Have you ever wondered why condoms are flavoured? Or, indeed, what is a flavoured condom? Well, you’re not alone in asking that question. Many people ask what’s the point of flavoured condoms — so we will tell you.

While we’re at it (not literally), we are going to road-test some of our favourites and give you the results so that the next time you are condom shopping, you know exactly what to buy and, more importantly, why you should purchase flavoured condoms as opposed to regular condoms if you’re planning a night on the tiles.

Table of Contents:

First, let’s address the question, this question…

What is a flavoured condom?

The basic mechanics of a flavoured condom is a latex or non-latex condom (Polyisoprene) coated with a flavoured lubricant. Brands make flavoured lubricants from a water-friendly compound like glycerin or glycerol, a sweetener, possibly glucose and essence or flavouring.

Put these ingredients together, and you get flavoured condoms. Many different flavours are available, and the flavouring or essence will be similar to what you get in food. So the strawberry flavour is usually strawberry aldehyde, an organic compound used in food flavouring that creates the strawberry taste.

Mint-flavoured condoms are flavoured with diluted and sweetened mint extract, so you don’t feel like you’re sucking on a polo. Chocolate flavouring is also an essence with more of a chemical base than mint but is nevertheless chocolatey.

Now we know what a flavoured condom is all about, the next question we need to answer is…

Why are condoms flavoured?

Flavoured condoms appeared on the market in 1995 as a novelty item in a marketing campaign. Durex quickly developed the flavoured condom in the UK, and their first offering was strawberry, which is still the most purchased flavour.

What is it about strawberries that makes them so sexy? Is it the red colour or the fresh flavour? We’re not sure why you like them. We just know you do.

Apart from being a novelty, flavoured condoms have a practical purpose. They protect you and your partner from STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) and mask the smell of latex, which many people don’t like.

One of the reasons flavoured condoms work is because they make oral sex fun and exciting while detracting from the taste and smell of the partner’s penis. Plus, there’s so much more to the science behind the flavoured condom that you may not have imagined. The science of smell and sexual excitement are closely interlinked.

Why condoms are flavoured

Condoms are flavoured for all the reasons mentioned above; masking and enhancing natural smell and taste is the primary factor, but as a side effect, neuroscientists have found that some smells and tastes trigger arousal reactions in some people.

The link between smells and the brain is well-known as part of human evolution. We know what danger smells like, and therefore we know what odours denote pleasure. It’s the combination of taste and smell that really stimulates the brain.

In science speak — the brain’s smell receptors are in the olfactory bulb in the front of the brain. The bulb receives smells signals and transmits them to the limbic system for processing through the amygdala onto the hippocampus, which then translates this stimulus into emotion.

That’s why the smell of coconut may remind you of suncream, transporting you to a warm and sunny place where you feel relaxed and happy. Equally, if you had a bad experience with one too many piña coladas, the smell of coconut might make you feel sick, not aroused.

Durex realised back in 95 that pleasant odours get a reaction, combining smell and taste into a condom. You get a bestseller and, in doing so, transform the humble condom from functional, even boring, to fun and instantly exciting.

Now you know why condoms are flavoured, BUT… there’s a catch. You have to understand what dings your dong for this concept to work. If you don’t know, the only thing to do is try all the flavours and see what arouses you.

Who makes flavoured condoms?

Durex makes flavoured condoms, as they were the first to do it in the UK, so it’s only fitting they get mentioned first. Nearly all flavoured condoms are made of latex. Latex or rubber holds on to the flavour better than non-latex, but if you’re allergic to latex, then SKYN makes a non-latex selection pack that contains the following:

  • 6 x cocktail-flavoured condoms
  • 2 x textured condoms
  • 2 x tingling condoms
  • 2 x warming condoms
  • 2 x cooling condoms

SKYN offers everything to stimulate all the senses in one selection pack. Other brands that make delicious flavoured condoms are Skins, EXS, Glyde, Mates, ON, Pasante and Vitalis.

What flavour condoms are available?

Condoms come in many flavours; it’s a veritable ‘pick n mix.’ There’s so much choice from the fruit bowl flavours of strawberry, raspberry, peach, banana, blueberry, and cherry to ice cream flavours such as chocolate, mint, vanilla, cola, and coconut.

The combinations are endless, cocktail-flavoured, tropical, bubblegum, and wildberry. As you can see, flavoured condoms offer variety; as we all know, variety increases life’s spiciness.

Flavoured condoms: What sort of sex?

Flavoured condoms are great for foreplay and oral sex (cunnilingus), but there are better condoms available for anal and vaginal sex. Flavoured condoms promote safe sex, but because they often contain a sweetener such as sucrose or glucose, they can upset the pH balance of the vagina, causing inflammation or a yeast infection if used regularly.

If you’re caught short, and the mood takes you, by all means, use flavoured condoms for intercourse; after all, any condom (that hasn’t expired) is better than no condom. However, it’s better to save flavoured condoms for oral and buy specifically designed condoms for vaginal and anal sex. Click the link here for extra safe condoms.

So what if you want to add flavours and aromas to your sex life but don’t want to use flavoured condoms? No problem, you can use flavoured lube!

Flavoured lubes: How do they work?

Flavoured lube is a personal lubricant with an added flavour to stimulate the senses. So if you need a condom for vaginal or anal sex but don’t want to miss out on the taste combinations, flavoured lube is the way to go.

Durex, ESX, Sliquid, ID Lube, Pasante and Skins all make delicious lube, and what’s more, there’s a flavour for every taste. You can get inventive with…

  • Banana
  • Cherry
  • Chocolate
  • Coconut
  • Peach
  • Mint
  • Strawberry

There are inventive combinations too. ID Lube has created a mango and passion fruit lube or watermelon, while Sliquid lube comes in green apple, tangerine peach and pink lemonade, to name a few.

Durex makes classic strawberry and cherry lube, and you can get chocolate lube from EXS. For the mixologist in you, consider combining flavoured condoms and flavoured lube to make the most of the flavour choices.

You could combine a mint-flavoured condom with some chocolate lube for a minty chocolatey experience or a vanilla condom with some strawberry and chocolate lube for a Neapolitan delight. No matter what grabs you, there’s a flavoured condom that's right up your street.

Sep 11, 2023
Reviewed by:
Jun 27, 2023
Written by:
Victoria Walsh