Study: People 'Highly' Enjoy Sex, Condom or No

More

Remember that time you didn't use a condom, and thought it was way better? You were wrong.

RTR2Q1HM615.jpg
Susana Vera/Reuters

PROBLEM: American men and women often have sex; they often use condoms and lubricants as part of the experience. We know that the former makes sex safer and the latter makes it gooier. But does either really affect pleasure?

METHODOLOGY: Researchers at Indiana University -- the bastion of modern sex research -- looked at a nationally representative sample of 18 to 59-year-olds who engage in sexual intercourse and who reported on said sexual activity for the 2009 National Survey of Health and Behavior. Their efforts were funded by the parent company of Trojan condoms, which wasn't affiliated with the original data collection.

RESULTS: Overall, men and women reported sex as being "highly arousing and pleasurable," regardless of whether or not a condom or lubricant was used. Sex of all kinds was rated positively in terms of perceived pleasure, arousal, and experience of orgasm.

Over a quarter of women found it so pleasurable that they couldn't even tell whether the condom they used was lubricated, or what material it was made of. Fewer men had the same problem -- about 90 percent were familiar with their condom's basic characteristics. Condom and lubricant use had no significant effect on men's ability to form or maintain an erection.

IMPLICATIONS: If you've avoiding condoms because you don't want them to interfere with your sex, rest assured: People enjoy sex "highly" regardless. 

The full study, "Characteristics of Condom and Lubricant Use among a Nationally Representative Probability Sample of Adults Ages 18-59 In the United States," is published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Lindsay Abrams is an assistant editor at Salon and a former writer and producer for The Atlantic's Health Channel.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

Just In