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Men don't want to wear condoms

23 October 2014 8 comments

It makes me cringe when saying that most men are foolish when it comes to their policy regarding condom use. They simply don't want to use them and will avoid them whenever they can. Why? It's because they decrease sexual pleasure for the man (and sometimes for the woman if lubricant isn't also used). And they can inhibit a man's sexual performance. Neither is palatable!

I'm sure we've all been in a situation where you're about to have sex with a new partner. The man asks the woman if she's on the pill. Yes... ok so the unwanted pregnancy box is ticked. You both insist you don't have any infectious diseases. And then you go ahead and have unprotected sex. Obviously this could be a big mistake and one that could have a lifelong lingering effect. We don't always know a partner's sexual past as partners aren't always honest and even if they are they don't always know the sexual history of their previous sexual partners. And then of course we have the problem that viruses like HIV and other nasties can be in a person's system for months before any symptoms are visible (ie. a person may be unaware they're infectious).

Men don't want to wear condomsMen don't want to wear condoms

Reduced sexual pleasure is something every man will try to avoid where possible. Of course we all want sex to feel great! Why would a man contemplate using a condom if the sex isn't going to be as good? He wouldn't! And why doesn't it feel as good? It's generally because condoms reduce the sensitivity of the penis. This loss of sensitivity can lead to prolonging an orgasm (sometimes a good thing) or even erectile dysfunction (loss of erection) and no orgasm.

Men have egos, usually big ones! And men often measure themselves, foolishly, by their sexual performance or prowess. They're often very preoccupied with how they're performing (and they shouldn't be). I'm quite sure women aren't as concerned about a man's sexual performance as he is. If men didn't focus so much on their own sexual performance the 'event' might be more enjoyable for both. Again, this is why men don't want to wear condoms. They're concerned condoms may impede their sexual performance. No man wants to kill his own ego. They want to be likened to a stud, not a dud, in the bedroom.

When a friend of mine asked me at a party recently how she could encourage her sexually active 16 year old son to wear condoms, I told her I need to think about it more. Determining what logic resonates with teenage boys isn't easy! As a teenage boy I remember a 15 year old classmate who was pregnant after her first and only sexual encounter with a random boy her own age she'd met at a party. Her parents were very religious and insisted she have the unplanned and unwanted baby. She had the baby and her life changed forever.

Of course we all know that condoms can prevent unwanted pregnancies and stop the spread of sexually transmitted infections and diseases (STI's and STD's). Back in the 15th century condoms were used extensively in Europe to successfully combat the outbreak of syphilis. Have they stopped the spread of the life threatening HIV in developed countries? Perhaps, however HIV is still at epidemic levels in non-developed countries, particularly many African countries. One of the main reasons condoms aren't used in many non-developed countries is the lack of education. And the lack of education means the naivety associated with unprotected sex continues to put lives at risk through the spread of HIV.

Smokers know they're at serious risk of developing lung cancer and other ailments associated with smoking. Incredulously some intelligent people still smoke (sigh... a number of my staff smoke). Why is it? Do they think it won't happen to them? Is this logic the same when it comes to condom use? Intelligent women will usually insist on condom use when they start having sex with a new partner or if they're having casual sex. If a woman is drunk or under the strong influences a man's charm (as opposed to party drugs which I definitely don't condone), then sometimes logic goes out the window along with her panties. Similarly when a man is sexually aroused, and particularly when he has an erection, all rational thinking is abandoned. Instead all he's generally concerned with is ensuring he orgasms. Obviously something floods through a man's brain along with lust. I've been in this situation before and it's hard to explain but I'm sure most readers would appreciate what I'm saying here.

Last year, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gate's offered inventors $US100,000 in start-up grants to develop a "next-generation" of super-sheath condoms through the charitable Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges in Global Health. The foundation has since provided 11 grants of US$100,000 to various inventors including a number of universities, in its quest to develop an ultra-thin, skin-like condom that could offer better sexual pleasure, help population control and help avert the spread of sexually transmitted viruses such as HIV.

I applaud the innovative approach by Bill Gates! The use of condoms has always been about minimising unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted infections and viruses. It's really never been about more sexual pleasure. So Bill Gates' foundation has two challenges. Firstly to assist investors, through the provision of grants, in developing a "next generation" condom that offers more sexual pleasure and secondly in spreading the message across the globe, including non-developed countries, as to the benefits of using condoms.

Last week the Free Speech Coalition, a trade association for the adult film (porn) industry in the US, called for a three-day, industry wide production hold following a report of a possible HIV exposure on a film set outside of California. During the three days production hold the coalition intended to work with the public health department, the production company and the performer to investigate the possible positive exposure.

