The Idea Behind TheyFit Condoms:
If you think about it, it's actually slightly ridiculous that condoms come in such a small size range. Although it's true that latex is very stretchy - and that you can pull a standard condom over a combat boot (at least if you're careful about it) - penises come in a wide range of sizes, so there's no reason that there shouldn't be a range of condom sizes, too. Although several companies do make extra-large condoms or small condoms, the actual size range
isn't usually all that big. The idea between FitKit/TheyFit condoms is that men will be happier if they can choose a condom sized to fit them. It seems to be true.
How You Measure:
Stores that sell FitKit condoms have a downloadable .pdf measuring chart
that men can use at home to determine their proper condom size. Men print out the chart, cut out the pieces they need, and then use them to measure the length and girth of their erect penis. Men can also order a free measuring "FitKit" from TheyFit
The makers of TheyFit condoms made a very smart choice to de-link product numbers from penis size. Although the numbering scheme is sensible, it's not easy to look at the condom that someone has in their pocket and determine whether they are "large" or "small."
The updated TheyFit packages also give men the information they need to easily size up or down in either width and length for future purchases, in case their original measurements were not precise.
Why Custom Condom Sizes May Promote Safe Sex:
There are two reasons why custom sized condoms might make sex safer for the people who have access to them. The first being that condoms that fit well are less likely to slip off or tear, and thus custom-fit condoms should, theoretically, have lower failure rates than similar quality condoms that are made in one standard size. The second reason is that condoms that fit properly are more comfortable, and when a condom is more comfortable, it's more likely to get used. Men who have found a condom that fits, and that they like, are a lot less likely to resent using it for safer sex.
Are They As Safe as Other Condoms:
In theory, well-made latex condoms in custom sizes should be at least as effective as well made latex condoms in standard sizes, but there may be questions about individual manufactures. There is at least one other "custom size" condom brand - MY.SIZE - but the range of available widths is much smaller than for TheyFit and each width only comes in one length.
Availability & Price:
Although TheyFit/FitKit condoms are theoretically available online, they can be extremely difficult to find.
When and where they are available, prices are generally slightly higher than other latex condoms, but still lower than polyurethane alternatives.
Are Custom Condoms Necessary:
Realistically speaking, standard-sized condoms can be used safely by most men. However, custom fit condoms may improve comfort and reduce the risk of slippage or breakage - things that can be problematic for men with particularly small or large penises, respectively. There are other condom brands that give consumers options for custom sizes, but they generally only have a small range of size options. That having been said, it would be fascinating to see how much variation is actually used in the TheyFit manufacturing process, and how differences in condom dimension really relate to variability in penis size.
A Man's Perspective:
A friend of mine is a big fan of FitKit Condoms, and this is what he had to say about them:
"I am a huge fan of [TheyFit], as I have found that, for me, no other condom fits as well or feels as good... I can't tell you anything about MY.SIZE aside from the general affirmation that nothing compares to a well-fitting condom, especially if you're at the wider extreme of the bell curve"
My friend also took the opportunity to bemoan the fact that he can no longer find FitKit condoms in the U.S. and tell me that he's been hoarding his supply hoping that new batches will become available before the last one expires.
Custom condoms are a great idea - particularly for men whose penis girth is significantly smaller or larger than average. A well-fitted condom can make sex both safer and more enjoyable for men, who really appreciate a good range of condom sizes.
Manufacturing issues meant that, for several years, it was difficult to find these custom fit condoms anywhere. Fortunately, TheyFit has started working with a new manufacturer, and their expanded line of 95 condom sizes went on sale in the U.K. and Europe in late 2011. They hope to be selling their custom fit condoms in the American market by the end of 2012