Do Condoms Really Decrease Pleasure?

Women who use condoms & a hormonal method report the highest sexual satisfaction.

Women’s contraceptive usage is influenced by their own as well as societal sexual acceptability and side-effects. Some studies have found that women do not convey enough power to press for condoms, and when they do those women negotiate for condom use and can be swayed not use a condom by their partner. Further, women who feel that condoms undermined their sexual pleasure are less likely to use them than women who do not feel that condoms have an impact on pleasure.

A study done found that women who used both condoms and a hormonal method reported the highest sexual satisfaction scores. These women were thought to be:
the most sexually satisfied because they felt more fully protected against unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmissible infections.
A Kinsey Survey found that adults who use condoms for penetrative sex reported the same degree of sexual pleasure as those who have sex without condoms. The study also found that those who did seem to have a decrease in sensation while using a condom proved to be less experienced with using condoms. Birth Control - Psych n SexThose who use condoms frequently are confident in usage and tend to experience greater satisfaction with protected sex, whereas those who have reported negative feelings for wearing condoms are people who rarely use them and are uncomfortable with the procedure altogether.
In this study, 45% of men and 63% of women who had most recently had sex with a new partner did not use a condom.

Which opens up the question: why not?

If using a condom really doesn’t decrease pleasure, is it all just mental?
It appears that inexperience with condoms perpetuates more un-use. Quite the paradox, isn’t it?

Sources:

 

  • Amaro H, Raj A, Reed E. Women’s sexual health: the need for feminist analyses in public health in the decade of behavior. Psychol Women Q. 2001;25:324–34. doi: 10.1111/1471-6402.00032.
  • Ehrhardt A, Exner T. The impact of HIV infection on women’s sexuality and gender role. In: Blumenthal SJ, Eichler A, Weissman G, editors. Women and AIDS: Promoting Healthy Behavior. US Department of Health & Human Services; Rockville: 1991. pp. 36–40.
  • Worth D. Sexual decision-making and AIDS: why condom promotion among vulnerable women is likely to fail. Stud Fam Plann. 1989;20:297–307. doi: 10.2307/1966433.  [PubMed]
  • Blanc A. The effect of power in sexual relationships on sexual and reproductive health: an examination of the evidence. Stud Fam Plann. 2001;32:189–213. doi: 10.1111/j.1728-4465.2001.00189.x.  [PubMed]
  • Exner TM, Hoffman S, Dworkin S, Ehrhardt AA. Beyond the male condom: the evolution of gender-specific HIV interventions for women. Annu Rev Sex Res. 2003;14:114–36. Available online at: http://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/ebm/record/15287160/full_citation/Beyond_the_male_condom:_the_evolution_of_gender_specific_HIV_interventions_for_women_ (accessed 11 July 2008)  [PubMed]
  • Sobo EJ. Inner-city women and AIDS: the psycho-social benefits of unsafe sex. Cult Med Psychiatry. 1993;17:455–85. doi: 10.1007/BF01379310.  [PubMed]
  • Sobo EJ. Finance, romance, social support, and condom use among impoverished inner-city women. Hum Organ. 1995;54:115–28.
  • Hirsch JS.  “A courtship after marriage”: Gender, sexuality and love in a Mexican migrant community.University of California Press; Berkeley: 2002.
  • Hirsch JS, Higgins J, Nathanson CA, Bentley P. Social constructions of sexuality: the meanings of marital infidelity and STD/HIV risk in a Mexican migrant community. Am J Public Health. 2002;92:1227–37. Available online at:  http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/full/92/8/1227?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&author1=Hirsch%2C+JS&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&volume=92&firstpage=1227&resourcetype=HWCIT (accessed 11 July 2008) [PMC free article]  [PubMed]
  • Knodel J, Pramualratana A. Prospects for increased condom use within marriage in Thailand. Int Fam Plan Perspect. 1996;22:97–102. doi: 10.2307/2950749.
  • Higgins, J. A., Hoffman, S., Graham, C. A., & Sanders, S. A. (2008). Relationships between condoms, hormonal methods, and sexual pleasure and satisfaction: an exploratory analysis from the Women’s Well-Being and Sexuality Study. Sexual Health, 5(4), 321–330.
  • Ehrhardt A, Exner TM, Hoffman S, Silberman I, Yingling S, Adams-Skinner J, et al. HIV/STD risk and sexual strategies among women family planning clients in New York: Project FIO. AIDS Behav. 2002;6:1–12. doi: 10.1023/A:1014534110868.
  • http://condommonologues.com/why-condoms-get-a-bad-wrap/#ixzz4YmSi1Dh1
  • J Sex Med. 2010 Oct;7 Suppl 5:362-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.02011.x.
  • Condom use during most recent vaginal intercourse event among a probability sample of adults in the United States.
  • Sanders SA1, Reece M, Herbenick D, Schick V, Dodge B, Fortenberry JD.
Sasha

Co- Founder of Psych n Sex, previous writer and campus educator for the Kinsey Institute & published psychology researcher. Manhattan girl obsessed with post ww2 abstract expressionism, beet juice, vintage clothing & Scandinavia.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply