When The Rubber Hits The Road

David Masciotra is a straight shooter:

If we’re honest, many of us do see condoms as robbing us of pleasure, stealing some excitement and spontaneity from intimacy, and dulling the intensity of sexuality. It’s okay to say that. These factors are the primary reasons that still only 60 percent of teenagers claim to use condoms. These factors warrant acknowledging. From there, condom usage declines as people grow older. The number one reason we have seen given time and again for refusal to wear condoms is the reduction of pleasure.

It is politically incorrect to acknowledge the truth and simplicity of the condom’s inadequacy. Criticism of the condom opens one to righteous demonization and condemnation. Condom defenders often stifle honest and helpful discussion about sexuality, unplanned pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections.

It’s amazing to me that the simple fact that covering your penis in rubber desensitizes it is somehow a taboo topic, too risky to say in case some men use it as an excuse to be rid of them, or demand their female partners use contraception rather than them. On the other hand, many men need the extra protection from premature ejaculation, as these 22 condom ads (including the one above) illustrate. Masciotra touches upon another taboo:

[T]he chance of pregnancy by pre-cum is so remote that it is a statistical nonfactor. … Sex researcher Dr. Rachel Jones at the Guttmacher Institute recently published a study in the journal Contraception that found that the “withdrawal method of birth control is nearly as effective as condoms in preventing pregnancy.” By the study’s measures, “pulling out” had a failure rate of four percent, while condoms had a failure rate of two percent.