What to do if a condom impedes your pleasure?
A condom may interfere with pleasure if
- you try to put it on too hastily. Research has found that an erection is more than three times more likely to wilt among men who do not allow themselves enough time to put on a condom, i.e. try to do it too hastily, than among those who take time when putting one on. Those who put the condom hastily are also twice as likely to feel that the condom hinders their own and their partner’s enjoyment. For this reason, it is of utmost importance to practice the use of a condom by yourself in peace and quiet so that you not only learn to put it on correctly, but also know how to take enough time to do so. It is also not a good idea to be scared of the momentary wilting of an erection, as it is quite common, and the erection will return when you continue to touch one another and let yourself get excited again.
- the condom is the wrong size and is too tight in the wrong place. For this reason, it is important to find a condom that is the right size and shape for you. The only way to find out which condoms are best for you is to try them out, but e.g. a condom selector can help you out.
- a lack of moisture. This is why it is a good idea to always use a water or silicone-based lubricant with a condom during intercourse. Lubricant also helps prevent the condom from tearing or breaking as it reduces friction. Put lubricant both on the outside and inside of the condom making sure that outside is more slippery than the inside so that the condom will stay in place. You can squirt a couple of drops of lubricant on both at the tip of the glans and inside the tip of an unrolled condom, before putting the condom on and then apply more lubricant to the penis protected with the condom.
- you’re nervous about putting one on, and this interrupts sex and is not stimulating. Practising condom use on your own will help you overcome this nervousness. Putting on a condom can also be seen as part of sex, and it often makes it particularly exciting if the partner participates in putting on a condom and spreading lubricant.
- you are allergic to them. As a rule, condoms are made from latex, which is natural rubber, and 1-2% of people are allergic to natural rubber. If you feel that the condom is irritating your skin or mucous membranes, you should try a latex-free condom.
- the condom prevents stimuli. In this case, try a thinner condom. Latex-free condoms include the thinnest condoms and they also conduct body heat better than conventional condoms. On the other hand, if you ejaculate quite easily, a thicker or a numbing condom can increase the enjoyment of both partners as sex lasts longer.
An extensive American survey compared young people between the ages of 15 and 16 who have had sex and who had either used or not used a condom during their most recent sexual encounter. There were no differences between the groups in how excited the respondents had felt during intercourse. On the other hand, those using condom felt that their most recent intercourse was more enjoyable, and a larger proportion of them and their partners had achieved orgasm.
Cuzin, Béatrice (2013). Male contraception and sexual function. In the work Paraskevi-Sofia Kirana, Francesca Tripodi, Yacov Reisman & Hartmut Porst (Ed.) The EFS and ESSM Syllabus of Clinical Sexology, 1st Edition, (pp. 1244-1257). Amsterdam: Medix.
Fortenberry, J. Dennis (2011). Subjective Sexual Experiences at Most Recent Sexual Event among American Adolescents. WAS Glasgow 2011.
Fortenberry, J. Dennis, Schick, Vanessa; Herbenick, Debby; Sanders, Stephanie A.; Dodge, Brian & Reece, Michael (2010). Sexual behaviors and condom use at last vaginal intercourse: a national sample of adolescents ages 14 to 17 years. J Sex Med. 2010;7 Suppl 5:305–314. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.02018.x