Performers (porn stars) in California are generally required to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases every two weeks when actively performing, according to the Free Speech Coalition. The industry group has vigorously opposed a Los Angeles County law passed in 2012 that mandates condom use by porn stars. In an effort to eventually overthrow the law the coalition had adopted the proactive approach of calling for production holds, whilst it investigates, if it believes there is a possible risk of HIV exposure in the adult film industry. Critics say the only reliable way to prevent transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases on porn sets is by mandating condom use. According however to the Free Speech Coalition, the adult film industry has not seen an on-set transmission of HIV in more than a decade.

The adult film industry has effectively by-passed the laws by filming outside of LA County in other areas of California and in other US states. Apparently porn films that featured actors wearing condoms didn't sell too well. In particular gay porn where they don't use condoms (known as bare backing) still far outsells porn in which actors use condoms for anal sex. I don't get it!

Two years ago I interviewed Bibi Jones at an AdultEx show. Digital Playground was the leading adult film production company at the time and she was one of their biggest starlets. She performed in one or two adult films a month in accordance with her contract. I was somewhat surprised when she insisted that she believed she had a lower chance of catching an SDI/STD or HIV with fellow actors, even though they didn't wear condoms on-set, compared to having sex with random men she could meet in a bar or anywhere else. Her confidence in fellow actors not transmitting any infection, disease or virus was gained from the knowledge they were all tested fortnightly and the assumption that they didn't participate in unprotected risky sex outside of porn shoots (possibly not a good assumption).

Bibi's comments were recently echoed by a young woman I know who's an escort when I spoke to her regarding condom use. She's tested monthly to ensure she hasn't contracted anything from one of her clients (AKA John's) and she's adamant that she's continued her clean bill of health throughout her 5 years as a sex worker. It's her policy regarding the use of condoms that she attributes to her 'cleanliness'. "No condom – no sex"... and she's very strict! And she told me she will not perform oral sex without applying a condom to a man first. It makes sense to me although I can't see how oral sex with a condom could me much fun for the guy. I was quite concerned when she told me "nearly every John tries to talk me into having unprotected sex ie. without a condom". They even offer to pay her more to be able to have sex without wearing a condom. Men are genuinely stupid at times!

And what about Australian men who go back and forth to Thailand where they have unprotected sex with hookers and various 'girlfriends' (really they're still hookers). I know a number of FIFO workers who do just this. Some of the tourist hot spots in Thailand have epidemic levels of HIV (and no doubt other STD's and STI's). Having unprotected sex in this situation is beyond stupid!

I recently asked a female friend of mine, who I know is back on the dating scene, what her views were on condom use. She said it was an awkward topic to bring up with a new partner but nevertheless she always did, although she did note that the outcome wasn't always that condoms were used (sigh). I asked her whether or not she thought it was a man's or a females responsibility to bring condoms and she responded by saying: "a female feels as awkward buying condoms as a man does tampons... but a man who buys tampons is clearly buying them for a woman he knows, whilst a woman buying condoms is assumed to be buying them for someone she doesn't!". Therein lays an issue. If a woman carries around condoms in her bag will she appear promiscuous or responsible to a man? Should he be chivalrous and bring them or will she think he's promiscuous and that he has expectations? Some women may view a man with condoms as being arrogant whilst others hopefully see him as being morally sound and also responsible.

If the two biggest issues for men who don't want to wear condoms are the diminishment of sexual pleasure and also sexual performance then what can men do about it today? Firstly try different condoms as they're not all the same. Some men and women are sensitive to latex in which case they should try Skyn condoms by Ansell. There are also condoms that are ribbed, textured or that have bumps on them to help increase the sexual pleasure (although they really only help increase hers). Many condoms market themselves as ultra thin and the thinner the better for a man.

Obviously a good lubricant can help. Apart from feeling much better for a man a lubricant can help ensure the condom doesn't either break or slip off during sex. And a man should definitely consider using a cock ring when using condoms. My favourites are produced by Screaming O (my buddy Justin Ross owns the company). Because cock rings engorge the penis with extra blood there's a few bonuses -

  1. the penis is noticeably bigger,
  2. the penis is more sensitive and
  3. there's less erection problems.

I suggest you try using a cock ring with a vibrating clitoral stimulator attached. These are amazing and can heighten a woman's sexual satisfaction dramatically as she's receiving clitoral stimulation simultaneously whilst a man is inside of her. And the vibrations are felt through a man's penis meaning his enjoyment levels skyrocket too.

