Condoms Don’t Decrease Sensitivity Or Cause Erectile Dysfunction, According To New Study

colorful-condoms-hanging-rope-clothespinsWe’ve heard the argument a million times: Condoms make you lose your erection and reduce sensitivity. Well, according to a new study, that may not be true after all.

Approximately 500 men between ages 18-24 years participated in a study to see if condoms did, in fact, cause erectile dysfunction. The results: 38 percent of participants reported rubbers had no effect on their performance in the bedroom, while around that same percentage said they experienced problems either during application or sex itself.

“Condom-associated erection problems have been a very under-researched topic,” Dr. Cynthia Graham, who co-authored of the study which was published by The Journal of Sexual Medicine this month, explained. “Increasing evidence suggests, however, that they may influence whether condoms are used correctly or from start to finish of sex.”

Related: Study Finds Gay Men Far More Likely To Bareback With A “Good Looking Guy”

The study goes on to argue that a guy’s psychological state may have more to do with his ability (or lack thereof) to get it up than the condom itself.

“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],” the study states before citing another study that found roughly 16 percent of men under the age of 40 reported trouble with maintaining an erection, and then another study that found difficulties performing usually only lasted for the first 60 seconds of sexual activity.

Researchers also learned that more than one third of participants reported that they were never actually taught how to use a condom, which may factor into why they believe using one can have a negative impact in the sack. Their conclusion: Schools need to up their game when it comes to sexual education.

So there you have it, fellas. The next time your trick tells you he can’t wear a rubber because it will cause him to go limp, tell him to try reapplying and then wait 60 seconds.

Related: Don’t Be A Fool, Wrap Your Tool: Queerty’s Top 10 Condom Picks

h/t: The Daily Beast


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  • James Sigmon

    Lol where do they get this stuff

  • Goforit

    You have convinced me. Now if you could only convince my dick.

  • Kristopher Saim

    They do if they are too tight…

  • Glücklich

    Same. I’ll pass on fucking rather than wear a condom.

  • notevenwrong

    Ages 18-24? Okey-dokey then. (Rolls eyes.) After 24 you are dead in gay years anyway – is that it?

    By the way, I see nothing in this article to justify the headline’s claim about sensitivity.

  • MarionPaige

    I guess I missed the craigslist ad looking for participants for this study.

  • Stache99

    @notevenwrong: If this study wasn’t so sad it would be comedy. Yeah, because guys between 18-24 are well known to have erection problems. I think they threw the sensitivity thing out as an afterthought. Anyone who’s worn a condom knows it decreases sensitivity by allot.

    Who funded this study. The condom makers?

  • Merv

    Absurd. It feels much much much better without condoms. I found that out accidentally when the condom I was wearing failed catastrophically and I was too inexperienced and caught up in the moment to realize why. It made me never trust condoms again.

  • Merv

    @Merv: Edit: realize why it felt so much better.

  • money718

    Damn. What a lie. Skin on skin is naturally more sensitive.

  • Atrius

    Condoms can make you lose your erection if they’re too tight. I’ve always had a problem with that and it’s very annoying.

  • Bromancer7

    Yep, I’ll hop on the bullshit wagon.

  • Giancarlo85

    Skin on skin… yeah… great way to get HIV. No matter how much you can trust someone.

    They make condoms that fit right. Doesn’t surprise me so many are in an uproar about this… keep on barebacking… see how long you’ll last.

  • Billy Budd

    Condoms DO make me lose my erection. But I use them anyway because there is no other way. I won’t take preventive medication.

  • NateOcean

    Two points:

    (1) Is this a study of GAY men? (Gay sex and straight sex differ.)

    (2) 38% reported no effect, but the same number reported problems. That’s counter to the conclusion expressed in the headline. Also what did the other 20% say? “Best sex ever!” ???

  • Wayne_in_NYC

    I said before I even read the article that it HAD to be done by a WOMAN, and sure enough, Dr. Cynthia Graham co-authored it… An obvious expert on what a condom feels like when you’re wearing it. How is 38% saying it doesn’t matter a conclusive number? It’s not even a majority! Thank God for PrEP!! I’m 60 and still negative and can’t remember the last time I used one.

