Condoms have existed in some form for centuries and they’ve come a long way. People often associate thick, potentially even smelly latex when they hear the word, but the condoms on store shelves today feature significant – though sometimes even subtle – updates that have given condoms a much-needed glow up.  

Let’s take a look at some of the new and exciting advancements that the condom industry has made over the years – you might be surprised by what you learn!

In the Beginning

When we say condoms have been around for a long time, we are not kidding. Throughout history, they have been made with some materials that might make you cringe at first. But at Paradise, we revel in people’s ingenuity, creativity, and consistent desire to prevent STIs and pregnancy!

Check out this abridged condom timeline1:  

  • Circa 3,000 B.C.: King Minos of Crete used a goat’s bladder sheath as a condom.
  • The 15th century: A version of a condom that covered only the head of the penis was used in China and Japan. These were believed to have been made of lamb intestine or oiled silk paper in China, but in Japan they were made with animal horn or tortoise shell.
  • Ancient Egypt: Linen sheaths were used as condoms. Notably, they were dyed in different colors to distinguish between classes of people. 
  • Ancient Roman: Condoms were made from linen, animal intestines, or occasionally the muscles of one’s vanquished foes. 
  • 1855: The first condoms made of rubber were made.
  • The 1860s: Rubber condoms were mass produced. At this time, however, condoms made from animal skin were still the more popular choice as rubber condoms were more expensive and prone to falling off. 
  • 1920: Hooray for latex! The introduction of latex allowed condoms to become less expensive and easier to produce, and they quickly became the popular choice compared to animal skin.

From here, condom innovation slowed a bit. You could still find “lambskin” condoms (which helped prevent pregnancy but did nothing to prevent STIs) and textured and flavored options floated around shelves, but for a long while, a condom was a condom was a condom – and latex was pretty much king. 

Thankfully, recent history has seen some new condom developments including new materials, different sizes (yep, condom size matters!), and a whole bevy of features. These days, there are many options and extras that can help make your condom experience the best it can be.

Some condom brands have made especially noticeable improvements and innovations over the last decade, so let’s look at a few examples who are helping to set a new standard for condom design, innovation, and production.


Crown Condoms:

With a tagline like “The closest thing to nothing at all,” Crown condoms have a lot to live up to and their ultra-thin patented Sheerlon latex material more than delivers. Known for providing users with increased sensitivity, heightened sensation, a more natural feel, plus an experience that is more pleasurable than with thicker condoms, Crown condoms are consistently praised by users who recommend them as a top choice for a pleasurable and safe experience.

Beyond providing next-level safer sex support [LINK TO ARTICLE 1], Crown condoms come with some impressive features. Despite its unparalleled thinness and softness, Sheerlon latex is designed to be as strong and durable as it is thin, ensuring Crown condoms provide reliable protection. They are also available in a Snugger Fit size, which provides a secure fit for users wanting to ensure they have the correct fit and reduce the risk of their condom moving or shifting during use. The bonus is that Crown condoms come with a long expiration date, ensuring their reliability and effectiveness over time – and that users get the most bang for their buck!



SKYN is the original brand of non-latex condoms. Manufactured by LifeStyles, they are made of the company’s proprietary SKYNFEEL polyisoprene. This synthetic form of natural rubber latex is suitable for individuals with latex allergies – an estimated 7.6% of the general population2! – and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for both pregnancy prevention and STI protection [LINK TO ARTICLE 2].

The SKYNFEEL polyisoprene material is soft, stretchy, and form-fitting, and it’s designed to closely mimic the sensation of wearing no condom at all because of its ability to transfer body heat. Just like their latex counterparts, SKYN’s polyisoprene undergoes strict, rigorous testing to ensure its durability and effectiveness at preventing pregnancy and STIs.

Today, SKYN condoms are available in several different varieties, allowing each user to find their favorite. Options include: SKYN Original, SKYN Elite (15% thinner than the original), SKYN Elite Large, SKYN Elite Extra Lube (with 40% more lubricant), SKYN Excitation (with studs and a cooling effect), and SKYN Selection (assorted). 



Among the industry’s most innovative and engaging condoms brands, ONE condoms offer a variety of styles and options that cater to different kinds of users and their preferences – plus they utilize packaging and marketing campaigns designed to create positive and open conversations around sexual health and wellness.


ONE is known for its thin condoms that provide a more natural and intimate sensation. Made from premium latex using the company’s proprietary Sensatex® formula, ONE condoms are soft, smooth, and provide a comfortable, secure, flexible fit. Manufactured with precision and attention to detail, ONE condoms undergo strict, rigorous testing and quality control measures to ensure their safety, strength, and integrity.


ONE also offers a wide range of condom varieties and sizes with options for shapes, textures, colors, and flavors, which can make the shopping and exploration process feel fun and spark curiosity, allowing for condoms to not just provide a sense of safety but also enhance their entire sexual experience.


The Flex Condom 

From the condom innovators at ONE comes what is perhaps the most innovative condom on this list: the Flex Condom. The first-ever hybrid condom of its kind, Flex Condoms bond traditional latex with graphene to create what the company calls FlexFeel. The result? A latex-based condom that is thinner than other materials, super flexible and strong, and improves skin-on-skin sensation with 85% better heat transfer than latex alone. 


What exactly is graphene? It’s a one-atom-thick layer of carbon with exceptional properties, including strength, flexibility, and electrical conductivity. Here’s how it helps make an even better condom:


  • Strength and durability: Graphene’s exceptional strength could help reduce the risk of condom breakage during use.
  • Thinness and sensitivity: Graphene’s thin and flexible nature could help lead to an even thinner condom, allowing for increased sensitivity and a more natural feel.
  • Enhanced heat transfer: Graphene’s excellent thermal conductivity could promote better heat transfer between partners.
  • Comfortable fit: The flexibility of graphene may allow for an even more comfortable fit.
  • Antimicrobial properties: Graphene has shown antimicrobial properties, which could provide an added layer of protection against bacteria and other microorganisms.

So there you have it! From new materials and sizing to features a-plenty, condoms today are nothing like what previous generations had in their bedside drawers. There’s more reason than ever to spend time shopping and researching the options, rather than picking up a random pack on the go, because you just might find a shape, style, and size that feels more comfortable and barely-there than you ever thought possible.






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