In conclusion, whilst men don't want to wear condoms they know they should (even though they'll try to avoid them where possible). Over time the stigma attached to women buying and carrying condoms should abate. In the interim both men and women should act responsibly and carry them along with some lube and maybe a cock ring. And hopefully the Bill Gates foundation can help in developing condoms that do actually make sex more pleasurable.

I've told my friend with the 16 year old boy to let me take him out for lunch one day. I need to educate him on using condoms.

Delivering passion and pleasure.

Mal

Miguel 23 October 2014 at 4:04 pm
Another great post Malcolm! I would like to suggest that if more men used condoms the anti-premature ejaculation industry would go broke overnight - condom use is the best way to prolong (not inhibit) her pleasure - and therefore yours as I see it. And if PE is still a problem then desensitizing condoms can also be used.
Anne 23 October 2014 at 4:44 pm
As a sex worker myself I fully feel your friends frustration. Men really are stupid when it comes to this stuff. Men beg me to at least let them have a blow job without a condom. It doesn't feel the greatest for me either so I can only imagine how crap it feels for them, but seriously is a ten minute blow job really worth risking your health and life style over.
Donna 23 October 2014 at 4:44 pm
Yes, my partner says he uses them to prolong the act (we are both married) but I would rather he didn't.
Steph 23 October 2014 at 5:27 pm
Hi Malcolm, thank you for another great post. As a nearly 50 yr old single woman (not a sex worker) I have yet to meet a man in my age range who carries or offers to use a condom even if the subject has been discussed before ( brought up by me) and I have made it perfectly clear that I expect one to be used. They seem to think that you will forget, change your mind or not worry. Given that you have discussed the required use of a condom you assume that at the moment of high mutual desire where penetration is about to take place one will appear, when it doesn't it is very hard to kill the moment and discuss the subject AGAIN. I carry condoms but it would be really nice for a man to respect me enough to use one without being asked whichever partner provides it.
RITA170570 23 October 2014 at 8:59 pm
I used to conduct seminars about young girls having unprotected sex with a partner - prothelactics as I used to know them do what they r meant to do (majority of the time) - they exist for protection as U stated against std and unwanted pregnancies.. With the outbreak of the contraceptive pill in the media lately (cause of ovarian bleeding and generating a significant number cysts within the female reproductive system) many females r left with not many nonintrusive choices therefore we go back to sex education where females need to learn to love and respect their body and males need to no a) no means no and to respect and support a females choice to not have sex. It just takes once to fall pregnant and once to contract an std and their whole world will be turned upside down
Wodanson 24 October 2014 at 8:50 am
If a condom is necessary to be 'safe' (no such thing as safe, only a reduced risk) from catching or transmitting a disease, I would prefer to wait until we both had blood tests and exchanged test results. The reason is that a condom has an effect similar to applying a dermal anaesthetic to my penis: I feel almost nothing. In terms of the pleasure I might receive, I would get more out of masturbating than having intercourse while wearing a condom. This, obviously, makes the idea of intercourse with a condom unappealing in the extreme. I lose so much sensation that I have difficulty maintaining an erection. Consequently, I would rather masturbate for three months until we could exchange blood test results.As a final point, when I was much younger and tried condoms, I had more than one experience of a condom breaking. I do not trust them.Not that I need to worry about any of that, because I have not been with a woman for 13 years and there is no sign that the drought might break. - lol
Chelle 26 October 2014 at 3:15 pm
My choice to use condoms with male sexual partners is strictly logic-based from my perspective - it's an equation of weighing up risk vs. reward.Why would a woman want to risk unwanted pregnancy and STDs for the reward of slightly better sex for the male? What does she get out of not wearing a condom?If it's "acceptable" for a man to be so selfish as to expect me to risk:1. STDs and unwanted pregnancy or 2. STDs and having to be on the pill (which is a whole bunch of other hormone issues and discomfort that I refuse to live with merely for the sake of someone else's marginal extra pleasure),then it's just as acceptable for me to refuse to compromise so much for absolutely zero personal gain ... and sorry to the misogynists out there, but I would never put a man's sexual whims before my own sexual health.If a man carried condoms I'd never find him arrogant/promiscuous (and even if he were promiscuous, that's his prerogative and in no way should shape my opinion of his character - a sentiment that should be applied to everybody equally). I'd appreciate him being responsible, but I would still prefer to buy and carry my own, as in doing so, I can be sure of the expiry date :)
Miguel 27 October 2014 at 10:55 am
Hi Donna - Could you say a little more about why you would prefer he didn't? Thanks in advance
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