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You Must Be This Tall To Ride
Let's talk about condoms.

It is important to recognize that latex condoms for men are a well-made medical device that laboratory studies have shown to provide an essentially impermeable barrier to particles the size of STD pathogens. FDA has oversight responsibility to ensure that condoms are manufactured properly, and manufacturers - in turn - follow quality system regulations, including design controls, to ensure that their products do what they are intended to do: protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

So far so good. I like the idea of condoms being regulated in that who wants a malfunctioning condom??

So I have always been wholeheartedly behind the idea of making condoms available to ANYONE who needs them. Use 'em for balloons, cover the end of your rifle before swamp forays, and hey why aren't they sold in women's restrooms at the bars and clubs?

Even if that anyone is a (precocious) boy experimenting for the first time. (Don't waggle your eyebrows at me. I'm talking the son of a friend's friend. Jeez.) And his penis isn't exactly adult-sized. My first instinct would be to contact Planned Parenthood. Which is what I told my friend.

Planned Parenthood wasn't particularly helpful. Condoms for a kid? No way. Kid that age, just say no. Discourage him. Don't let him! (I am sorely disappointed. I thought PP would understand the necessity of prophylaxis and contraceptive for anyone actively indulging in sex, even when presented along with "Don't do it" messages. But I understand. They've been harmed by certain scam artists lately and are defensive.)

Drug stores carry one-size-fits-all, so that wasn't particularly useful, either. No, seriously, drug stores carry various and glorious variety of sensations, ribbing, flavors, colors, but size is fairly static. Size is large. Or, as a certain email reassured me, "condoms regularly available are at least 8” long with nominal width 49-56mm." Length? You can roll up the damned thing. Width is an issue. The kid is apparently too slim.

The internet was my third suggestion. And there we hit bingo! TheyFit in the United Kingdom ... Condoms in 95 sizes! A veritible smorgasbord! Yay! Actual instructions for measuring your penis length and width. Yay!

My friend acquired measurements and placed an order.

The confirmation email assumed it was shipping to Sweden. When the friend sent a clarifying email to TheyFit, he got this email back in return:

Thank you for contacting TheyFit.

Condoms are regulated medical devices and as such require regulatory approval for each country or region they are sold in. Currently TheyFit have clearance for sale in all 27 European countries, to nearly 500,000,000 people.

We are working hard on regulatory approval for sales into the US (approval is given by the FDA) and encourage US citizens to sign up here to receive updates on the situation.

There are simply no similar products currently available in the United States – the E33 has a nominal width of 41mm and length of around 4.5” – the FDA rules on the other hand insist that all US condoms are at least 6.8” long and must have nominal width 47-57mm (until 2008 it was 50-54mm). In reality those condoms regularly available are at least 8” long with nominal width 49-56mm.

I am sorry for any confusion caused. I have cancelled your order, refunded your money and added you to our notification list to receive news of TheyFit’s US clearance which we hope will happen in 2013.

Kind Regards,
TheyFit Customer Services

Condoms are medical devices?

Check the blockquote from above. I copied it from an FDA report regarding labelling of condoms. Apparently condoms were first classified as Category II Medical Devices in 1976 when a lot of things were categorized.

But I've been unable to uncover the sizing rationale.
This leads to some jokes:
President Boris Yeltsin called Clinton with an emergency: "Our largest condom factory has exploded!" the Russian President cried; "my people's favorite form of birth control! This is a true disaster!"
"Boris, the American people would be happy to do anything within their power to help you," replied the President.
"I do need your help," said Yeltsin. "Could you possibly send 1,000,000 condoms ASAP to tide us over?"
"Why certainly! I'll get right on it!" said Clinton.
"Oh, and one more small favor, please?" said Yeltsin.
"Could the condoms be red in color and at least 10" long and 4" in diameter?" said Yeltsin.
"No problem," replied the President and, with that, Clinton hung up and called the President of Trojan. "I need a've got to make 1,000,000 condoms right away and send them to Russia."
"Consider it done," said the President of Trojan.
"Great! Now listen, they have to be red in color, 10" long and 4" wide."
"Easily done. Anything else?"
"Yeah," said the President, "print 'MADE IN AMERICA, SIZE SMALL' on each one.
for lots of easy-to-understand info about condoms, with diagrams and links.

If you're having sex, use condoms. If you happen to have a small wanker, tough.

(I've enjoyed relations with men with small equipment... the condom situation was uneasy.)

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However, if you have a freind who lives in Europe....they can be sent to said friend and then mailed to your friend upon arrival....

...just saying.....

Misty, I asked my friend if he wanted to do that. He declined :( Not sure why, and I'll bring it up again. And, um, thanks :)

In all seriousness, look at Japanese manufacturers. Sometimes one learns these lessons the hard way. (Pardon the pun there...)

Thanks, Janna. I'll pass that idea along. But there appears to be an embargo against inporting the medical devices if they aren't sized the way the FDA requires. I just don't understand why the FDA is requiring this kind of sizing.

I believe, though on no particular evidence, that "Asian fit" condoms are sold at some outlets, designed for a slimmer penis. Might that help?

I'll pass it along. Thanks, Jay :)

At one time, there was a T-shirt store in the Castro I really liked. One shirt I got there, for a special friend, had a horizontal line across it and said, "you must be at least this tall to ride this ride."

Those teeshirts are still widely available :)

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