Do you hear that? It’s the sound of science bravely marching on in the war to stop men from using “condoms just don’t feel right” or “it doesn’t feel as good, babe” as excuses for not wearing proper protection. A new study has found that condoms may not actually kill boners; it’s the dick that’s the problem.
The Daily Beast reports that a study recently published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine looked at whether condoms have any effect on erection and found that of the 500 men surveyed (aged 18-24), those who reported condoms as being problematic for their erections were “more likely to suffer from general erectile dysfunction whether they used a condom or not.” But that’s only one finding. Researchers also found that while nearly 40 percent of men said that condoms didn’t negatively affect their sexual performance, a similarly large percentage endorsed problems either during intercourse or during the condom application process. But that’s not the condom’s fault—it’s anxiety and improper education.
From The Daily Beast:
...as the paper suggests, “men who first experience loss of erection when they use condoms might worry about [difficulty] experiencing erections more generally and hence be more vulnerable [to erectile problems].” Referencing prior studies on its physiological causes, the researchers note that around 16 percent of American men under 40 reported intermittent issues maintaining an erection, while another showed that performance difficulties only usually lasted for the first minute of sexual activity.
The researchers found that more than a third of participants had never been taught how to use a condom correctly, which could be a major factor in young men believing that using one will affect them in the bedroom.
What that means, according to researchers, is that bad (or no) sex ed is responsible for a good part of the myth about condoms killing erections. Because so many schools don’t teach boys how to put on a condom right, their own clumsy attempts may lead them to believe that condoms don’t work for them and won’t allow them to feel any pleasure. Even in cases where other factors may be involved.
The Daily Beast spoke to a man named James who was shocked to learn about the study’s results. In fact, in a story James told the site about a failed sexual encounter, the main villain is the condom and not the “couple of drinks” James had or the pressure to perform while also putting on an apparatus that’s actually not as easy as one might think to roll on.
“The awkwardness is where the girl is kind of lying there, waiting for you to get it on, and you feel a pressure or self-consciousness.”
That sounds like a bigger boner-killer than any ordinary piece of latex could be.
Hopefully this research will spark further discussion about the lack of study around condoms and sensation and influence the way that teens are taught to use condoms. In the meantime, some condom companies have already been trying to solve the problem. Sensis, for instance, includes strips that are pulled to roll the condom down, and Wingman condoms come with a plastic applicator that makes condoms fool-proof and easy to apply with one hand.
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