There are wine tastings and beer tastings and liquor tastings, of course. There are cheese tastings and barbecue tastings and even heirloom apple tastings. Chocolate tastings, kolache tastings, salsa tastings and weird new energy drink tastings.
But this is the first time we've ever heard of a condom tasting.
Yes, in the name of safe sex and scientific curiosity, several members of our editorial and advertising staff have participated in a flavored condom tasting to determine which flavor actually tastes the most like what it's supposed to. Or to determine which flavor actually tastes like anything, because that's really what it came down to.
One member of the advertising staff suggested that to really get the flavors to come out, the condoms need to be warm. Like, there needs to be friction. But as none of us felt like really going to town on the bananas we used as vessels, the condoms remained...room temperature.
We used both Endurance and Trustex brand flavored condoms, which, by the way, are FDA-approved. And, contrary to what you might read on the Internet, flavored condoms do protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. That means you can both taste them and...do other things with them. It's important to note that only sugarfree condoms should be used for vaginal intercourse because the ones with sugar in them could cause yeast infections. So now you know.
Ahem, here are the flavors ranked from worst to best:
8. Cola The idea of a cola-flavored condom is certainly intriguing, and of the flavors available, it seemed the most exotic. Unfortunately, it was also the most disappointing. "That's not cola!" exclaimed one taste-tester. "I mean, it says 'cola.' But that's not cola." We decided that it tasted vaguely like licorice. It's also the only condom we tasted that was normal latex condom color -- you know, the color of off-white latex gloves. We all felt that if you're going to make a flavored condom, jazz it up with a color!
Bottom Line: Would not use
7. Vanilla For some unknown reason, the vanilla condom is blue. We briefly discussed the fact that a blue member might be disconcerting for a man, but we decided the vanilla didn't taste good enough for a guy to want to use it anyway. There was very little flavor to it at all, and what flavor was present was extremely artificial. And here we had been hoping for something with more of a vanilla bean essence.
Bottom Line: Would not use
6. Chocolate Our first reaction to the chocolate is that it did indeed smell like chocolate. It just didn't really taste like chocolate. "All the flavor is right at the tip," said one disappointed tester. That seemed to be the case with all of the condoms. It's not the latex itself that's flavored but the lube, and the lube doesn't seem to be evenly dispersed across the surface of the condom. Also, the condom is a weird brownish-black color that made the bananas look kind of bruised. Not how you want your junk to look.
Bottom Line: Would not use
5. Mint/Spearmint This initially seemed like the most promising flavor. Unfortunately, the smell and the flavor didn't really match up, which we noticed is a trend among flavored condoms. A large part of tasting is dependent upon smelling, though, so maybe under the right circumstances...? We agreed that the mint tasted super artificial (kind of like mouthwash), but we liked the shade of green and the smell.
Bottom Line: Might use
4. Banana Again, this condom smelled very strongly of what it purports to taste like. It just didn't taste like it. One of the tasters initially put the condom over her fingers to try it, but the rest of us suggested she might have better luck putting the banana-flavored rubber on an actual banana. Of course, that wouldn't have the same effect in the bedroom (unless you're into that?), but it did help in this case. On the bright side, the banana-flavored condom is a really cheery shade of yellow.
Bottom Line: Would use if nothing else is available
3. Grape Remember all those grape-flavored medicines of your childhood that smelled awful and tasted even worse? This is totally not like that! We were expecting bad things from the vibrant purple condom, but it was surprisingly pleasant. It smelled like good grape candy and tasted...well none of them tasted like much, but this one definitely had vague hints of sweet grape. That almost sounds like a wine description. OMG wine flavored condoms! Why hasn't this happened yet?!
Bottom Line: Would use and would pair with Barefoot Sweet Red Wine
2. Tropical This was the only Durex condom in the mix, as any other of the five varieties of Durex flavored condoms seem hard to come by. We're not exactly sure what
fruit fruit-like flavors are used in "tropical" lube, but they're not bad. There was definitely something pineapple-esque about it. Maybe some mango. Also, it was pink, which seems like a nice, inviting color when placed over a banana or (we imagine) any other, um, low-hanging fruits.
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Bottom Line: Would use on a tropical island
1. Strawberry The strawberry-flavored condoms were the clear winners among the staff here at HP. They were described as "surprisingly tart and fruity," "strawberry-esque" and "greasy." Indeed, the strawberry condoms have the strongest flavor, and a good one at that. It's reminiscent of those old-school hard candies in the wrappers that look like strawberries. You know the ones. They're a little sweet and a little tart and not super latex-y, which is exactly what a flavored condom should be. So go forth and buy strawberry condoms. You might regret what you do with them, but you won't regret your condom choice.
Bottom Line: Would use with whipped cream.
Honorable Mention: We couldn't find bacon condoms anywhere in Houston, but according to Gawker, they exist. Yes, we're a little over the bacon craze, but we're going to go ahead and give these a tentative endorsement. Meat for your meat? Yes, please!