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Study Says Condoms, Lubricants Don't Reduce Sexual Pleasure

Update Date: Jan 23, 2013 10:54 AM EST
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According to a new study, people rated sex to be equally pleasurable when using condoms or lubricant as without. The study provides evidence that use of condoms or lubricants doesn't have a negative effect on sexual relationships.

The study included data from the 2009 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, which distributes questionnaires to a nationally representative sample.

Study results showed that women were more likely than men to not know what difference condom use made in the sexual activity. Most women weren't even sure what lubricant was used or the type of condom used.

"This may be because men are more likely than women to purchase condoms and to apply condoms. However, it's important for more women to become familiar with the condoms they use with their partner so that they can make choices that enhance the safety and pleasure of their sexual experiences," said Debby Herbenick, PhD, from the School of Public Health-Bloomington, Indiana University and lead author of the study.

Also, men reported that use of condoms or lubricants didn't affect their erections. According to Medline Plus, one of the few disadvantages of using condoms is that it reduces pleasure. A  study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has showed that couples tend to discontinue condom use usually because one of the partners "doesn't like using condoms" or couples experience a decline in sexual pleasure.

"The U.S. continues to grapple with high rates of sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and unintended pregnancies. We need to understand how people make choices about the products they use (or avoid using) and how these products contribute to the safety and pleasurable aspects of their sexual experiences. This is particularly important as the products themselves evolve and become more mainstream in American society," Dr. Herbenick said in a news release.  Herbenick added that health officials must know about consumers' knowledge about products like condoms and lubricants, so that they can provide appropriate education on sexual health.

The study is published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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