New Report Indicates Condom Sex is Just as Good as Without

A new report could blow open the old condom vs. natural debate for good.

A new report published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests that sex with condoms is just as fulfilling as “natural” sex. The study, which was conducted by the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University in Bloomington, analyzed information provided by nearly 6,000 18- to 59-year-old hetero- and homosexual men and women. According to the report,

[A]ll parties consistently graded protected sex as “highly arousing and pleasurable” … [M]en showed “no significant difference” in maintaining erections with or without condoms, and women couldn’t tell whether a condom was lubricated or what material it’s made from during the act.

Debby Herbenick, the co-director of the Center said the report’s findings go against “long-held beliefs” that using a condom makes sex feel less natural or not as enjoyable. She also pointed out that the findings signify,

That women need to become more familiar with the condoms their partners use so women can enhance their safety and sexual experience.

So why aren’t more people using condoms? Dr. Jill Rabine, chief of ambulatory care, obstetrics and gynecology at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York told the HealthDay section of the U.S. News,

There’s obviously a power element at play, or everybody would be using a condom. It’s a macho thing: You take care of it, you’re my possession.

But there may be more to it than that; condom avoidance can also be attributed to comfort. A recent study of gay men showed that the larger his penis is, the less likely a man is to use a condom. Many of those questioned said they simply couldn’t find the right fit.

It is also important to point out that the Indiana University study was funded by the company that makes Trojan condoms, Church & Dwight Co. Inc. But Herbenick insists that “the data is the data,” regardless of who funded the research.

Whether you find and your partner prefers sex with condoms, or au natural, communication beforehand is the key. But the most important thing to remember is that the use of condoms greatly reduces the risk of contracting and/or spreading STDs, STIs, and HIV/AIDS.

Photo: trec_lit/Flickr

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About Kathryn DeHoyos

Kathryn DeHoyos currently resides on the outskirts of Austin, TX. She has 2 beautiful children, and is very happily un-married to her life partner DJ.

Comments

  1. If you read the abstract of the study you will note that it is based on survey data.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02700.x/abstract

    Do you use a fork when eating Asian foods: Yes
    Do you like using a fork when eating Asian foods: Yes

    Do you use chopsticks when eating Asian foods: Yes
    Do you like using chopsticks when eating Asian foods: Yes

    Confirmation bias

  2. “[A]ll parties consistently graded protected sex as “highly arousing and pleasurable” … [M]en showed “no significant difference” in maintaining erections with or without condoms, and women couldn’t tell whether a condom was lubricated or what material it’s made from during the act.”

    I can maintain erection during good and bad sex, exciting and boring sex. People are quick to point out, correctly, that physical signs of arousal in a woman don’t necessarily equal “good sex” or consent. So, why the difference with men?

    “There’s obviously a power element at play, or everybody would be using a condom. It’s a macho thing: You take care of it, you’re my possession,” says Jill the Dr who’s never worn a condom! Obviously she knows what’s what! There’s a reason I prefer sex without condoms. And maybe it’s confirmation bias, but I can’t think of any woman I’ve ever been with who wasn’t eager to ditch them too, as soon as we knew each other well enough.

    Nothing wrong with condoms, they’re undoubtedly life savers in some situations. But who wrote the article’s headline?

  3. There’s obviously a power element at play, or everybody would be using a condom. It’s a macho thing: You take care of it, you’re my possession.
    Not only do I not think it’s “obvious” but I think it’s a partial answer at best. Yes there are probably a lot of guys out there that don’t wear condoms for the sake of possessiveness but for the most part, talking to real men in conversation rather than just looking at a study, it’s about wanting to have all the sensations and feeling when it comes to sex.

    This study comes off as nothing more than yet another attempt at trying to dismiss the feelings and preferences of men as nothing but a desire to control women. According to this stuff guys don’t really feel a difference they just think its feels better without a condom because patriarchy.

  4. A study commissioned by Trojan finds that sex feels just as good with a condom as without? Shocking.

    Sex using condoms still feels good, but “just as good” is a marketing fantasy. It’s like saying a sugar cube tastes as good as your favorite candy. (Unless your favorite candy is sugar cubes.) The advantages of condoms for contraception and disease prevention are well worth the trade-off, in my opinion, but there is a trade-off. I consider myself lucky that I went so long only having condom sex before I experienced the no-condom kind, because once I had that, I definitely felt like I was missing out a little when I had to use them again. I can’t speak for how noticeable the difference is (or isn’t) for women, but I’m extremely skeptical of any data purporting to show that men don’t feel a difference or have any preference based on sensation alone. The quote about it being a patriarchal power play is also ridiculous.

  5. i read this on salon a few days ago, commenters who had investigated further wrote that the findings had been misreported by the media, and the report does not say condom sex is as good.
    I took them at their word, and id rather eat my own foot than read the study

    • There’s obviously a power element at play, or everybody would be using a condom. It’s a macho thing: You take care of it, you’re my possession.

      i wonder if the doc grabbed her crotch and sneered allmacho-like as she said that. indeed, comical

      • “There’s obviously a power element at play, or everybody would be using a condom.” Really? Is that how narrow and rigid your worldview is?

  6. No true. Maybe for women. But certainly not for men.

    The fact is condom use is highest with teenagers. When the age group goes to the 30-40 range, condom use is a paltry 20%. Even the age group 25-30, the rate of condom use is less than 30%.

    If what this “study” found was in fact true, then condom use would be much much higher.

    This rather low use of condoms by adults also explain the ever increasing rates of STD and STI infection.

    So, I guess Trojan is trying to up its sales.

    BTW, you can find all these stats cited above from:

    http://www.nationalsexstudy.indiana.edu/condomgraph.html

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