If Condoms are Not the Problem, Why Are Men Still Complaining?
Despite recent findings that using condoms does not alter the quality of sex as compared to intercourse without them, many men continue to vehemently insist otherwise. After 36 years in business, Good Vibrations, the trusted San Francisco-based company that takes pride in providing accurate information on sexuality and toys for grown-ups, has some suggestions.
The Center for Sex Research Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University in Bloomington researched nearly 6,000 people and found that the presence of condoms and lubricant did not affect the ease of men’s erections, and most women can’t tell what a condom is made of or whether it’s lubricated during sex. So why are men still complaining?
“Discomfort and inability to maintain an erection with condom use generally means that you’re using the wrong condom. Many people are not aware of the expansive selection of condoms that are tailored to a wide variety of physical types and preferences. And many men resist condom use if if they don’t have experience with them because of things they’ve heard — they just haven’t tested it out themselves. We’re here to help them have a reality-based condom experience!” says Good Vibrations Staff Sexologist Dr. Carol Queen. Let’s look at the most common condom complaints:
I tried using condoms but they keep breaking.
Latex condoms break most often if you use an improper lube with them, says Queen. Never use oil-based products (like Vaseline, baby oil, lotions, butter, or vegetable oil from the kitchen). Always use a water-based or silicone-based lubricant, unless you’re using a non-latex condom. Condoms are also more likely to break when no lube is used at all. And latex condoms past their expiration date (usually stamped right on the package) and those that have been improperly stored (in heat or sunlight, package not sealed so air can enter, or carried loose in a purse or backpack) are less reliable that condoms stored with care.
Condoms gave my girlfriend a yeast infection.
“Sometimes condoms get blamed for irritation or infection when it might be the lubricant that is causing a reaction,” Queen advises. Try non-glycerine lubes like the all-natural Please Cream; a lube sampler pack or small bottles of different brands so you to compare several types; and see whether a condom like the Durex Clear Unlubricated change this response. Some people are sensitive to latex, and if an unlubed condom is as irritating as a lubricated one, see the suggestions below.
They don’t make condoms big enough for me.
Queen recalls safer sex workshops of yore when condoms were shown to be so stretchy they could fit over her head. But rather than saying, “Sure they don’t, big guy,” she suggests men of size check out the Super Size It condom pack, with five separate larger-fit condoms to try and compare.
I’m/my partner is allergic to latex.
“There are plenty of non-latex alternatives,” Queen says; some popular ones include Lifestyles SKYN.
Wearing a condom during sex is like wearing gloves playing a guitar. It dulls the sensation.
“If you are larger than average, a proper fit definitely matters,” says Queen. “Many guys also strongly favor condoms with extra headroom like the ONE Pleasure Plus; these allow extra latex to move on the head of the penis, which enhances feel. Here’s another tip that makes a huge difference to a condom-wearer’s sensation. Lubricant on the inside surface of a condom — just three or four drops at most — will cover the glans of the penis, the most sensitive area, and really affect how much sensation the wearer feels. Try it!”
Study co-researcher Debby Herbenick suggests that both men and women need to familiarize themselves with their options to enhance an already pleasurable experience. Condoms prevent pregnancy and reduce the risk of contracting and/or spreading sexually transmitted diseases and HIV, something that most everyone can feel good about.
In addition to various sizes, condoms come in all sorts of materials and can be enhanced when paired with lubricant, and be sure to check the Top 10 Tips for Condom Use. So if the brand you found in college is holding you back, explore the wide world of condom and lube options online at goodvibes.com, or in any of Good Vibrations’ six retail stores.