Condoms are an affordable and effective way to prevent pregnancy and STI transmission but despite their benefits, they still get a bad wrap. (See what we did there?) We’ve heard all kinds of erroneous reasons to not use a condom; from “They’re not my style” to “My dick can’t breathe,” the list of avoidance tactics can go on for days.
But did you know that many of our most popular excuses aren’t exactly true? See how these three common complaints get debunked with science and enjoy better safer sex in no time!
1. Condoms Cause Erectile Dysfunction
NOT TRUE! It’s a common misconception that the act of ripping open a wrapper and stretching one on causes a penis to stand at half-mast. But a group of seven researchers just published results of a study that found no direct association between erectile dysfunction and condom use.
A group of almost 500 hetero men between the ages of 18 and 24 were surveyed according to how condoms affected their performance. The men who reported having erection issues when using a condom were more likely to report having the same or similar issues when NOT using a condom, which led researchers to conclude that the condom isn’t the common denominator. In other words, lackluster hard-ons are more appropriately attributed to performance-anxiety or other mental/emotional roadblocks rather than the rubbers they’re trying to rip open without killing the mood.
2. “I Can’t Feel Anything!”
Now it’s not totally crazy to believe that putting a barrier between two (or more) people’s skin will ultimately affect sensation. But there’s a good chance that the level of pleasure you feel during condom-protected sex has more to do with your mindset.
Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Center for Sexual Health Promotion collected data from about 1,875 men (presumably heterosexual) to analyze their sexual behavior and condom use. The results showed an interesting correlation between level of pleasure/sensation and several factors that actually had nothing to do with condoms. Men who reported feeling more pleasure while wearing a condom tended to be older in age, had sexual intercourse for longer periods of time, reported positive perceptions of their erections, and/or felt the condom itself fit comfortably.
These findings suggest that wearing a condom isn’t the only reason why sexual sensation might be negatively affected, so think about what else might be getting in your (and the condom’s) way before you toss those rubbers aside.
And if you’re still not convinced, try strapping on a vibrating ring or vibrating cock ring to give yourself an extra buzz. There’s no way in hell you won’t be able to feel that through the condom.
3. “Condoms Just Don’t Fit Me.”
One of the most common complaints about condoms is that they don’t fit. They’re uncomfortable. Too tight. Too loose. They fall off. All kinds of issues. And they’re all legit! But the problem isn’t the size or shape of your penis – you’re buying the wrong brand!
Believe it or not, finding the right condom is almost like shopping for jeans. Every brand has a different fit and style and there’s no universal sizing grid for manufacturers to follow. (Frustrating.) What might be magnum for one kind of condom could end up being medium-sized for another and the only way to find out is through trial and error.
Condoms are sized according to length (duh) but ALSO according to the diameter of their base, the part that essentially keeps the condom in place at the base of the penis. If that part doesn’t fit the girth of your Johnson, then it doesn’t matter how perfect the rest of the condom might feel. Every millimeter makes a difference, so we recommend buying a small box from a range of brands and trying them on as though you were in the dressing room of a clothing store.
Some stores sell single condoms (convenient!) and others stock variety packs, which can keep costs down as you experiment. But we assure you that it’s worth the time and effort to find the condom that’s right for your cock. It’ll make having safe sex a whole lot easier – and it’ll probably feel better, too!