Are Your Condoms Body-Safe? A Guide to Non-Toxic Safe Sex
At Bonjibon, we care about what we put into our bodies. We care about what you put into your bodies. So far, we’ve talked a fair bit about the lack of regulation in the sex toy industry. Welcome to a different, little-known frontier: condoms. Condoms are great, are more regulated that sex toys... We love them. They are one of the best preventers against STI transmission and pregnancy. So when we learned that the condoms we have been using for years aren’t great for us, we decided to carry conscious, ethical condom options. What did we learn?
First thing is first, condoms are made from rubber heated up with other composites to create the latex material we know and love. Often, condoms come with nitrosamines, incredibly carcinogenic substances that are heavily regulated in food.[i] Glyde condoms use a manufacturing process to ensure that nitrosamines are not present, or in onluy very trace amounts, in their condoms.
The lubricant that condoms come in is also important. After all, what is the point in choosing body safe lube and then using it with a condom that’s covered in less safe products? The lubricant in condom packages helps both lubricate and preserve the condoms until you’re ready to use them. Many leading condom brands use petroleum-derived glycerin for lubricant. Petrolium glycerin is also used as a base for antifreeze. Yup. Antifreeze. [ii]
Most condoms use animal protein from milk, casein, to smooth and preserve the condoms. Usually, it is the culprit behind the odd smell we associate with condoms, and irritation for many users. They are also free of Benzocaine (A local anesthetic) and Noxonyl-9 (Common spermicide that can irritate the vaginal walls). On the other hand, Glyde condoms use medical grade silicone lubricant to preserve their condoms. They are also free of parabens and glycerine.
*Those who have found irritation with traditional condoms may report not having irritation with GLYDE condoms due to the different preservatives. If you are avoiding endocrine disruptors, condoms are good place to look.
GLYDE condoms are certified Vegan and fair trade. It’s good to know that the folks working to produce our condoms are paid fairly and ethically. They are conscious and transparent about their manufacturing process. The rubber farms that produce GLYDE latex use sustainable methods. In order to create their condoms, they use a formula combining high-quality sustainably harvested natural rubber latex, and substitute the milk-derived casein with milk thistle extract. These all sum up to a cleaner, more body safe option.The rubber used for their condoms also comes from sustainable farming, so you aren’t supporting unsustainable agriculture.
There are certain standards that all condoms need to meet in terms of quality. This reflects the primary function of condoms: to not break, but not necessarily to be as healthy as possible. GLYDE condoms are produced in accordance with WHO, ISO, FDA and CE safety and manufacturing requirements. They are 50 microns thick; the thinnest condoms can be without compromising their durability. Additionally, they transfer heat well and have a silky texture. The quality combined with curated ingredients means that they are designed not to disrupt the vaginal PH balance with use. So, basically, they work just as well as other condoms without all of the other hazards.
In sum, we learned that there are some really good reasons to think about the condoms that we use. We chose to carry GLYDE because they’re proven to work: they’ve been in the vegan condom game for decades, are women-owned, and continue to advocate for body and earth friendly products. The rubber, lube, preservatives, ethics, and quality mean we're proud to bring them into our shop.
If you would like to learn more about GLYDE condoms, check out their FAQ’s.
[i] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11759152/; https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/information-about-nitrosamine-impurities-medications
[ii] https://www.cdc.gov/; https://www.condomdepot.com/condom-information/carcinogens-in-condoms/; https://www.madesafe.org/education/whats-in-that/sexual-health-products/