Using a condom during sex doesn't actually reduce male pleasure, study finds

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Have you ever been put in the uncomfortable position of having a lover argue about the condom? Now you have even more research on your side to shut those excuses down. Guys, take note. Science is onto you.

Some bold claims are being made after a recent study on condom-related erectile dysfunction, specifically that men who complain about reduced sensation while wearing protection are, well, liars.

A closer look at the data provides a more complex view of the situation. Published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, the seven co-authors of the article come to some interesting conclusions. The existence of condom-related erectile dysfunction wasn’t one of them.

What the study did conclude was that men who reported “Condom-Associated Erection Problems” (CAEP) were significantly more likely to also experience signs of erectile dysfunction when having sex without a condom, too.

On its own, the detailed findings aren’t entirely revolutionary. But paired with earlier findings on the consequences of condom use on the actual pleasure men experience, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2013, we start to get a clearer picture. It seems that even if condoms are the cause behind the very occasional erection problem, they have no effects how much someone actually enjoys sex.

These are important findings, considering the arguably low rates of condom use among Canadian youth. According to a 2013 study by condom-maker Trojan in partnership with The Sex Information and Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN), only about half of sexually active post-secondary students used condoms during their encounters in the past year. The study, which gathered information from more than 1500 students across Canada, came to the same conclusions regarding pleasure and condom use.

This is good news, but is it enough to encourage more people to put condoms to use?

The research suggests the problem is in education. For example, “23 per cent of students believe a vaccine is now available to prevent HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), with another 21 percent reporting they don't know whether one exists or not.”

"The results are telling as they suggest that these students haven't received the necessary sexual health education and services from schools and health care providers for them to be well informed," Alex McKay, Ph.D. and Research Coordinator at SIECCAN, told Newswire about the Trojan study.

There has been much noise made about the contents of new sex education regulations in Ontario, with protesters and supporters alike focusing on the issue of diverse representation for various gender identities and sexual orientations. It has yet to be seen if the changes will also improve knowledge of basic sexual health and a respect for the importance of taking appropriate precautions.