A new study by researchers at Hunter College has found that the larger a man's penis is, the less likely he is to use a condom. Uh-oh. The data was culled from surveys of nearly 500 gay and bisexual men, in an attempt to determine whether the fit and feel of condoms impacts how men use them. The answer? A resounding YEAH, DUH.
Dr. Christian Grov, the study's lead author, had a theory that "standard one-size-fits-all condoms might be be inadvertently encouraging men to engage in unprotected sex if they're frustrated with ill-fitting prophylactics." Turns out he was right.
As Queerty reports:
* Nearly half of the respondents reported condom slippage during sex and almost a third reported condom breakage in the previous three months.
* Less than forty percent of those surveyed said it was "easy" to find a condom that fit them.
* There was also an association between condom breakage and unprotected sex, suggesting that some men may have unprotected sex simply because they cannot find proper fitting condoms.
* Most of the men surveyed indicated their penis length was between 6 and 8 inches, though there was a good amount of variation in both length and girth.
For some people, condoms are a hard sell, but perhaps it's because they're only familiar with the "one size fits all" variety. For instance, condoms are free in New York City — and frequently given away in gay clubs and bars — but would a guy take one if he knows it's an ill-fitting, generic brand?
"These findings indicate that the fit of a condom matters," says Grov. "A client at an HIV service agency might see a bowl filled with ‘standard' condoms and have to ask a provider if they have other sizes available. That extra step could make the difference between someone leaving with a condom — the right condom — or going home empty-handed."
Imagine if someone invented a more comfortable, more flexible, more customizable condom — what would it do to STD rates worldwide?
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