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These natural condoms saved my sex life...

As I shared with you recently, I have been using fertility awareness as natural birth control for more than 6 years after a horrendous experience on the birth control pill. In the nearly three and a half years that I was on the pill, I had upwards of 50 yeast infections. It was debilitating and soul-crushing. It didn't really matter that I was on the pill because I could barely have sex at all due to the excruciating yeast infections.

Hormonal birth control hindered my ability to have close, sensual relationships with men I loved. About a year into my relationship with my college boyfriend I decided that enough was enough - I wanted to be close to him. I wanted sex to feel good. I deserved that.

So, at age 22, after 3+ years on the birth control pill, I decided to ditch the hormones for good. My partner and I were pretty excited to finally have sex that wasn't painful for me. We tried lots of different types of condoms, many of which - unfortunately - caused me even more pain. Latex, non-latex, it didn't matter - they were all uncomfortable. We even took a strange, expensive detour into the world of sheepskin condoms. Truth-be-told, they felt pretty good, but the thought of having sheep intestines in my body was kind of a buzzkill.

Then, on one miraculous day at my favorite place on Earth - Wanderlust Festival at Stratton Mountain - I stumbled into a speakeasy discussion hosted by Meika Hollender of Sustain Natural. As I listened to Meika talk, I fell in love with her story and her product. She's a young female entrepreneur who launched a natural condom and sexual wellness brand that embraces female sexuality. I was in heaven.

Meika talked about dismantling sex-shaming, the harmful effects of hormonal birth control methods and chemical-laden condoms, and how to create a more sex-positive world. I left, mesmerized, with a purse full of natural condoms and lube samples to take home. Since that liberating day at Wanderlust Stratton, I have not purchased any other condoms or lubes besides Sustain Natural. They have transformed my sex life in incredible ways.

5 Reasons Why I love Sustain Natural Condoms (& why you should try them, too!)

1. Paraben-free and no nitrosamine

As a health-conscious girl with a reaaaal sensitive vagina, I'm always looking to reduce the number of chemicals in my life. Nitrosamine, as outlined on the Sustain Natural website, is a carcinogen that naturally occurs in latex - and is, therefore, in most condoms on the market. Sustain, however, uses a special production process that stops the release of nitrosamine from latex. With Sustain you can have all of the sex without any of the icky chemicals. Win, win.

2. They don't leave behind an awful taste.

Have you ever put a condom on and then decided you wanted to, uhhh, do some other jobs sans condom? Been there. Traditional condoms leave behind a gross taste that makes oral sex unbearable after having worn a condom. With Sustain condoms, there's none of that. No awful aftertaste or weird residue, freeing you up for oral fun before and after wearing a condom.

3. They are really smooth.

Now this one is more of a personal preference, but I never loved ribbed condoms. I always found the ribbing to feel unnatural, scratchy, and aggressive. Almost nothing that I put in my vagina is ribbed, especially not penises, so why would I want my condom to be? I could never wrap my head around this. Unlike many traditional brands, Sustain Natural condoms don't have the same aggressive ribbing. The only style they make (that I know of) that has ribbing is their new extra large fit, which features light ribbing and dots. What makes these natural condoms even smoother is that they are lubricated inside and out. While I still use lube with them (because lube is queen), I find Sustain condoms to be the smoothest, best gliding condom I've ever used! Ps. I LOVE Sustain Natural's lube, too.

4. They are gender-neutral.

Have you ever taken a minute to look at the branding of most other condom brands? It's not exactly female or trans-friendly. The condom market is overrun with machismo - Trojan warrior mascots, male-focused messaging, and little emphasis on the millions of women and transgender people that also buy and use condoms. As a female-led company, Sustain Natural ensures its packaging, branding, and messaging is welcoming to ALL condom users.

Until using Sustain Natural condoms, I always felt uncomfortable shopping for condoms because it felt like they weren't meant to be purchased by me - a woman. From dark aggressive colors to macho taglines and male-oriented brand names - I never felt like I belonged in the condom aisle. Now, thanks to Sustain, I walk up to the cashier and check out proudly with my gender-neutral, natural condoms in hand!

5. Sustain Natural is a sexual wellness company founded by a millennial woman.

As a fellow entrepreneur and millennial woman, this is one of my favorite reasons to support Sustain Natural. Until recently, sex-focused companies had a very masculine vibe. I love that there's a woman out there openly talking about sex and sexual wellness. It's about time women feel comfortable and confident about publicly discussing sexual well-being!

Ready to clean up your sexual wellness routine so you can get down 'n dirty without all the nasty chemicals? Check out this episode of Do it Naturally TV to get my full list of tricks and tips for cleaning up your sexual wellness routine!

Disclaimer: Brandy Oswald is not a medical provider and cannot give medical advice or provide any information concerning the diagnosis or treatment of any health condition. The information provided by Brandy Oswald is of a general nature and is intended only for educational purposes to help with your personal health improvement goals and should not be relied on as medical advice. Always consult a physician prior to changing your diet, lifestyle, supplement, or prescription medicine routine. Should you choose to use the information provided by Brandy Oswald it is of your own volition and you recognize that Brandy is not held liable for any intended or unintended outcomes.

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