If You Can’t Get Hard, Don’t Assume Condoms Are To Blame

Academic studies can be fascinating… and totally confusing. So we decided to strip away all of the scientific jargon and break them down for you.

The Background
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how many young men suffer from occasional erectile dysfunction, but estimates range from 16 to 30 percent. One thing that kills a man’s mojo, according to studies (and a handful of guys on the Internet), is condoms. But condoms are pretty important: Among singles, they’re used in one in three acts of sexual intercourse. Understanding how they affect erections can help couples navigate those awkward pre-coitus conversations so that they’re able to make informed decisions and prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

A new study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine explores how condoms affect men’s erections and provides a useful perspective for those aforementioned couples.

The Setup
Researchers surveyed 479 heterosexual men between the ages of 18 and 24 who had used a condom during sex within the last 90 days. In order to oversample men with condom-associated erection problems, the researchers solicited participants using flyers that read “Do condoms interfere with your erections?” and “Do condoms interfere with your arousal?”

For the actual survey, the men were first asked how often they had erectile problems in the last 90 days when they were not using condoms. They were specifically asked to explain at which point they lost their erections during the hook up — before putting it in or after (but before they reached orgasm). Then, the men were asked about their erectile problems in the last 90 days when they were using condoms. The guys reported how often they lost or started to lose erections while putting the condom on —> Read More