We have bad news for men who reckon condoms “ruin sex” for them.
Image: American Pie.
“It’s like showering in a raincoat.” “I don’t get as much pleasure.” “It kills my erection.” Hands up if you’ve ever heard these protestations fall out of a man’s mouth the moment a condom wrapper comes into view?
For anyone who doesn’t want to put themselves at risk of an STI (so… that’s all of us?), and who doesn’t want to fall pregnant, putting on a condom is a vital step in the practice of safe sex. Yet there are grown men out there who try to bypass it, using the excuse it impairs their sexual performance and robs them of pleasure.
If you’ve always suspected this was complete bullshit (yep, us too) you’ll be pleased to know science is on your side. Sorry, men.
According to the results of a new study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, heterosexual men who blame condoms for difficulties during sex are more likely to experience general erectile dysfunction than those who don’t.
As The Daily Beastreports, researchers surveyed approximately 500 men aged between 18 and 24. Of this group, 38 per cent reported no effect of condoms on their performance, while 32 per cent said condoms affected their ability to maintain an erection. (Post continues after gallery.)
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It turns out the men who reported condom-associated erection problems were significantly more likely to also report erection issues during sexual encounters when they weren’t wearing a condom. The study authors speculate there could be a couple of reasons for this.
“[M]en who first experience loss of erection when they use condoms might worry about [difficulty] experiencing erections more generally,” they write, adding that this concern could make men more vulnerable to erectile problems.
The proper use of condoms could also be a contributing factor. Interestingly, a number of the subjects reported erectile difficulties during the process of putting on a condom — and a third of those surveyed said they’d never been taught how to use a condom correctly, which is kind of alarming.
Putting on a condom can be a little fiddly at the best of times, so it's understandable that lacking confidence in this area could make a man feel a bit nervous or self-conscious.
That said, it's no excuse for attempting to talk a partner out of practicing safe sex and, in the process, putting their health at risk. Men do experience erectile difficulties, so rather than pointing the finger at condoms, it's important to see a doctor to explore why it might be occurring and what can be done to resolve it.
This isn't the first time researchers have investigated whether condoms affect the quality of sex; in 2013, a study team analysed data from more than 1600 men and women whose most recent sexual event involved intercourse. (Post continues after video.)
When it came to factors like sexual arousal, ease of erection, pleasure and orgasm, there wasn't a whole lot of difference between those who had worn condoms and those who hadn't, although the use of lubricant with or without a condom did influence results among men.
So next time a guy tries to convince you to let him go bareback because condoms don't feel as good, simply respond with the timeless wisdom of the Spice Girls: "Be a little bit wiser, baby. Put it on, put it on."
Has a man ever tried to talk you out of using condoms?