs, including HIV.

If you fancy a chance at winning a special Durex goodie bag on HIV Ireland’s social medias, just answer the question – ‘How do you carry yours?’

Remember there is nothing sexier than safe, consensual sex.

If you’re concerned about your sexual health, talk to your GP and organise an STI check.

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Worrying new research has shown that Irish people have a seriously laid-back attitude when it comes to sexual health.

A new study conducted by Durex as part of its 'Wrap Up' campaign found that some 49 per cent of Irish people have had sex without protection against STIs, while just 27 per cent of us are making a conscious effort to prevent the transmission.

The research comes at a time when the HSE reports a rise of Chlamydia, Herpes and Gonorrhea amongst youths year on year, with the later having  increased by over 50 per cent between 2015 and 2016 alone.

Despite well over two-thirds of 18-24 year olds saying they feel confident in their knowledge of how to protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases, Durex's recent findings suggest that just 27 per cent use any form of contraception against STIs at all.

So, why do we decide to takes risks when it comes to sexual health?

Here's the top three reasons cited by respondents.

1. “Confidence the other person is not carrying an STI” (35 per cent)

2. “The thought simply didn’t cross my mind” (23 per cent)

3. “Taken over by the heat of the moment” (35 per cent)

Reports show that  20–29-year-olds are most likely sufferer from an STIs, with The Health Protection Surveillance Center’s (HPSC) latest findings (October 2017) showing  the age group account for over half (58 per cemt) of diagnoses. 

What's more, Durex's findings also found that just one in six Irish women have ever purchased condoms – and of those who do to use them, only 37 per cent admit to using them every time they have sex. 

Speaking about the recent findings, Dr. Jack Lambert, Consultant in Infectious Disease and Genitourinary Medicine at The Mater Hospital, commented: “The rise in sexually transmitted diseases such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Herpes in the past 12 months is a clear reflection of young people’s casual attitude to preventing the spread of STIs. Youths are incredibly liberal in terms of behaviour but the same approach is not taken in terms of carrying out regular STI checks."

"The surge in recordings of STIs year on year reflects several behavioural changes, with no two cases being the same. However, what can be taken from the recent findings is a need for further education on the matter and an open conversation when it comes to safe sex, not only with regards to preventing pregnancy but also STIs.”

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Ladies; a mere 15 percent of us orgasm every time we have sex, while 22 per cent of us don't at all.

If you're stunned by these figures, you're not the only one.

Jennifer Zamparelli, who is leading Durex's latest #OrgasmsForAll movement, aims to end bedroom inequality.

While speaking to Jennifer, she told us how women need to initiate a dialogue and communicate their desires when it comes to the bedroom.

"One of the reasons I got involved [with Durex] was because it's all about getting the conversation going, isn't it?

"You need to be able to speak frankly about it, because Irish people aren't great at being frank… Like, I did it on a breakfast show and it didn't go well – it took three years for people to get used to [frank conversation]."

When it comes to men, Jennifer thinks that we can't be too hard on them, because it's not their fault either.

"It's not that men are doing a bad job – they're grand. It's, I suppose, about women not speaking up enough.

"And it always takes a bottle of wine to get the conversation going, right?!"

Image result for jennifer maguire

​Hands up how many of us are a tad hesitant talking about what goes on in the bedroom? We'd say a few of you reading this are virtually throwing your hands up.

However, we were surprised at just how few of us actually speak about our sex lives – even with the person we're having sex with.

The Durex survey, which questioned 2,104 men and women in Ireland, found that 16 per cent of Irish women admit they would be too embarrassed to tell their partner how to help them orgasm and 8 per cent say they stay quiet because they want their partner to figure it out for themselves.

The figure we found most astonishing though, was that only 22 per cent of us speak about our sex lives with friends. We're surely more open than that?!

Image result for feet at the end of a bed

​But Jennifer believes that we need to start talking now, because your sex life won't just benefit from it, "everything [will], whether it's emotional, physical, or sexual. It all starts with a conversation.

"It's about getting women talking… because we're all so busy. We try to be brilliant at everything.

"We want to be a great mother, we want to be great in the office, we want to be great at home, we want to be great as a friend… and then we don't have enough balls in the bedroom!"

But when it comes to sexual confidence and age, Jennifer thinks it only gets better, even though the survey might disagree.

"I think everything gets better with age. I'm a lot more comfortable in my own skin now than I was years ago.

​"You definitely become more confident in your own skin and that goes for sexual confidence as well.

"But still, the stats are there and that's from women of all ages just not speaking up.

"With women, there's always so much to do, whether you're 21 or 51 – we want to please and we don't want confrontation."

And it doesn't stop there. 23 per cent of us wouldn't expect to orgasm if our partner already had. But guess what? You should be getting a great orgasm every single damn time.

Image result for durex intense stimulating condoms

​As Jennifer puts it, "we don't want to hurt the other person's feelings or make them feel inadequate – that's actually not the case.

"I don't think we give men enough credit because they probably want us just as happy as well."

If you fancy closing the "pleasure gap" as Jen calls it, Durex has introduced a new range of stimulating and intensifying products such as its new Intense Stimulating Gel, Intense Stimulating Condoms and a Pleasure Ring for your fun only.

All items are available in pharmacies nationwide now.

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Look, when it comes to the grand gestures, us Irish fall a little short.

It's far from public declarations of love we were reared, so it's no real surprise that when it comes to Valentine's Day, we tend to feel the pressure.

