Is the NYC Condom Sending a Message About NYC Men?


NYC Condoms at last week’s launch event.Photo: Everett Bogue

We’re as excited as the next guys about the NYC Condom, unveiled by the Health Department last week. And so we excitedly picked up a few on offer at a local bar the other night. Which is when we noticed something odd: They seemed small. Could it be? Over the weekend we investigated. Unrolled and laid next to the Durex Extra Sensitive, the Gotham’s love glove was visibly narrower. A ruler proved our thesis: The New York condom is 52mm at its widest point, compared to 54mm for both the Durex and a Trojan-ENZ (that’s the standardish lubricated, non-spermicidal version). The city’s sheath was also the shortest. We called the Health Department, prepared to be insulted. But Geoffrey Cowley, the former Newsweek reporter who’s now the department’s spokesman, assured us that the NYC condoms are the same, standard LifeStyles lubricated sold everywhere. They’re not custom-made; they’re not even new — only the packaging was redesigned for last week’s launch. The city has been distributing the same model, Cowley said, since 2005 and “size hasn’t been an issue.” What’s more important is how you use it, he did not assure us. —Jeff Koyen

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Is the NYC Condom Sending a Message About NYC Men?