Researchers delve into how often American couples use condom and lubricants and analyze their sexual enjoyment.
Do you believe that condom use detracts from or adds to your sexual experience?
A report in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that condom use does not impact sexual pleasure for most men and women. Analyzing data from the 2009 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, which used questionnaires to collect sexual activity information from men and women ages 18 to 59, researchers of the School of Public Health-Bloomington at Indiana University found that:
- Most men and women commonly use both condoms and lubricants in their sexual encounters.
- The majority of participants reported that sex was pleasurable whether or not they used condoms.
However, the researchers also found that women were not as informed about condom use as men. The women in the study often did not know what type of condoms their partners used or what material the condoms were made out of, perhaps because men are more likely to purchase condoms than women.
While it is wonderful news that so many couples are using condoms during their sexual encounters, the study does show that women could be better informed when it comes to condom and lubricant use. Not only is it wise to be proactive about your own sexual and reproductive health, but becoming educated about sexual protection and sex aids can also be very empowering.
Here is what you need to know about condoms and lubricants:
Not all condoms are created equal. Condoms come in several types of materials. The most common is latex, but there are also options such as polyurethane, lambskin, and polyisoprene. Latex condoms tend to be the most inexpensive, but some people are allergic to latex and others find that newer options such as polyisoprene are more comfortable and natural-feeling. There is also the female condom, which, like the male condom, is used as a barrier contraceptive to help prevent pregnancy as well as STDs. Experiment with a few different brands and styles to see which is right for you.
Condoms can help improve sexual performance. There are also condoms that come with benzocaine to help tone down feelings of sexual pleasure for the man. These can help men last longer in the bedroom and control their sexual response. Even without benzocaine, many men find that using a condom helps them enjoy sexual pleasure with more ease and control, and if you are interested in lasting longer, it’s just another great reason to wear a condom. If you want to heighten pleasure while using condoms, add a drop of lubricant inside of before putting one on.
Condoms and lubricants don’t always mix. With a water-based lubricant, you don’t have to worry about condom use, but some lubricants can break down the materials in condoms, so keep that in mind when purchasing your sex aids. Don’t use oil-based lubricants with condoms. Even at-home products like baby oil and Vaseline can degrade the condom and raise the risk of unwanted pregnancy and STDs.
Condoms aren’t fail-safe. While it’s important to always practice safer sex measures such as using condoms and dental dams, remember that there is no such thing as 100 percent safe sex. Even with condom use, STDs such as HPV (human papillomavirus) can still spread, so keep that in mind and make your sexual health a priority. Get tested regularly and ask your partner to do the same. Great sex is safer sex!
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