While we might happily slur sweet nothings into our other half's ear after a night on the tiles, choosing a card, picking a restaurant and going hell for leather in the bedroom simply because we're midway through February is just a little too much for many of us.

And here, ladies, are just five reasons why the great Irish public and Valentine's Day don't always mix.

1. We refuse to play by the rules

When it comes to love, us Irish definitely don't colour within the lines, and we'll be damned if a nappy-clad angel is going to tell us how and when we should get down and dirty with our other half.

In fact, a survey conducted by the good folk at Durex established that 23% of couples say they prefer to engage in spontaneous acts of romance rather than abiding by the tradition, and 18% admit that their partner generally doesn’t want to embrace the day.

Sounds about right to us.

2. We can spot a swizz a mile off

There are few women at SHEmazing! HQ who would thank their partner for a seven-foot teddy-bear clutching a satin heart because… well… we know a money-making scheme when we spot one.

And it turns we're not the only ones, with 70% of Irish people admitting they think Valentine’s Day has become too commercial.

We hear ya, friends.

3. We're a contrary bunch

For such a small nation, we're known the word over for our creativity (and sporadic contrariness).

Railing against lazy stereotypes and tedious cliches is our thing (when we feel like it), so it's no real surprise that 58 per cent of us refuse to join the masses and celebrate our relationships just because we've reached February 14, is it?

We'll get romantic on our own count, and nobody else's.

4. We do things in our own good time (thank you very much)

36 per cent of Irish couples surveyed admit that they shun Valentine's Day celebrations simply because there's just too much damn pressure.

And if you've ever spent time in a stuffy, over-crowded card shop on February 13, you'll know exactly what they're talking about.

Taxi!

5. We can't make up our damn minds

Despite insisting it's a money-making, pressure-filled day created to instil angst in couples the length and breadth of the country, more than half of us admit we'd still be disappointed if our partner didn't mark the day. Typical.

Do we want a dinner out? Yep. A weekend away, perhaps? Oh, you know it. And more than a little rough and tumble in the sack? Obviously.

Our advice in this case? Stock up on vino, eats and Durex treats, and have yourself a night to remember…

 

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When we think of selection boxes, the confectionery-filled kind springs to mind.

Durex has come up with a whole new concept for the term, with its new festive Sexlection box hitting Superdrug just in time for the holidays.

Unfortunately, you won't find any edible treats in this box of tricks.

Instead of Curly-wurlys and Crunchies, Durex's festive treat is full of "intimate items," including condoms, orgasm-enhancing lubricant and a vibrator. 

The sex-positive Christmas gift is confusing Twitter users, who are bemused by its existence. 

"The new Durex 'sexlection' box takes the innocence out of the chocolate selection boxes I've had every year," said one.

Others have pointed out that the box seems "inappropriate," as a selection box is usually considered a gift from children.

"I find your Selection Box idea to be in bad taste…it looks like it should appeal to kids…not appropriate, I think. Not chocolate," said one disgruntled tweeter.

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With Unicode refusing to create an actual condom emoji to protect sexters’ beloved aubergines, the world’s leading sexual health brand has sourced an umbrella-shaped loophole.

To mark World AIDS Day 2016, Durex is encouraging the public to share the “Umbrella with Raindrops” emoji as an unofficial symbol of safe sex.

A recent survey conducted by the contraception giant revealed more than 75 percent of 16 to 35-year-olds use emojis when discussing sex.

And with almost half of that age group believing HIV could never affect them – despite 2.1 million people becoming infected with the virus in the last year – it seem sexters are in desperate need of anything which encourages the promotion of safe sex.

Speaking of the venture, Durex Global Category Director, Volker Sydow, said: “At Durex we believe that for this World AIDS Day identifying the unofficial safe sex emoji is an important step that helps to empower young people to put safe sex back on the agenda, supporting the fight to reduce the spread of HIV and AIDS.”

“We are asking people to show their support for the cause by using this unofficial safe sex emoji and sharing the hashtag #CondomEmoji.”

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As we all know, sex is a two-way thing. Pleasing your partner is equally as important as ensuring you get your kicks when it comes to the no-pants-dance, right?

Well, astonishingly, Durex revealed in a recent survey that 74% of adults report a total lack of sensitivity when it comes to using condoms, and furthermore, a lot of people then worry that sex is way less enjoyable because of it.

We can do better than that, can't we?!

Well, the condom brand that has been taking care of us for over 80 years certainly think so, and have just released a new 'invisible' condom – Durex's thinnest ever.

With a new super premium look, Durex iNViSiBLE is now available in Extra Sensitive and Extra Lubricated variants – all so we can have some really great sex.

It totally maximises the sensation, and with a high level of protection, you're totally good to… erm, go.

Durex iNViSiBLE condoms are available from all major retailers nationwide, and retail at €18.99 for a pack of 12.

Hop on it, ladies. 

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You either LOVE Valentine's Day or you hate it. And it's easy to see both points of view.

If you love spending time with bae and relish with all the sappy love songs, poems, teddy bears and cards, then good for you.

On the other hand, Durex surveyed couples all around Ireland and found that only 24 percent are actually looking forward to the day and 28 percent said that if they receive roses it'll be a serious turn-off. Ouch.

So, to cut the clichés of V-Day, here's some cards that tell it like it is – and these are all available to download via Durex's Honest Valentine's Day Cards app on Facebook.

 

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