A new study by researchers at the Kinsey Institute has blown the lid off of a big secret: many men find condoms uncomfortable and among those who report a "bad fit," errors are significantly more common. The study has gotten tons of media coverage by people who, as usual, only read the abstract.
The outcomes that were significantly more likely with "ill fit" were:
- difficulty orgasming (both partners)
- irratated the penis
- reduced pleasure (both partners)
- interference with erection
- lost erection
- gave up and removed condom
- condom dried out during sex
How to fix these problems? The researchers suggest that
"men and their female sex partners may benefit from public health efforts designed to promote the improved fit of condoms." (p. 37)I couldn't agree more! That has got to be the best job in public health since, well, my job. Where do I apply?
Seriously though, the most interesting thing from this paper was the following quote: "
Although "fit" may be very important to men, the effect of ill-fitting condoms on penile erection and on the experience of penile-vaginal sex has not previously been investigated." (p. 36)Jesus H ! If I've said it once I've said it a million times: when you do research and design products and programs you must consider the essential question:
What about the fucking?
If your intervention interferes with the sexual pleasure of the people you hope will use it then your intervention/product/program will fail. I'm glad the Kinsey Institute is finally starting to realize that sexual pleasure is significantly related to the likelihood people will change their behavior when, you know, they're having sex.
If you need a bigger condom, go find one. But don't think the Magnum is the only option--it may be huge (and I do love the gold wrapper) but it is thick as a damn paper bag and nobody feels anything through them. Try Crown instead.
You can see the abstract here.