It’s official: Condoms DON’T make sex less enjoyable

  • Men did not find it difficult to maintain erections when putting on condoms, according to a U.S study
  • Experts hope message will help stem tide of sexually transmitted infections

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Reported on 23 January 2013 in Mail Online, men and women enjoy sex just as much with condoms as they do without, according to a study.

Researchers reviewing an online questionnaire of the sex habits of men and women from 18-59, found participants consistently rated safe sex as ‘highly arousing and pleasurable’ – the same score as unprotected sex.

Dr Debby Herbenick, from the School of Public Health-Bloomington, Indiana University, who led the study said: ‘This may be because men are more likely than women to purchase condoms and to apply condoms.

‘However, it’s important for more women to become familiar with the condoms they use with their partner so that they can make choices that enhance the safety and pleasure of their sexual experiences.’

The nationwide American study found that men did not find it difficult to maintain erections when putting on condoms.

The research also found that many women could not tell if the condom was lubricated or not.

Dr Herbenick said the study will help target health messages in the fight against sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and unintended pregnancies.
He said: ‘The U.S. continues to grapple with high rates of sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and unintended pregnancies.

‘We need to understand how people make choices about the products they use and how these products contribute to the safety and pleasurable aspects of their sexual experiences. This is particularly important as the products themselves evolve and become more mainstream in American society.’

Sexually transmitted infections are passed on during sex without a condom. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are 19 million new infections in the U.S every year.

Chlamydia is one of the most common types, with 1.3m cases reported in the U.S, and 152,828 new cases reported among 16 to 24-year-olds in the UK in 2010. Sufferers can remain symptom free but if left untreated can lead to serious long-term health problems.

Other infections include HIV, genital warts, syphilis, gonorrhoea and pubic lice.

Irwin Goldstein, editor of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, said the study continued the work of pioneering sexologist Alfred Kinsey, who founded the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University in 1947.
He said: ‘Gathering sexual data regarding condom use is highly relevant.

‘Understanding current condom use offers health care providers an opportunity to educate those people uncomfortable with condoms but for whom lack of use may lead to significant sexually transmitted infection health risk.’

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