  • Bromancer7

    @Giancarlo85: 30 years and going strong, and HIV-. So much for your theory of skin-on-skin = HIV. I guess I must be doing this whole bareback thing wrong.

  • Jonathon Popphan

    Sorry, but in my experience there is a LOT of lost sensitivity when wearing a condom. Sad truth.

  • Jonathon Popphan

    And worrying about condom size…. how ridiculous. You know you can take a regular condom and inflate it to the point where you can pull it over your head, right?

  • Giancarlo85

    @Bromancer7: What bullshit. You’re increasing your chance of not just getting HIV but a variety of other STI/STDs. Bareback is dangerous.

  • notevenwrong

    @Giancarlo85, keep doing what works for you. Just maybe don’t get so much in other people’s business regarding what works for them. If others decide some risks are worth it, what is it to you? You may be happier if you can stop trying to control other people’s bodies.

  • Giancarlo85

    @notevenwrong: I’m just stating “what is”. I’m telling people what to do. But go ahead… keep barebacking. I’m not controlling anyone. Just don’t expect me to pay for your medical bills.

  • Giancarlo85

    @Giancarlo85: Correction: I am NOT telling people what to do. People are going to do whatever they want regardless of what others say.

  • CJones01

    Yes, condoms can desensitize things during sex. But they do offer protection against STI’s. Unless you (and your partner) are taking other precautions, they are still practical and should be used. But, we’re all adults who can make our own informed decsions. That said-

    Condom size and composition play the most important roles in sensation. Besides the obvious Magnum sizes, the size of a condom varies not only by the individual condom makers, but their brands. There are custom-order sites to ensure the best fit. A too-tight condom can be uncomfortable or break, and a too loose one can slip off.

    Materials can make a difference: latex is the standard, but isn’t efficient at transferring warmth. Polyurethane transfers heat efficiently, but is less flexible. Lambskin is resilient and warms up quickly, but is ineffective at protecting against some STI’s, like hepatitis.

    One tip: add a drop of lube to the reservoir tip of a condom before using it. It increases sensation and helps with the warming issues latex usually has. Just don’t go too crazy: too much lube means the condom may slip off.

    Another tip: try out several brands and styles until you find out what works best. It can be for solo play or with a lover, but practice makes perfect.

  • Billy Budd

    @CJones01: I agree with everything you said. From my personal experience, youre right.

  • SportGuy

    @CJones01: Very well stated. Glad that some in our community are informed and responsible.

  • Billy Budd

    I have never had an orgasm with a condom on. It is an impossibility for me. But what else can I do? I won’t bareback. No.

  • Bauhaus

    @Billy Budd:

    Have you tried practicing solo with a condom on?

    I’m fortunate- no issues at all with condoms. In fact, using a condom during intercourse helps me to last longer.

  • Billy Budd

    @Bauhaus: That is a good idea. Thanks.

  • Nat Jones

    Hogwash!! How anyone can say that by putting a layer of rubber over any part of your body wont decrease the skin’s sensitivity must be an idiot. Would be nice to know who funded this ‘research’… And whats the official way to ‘use a condom’?

  • Clark35

    @Wayne_in_NYC: Don’t count on staying “neg” that long or free from STDs, you probably are already HIV+ and have other STDs but like most fools on Truvada think that Prep/Truvada will protect you.

    @Billy Budd: I am the same way.

  • notevenwrong

    @Clark35, PrEP (Truvada) WILL protect you from HIV.

  • Clark35

    @notevenwrong: Not if you bareback it won’t, and eventually you will get infected with HIV.

  • Wayne_in_NYC

    @Clark35: That’s funny… The bloodwork I had done last week says I’m still negative and STI free. So you just keep doing what you want to do, and I’ll live my life like I want to. At 60, I must be doing something right, but it sure doesn’t include condoms! Truvada WILL PROTECT YOU if you take it religiously every day at the same time and don’t miss doses due to being whacked out on crystal meth or other recreational drugs. 98-99% efficacy is good for me!

  • SportGuy

    @Clark35: It also doesn’t protect against STD’s which condoms do when used. If people want to bb and be on that drug then fine, I will not stop using condoms ever, because things will get worse as more guys continue to use the drug and bb with everyone!

  • BigG

    Thank god for prep

Comments are closed.