PSA: Condoms are the only method of contraception that prevent pregnancy and STIs. So when we came across a new study in which none of the participants said they use rubbers regularly, that gave us cause for concern.
The study, published in the Journal of Sex Research, interviewed 25 sexually active women ages 18 to 24, and found that only two of the women said it was important to them to use condoms consistently. Plus, those two didn’t actually use them every time they got down.
The participants also revealed the reasons why they weren’t fans of wrapping it up, and a lot of their excuses aren’t valid. (Sorry to blow up your spot, ladies, but you need to hear this.)
Below, we bust the five misconceptions cited:
Misconception 1: Sex feels better without one. Easy solution: lube. It’ll relieve any dryness or friction during sex, and studies show women report higher levels of satisfaction when they use lube. It’s also possible you need to go beyond the standard condom with some pleasure-enhancing varieties—we’re talking thinner, ribbed, and even heat-activated.
Also, won’t you get off easier knowing that your shag won’t end in pregnancy or a scary rash?
Misconception 2: You can get a UTI from using a condom. There are two main causes of UTIs from sex: tearing and irritation from going too rough without enough lubrication (see above re: lube) or bacteria that hangs around after smushing. None of these are the poor little condom’s fault (as long as you’re properly lubricated), so keep strapping one on.
Misconception 3: Participants said they distrust condoms as a way to prevent pregnancy, which leads to stress during sex. At ease, ladies. Condoms are 98 percent effective when used as the only method of contraception, and the chance of one breaking during sex is less than two percent. Plus, they’re the only method that protects against STIs. In conclusion: They work.
Misconception 4: Participants justified not using condoms because they were in a long-term relationship or had been with the same partner multiple times. At the very least, you shouldn’t stop using one until you and your partner have been tested for STIs. And even if you’re both in the clear, condoms are most effective against pregnancy when used regularly and correctly. That brings us to our next misconception…
Misconception 5: The women said they only used them when they thought they were most likely to get knocked up. Period sex can be super-hot! But ditching the condom because you think you won’t get pregnant during a bloody bang is not a good idea. Even though your peak fertility occurs during ovulation (not during your period), you can still get pregnant if you have unprotected sex outside that ovulation window.
The bottom line: There’s no good excuse not to wrap it up, unless you’re in the market for a baby or a big fat STI.