We've all heard the excuse before: A guy says he doesn't want to wear a condom because it'll make him lose his erection. Sounds innocent enough, right?
The study, piloted in part by Dr. Cynthia Graham, surveyed almost 500 heterosexual men between the ages of 18 and 24 to find out how, if at all, rubbers affect men's abilities to maintain erections.
Roughly 38 percent of respondents reported condoms don't affect them in any negative way.
However, around the same number of respondents reported the opposite — that they've had problems either during sex or during the applications of the protection, causing them to lose their erections.
But, the scenarios respondents described led researchers to conclude it wasn't necessarily the condoms that were the problems, but rather, the guys themselves.
Dr. Graham explains,
Condom-associated erection problems have been a very under-researched topic. Increasing evidence suggests, however, that they may influence whether condoms are used correctly or from start to finish of sex.
It's hypothesized those who experience difficulties maintaining erections likely suffer from more generalized forms of erectile dysfunction. This problem could be heightened by the nervousness and awkwardness a man may feel while trying to put on the condom — if he's fumbling, it's likely to kill the mood.
The researchers wrote,
Men who first experience loss of erection when they use condoms might worry about experiencing erections more generally and hence be more vulnerable to experiencing more generalized ED.
The researchers also found more than a third of respondents were never properly taught how to put on or even use condoms, which almost certainly contributes to the problem.
Viable solutions could be broadening and increasing sexual education classes in schools and offering a more comprehensive approach when doing so (straying from the “abstinence-only” approach so many schools abide by).
The bottom line, however, is simple: It's all in your heads, guys.
So strap on the rubber. We'll wait.