We have said many times that most condom "failures" are a result of sperm travelling around the open end. The "open end" on a female condom is much larger and looser than on the male condom and vaginal swabs thirty minutes after sex have shown more sperm after using a female condom than using a male condom. Your conclusion, then, is correct, the female condom allows more leakage to reach the vagina than does the male condom. Women do tend to be more careful in protecting themselves and final effectiveness rating is close between the two.
The recommendation is that vaginal jelly goes into the vagina first, then the condom and, then, vaginal jelly in the condom. This seems to work well but takes a bit more "getting ready."
When the female condoms first came onto the market, I tried them. If I am recommending something, I want experience with it. I did not like the pre-lube that was on the condoms so used Gynol II (any vaginal jelly will work. My "testers" said they preferred the female condom over regular condoms. This is reported elsewhere and is not just my opinion. The male condom travels with the penis and reduces the friction for him. The female condom does not travel with the penis, so the man gets a more real feel. On the other hand, I felt a bit short-changed. Because the condom stayed rather still against me, there was a bit less friction moving the parts I wanted moved.
You can insert it as early as you wish. It does feel strange as it dangles a bit and bounces against your thighs. No biggie when you are going into action but I do not want to sit around with it there. So, the drainage of the spermicide would determine the length of time ahead.
I have not tried any unusual positions and have no idea what the limitations would be based on positions - as long as you have vaginal spermicide. The drainage would be rapid in female superior positions.
I have not used the second generation versions you describe. Female condoms are more expensive than male. The WHO found in distributing them in the third world that they can be washed, gently, allowed to dry and re-used. I do not believe any of the manufacturers claim this as yet. When I travel, I always have condoms with me - both male and female. Most men have never experienced them.
Posted: 30 Sep 03:37