BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (CBS Cleveland) — Researchers at Indiana University have found that, despite stigmas that leave many to believe otherwise, sex with condoms is just as satisfying as its unprotected counterpart.

A press release on the university’s official website noted that people as young as 14 and as old as 94 were involved in what is officially titled “The National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior” – a reported 5,865 participants in all. And those who were surveyed told researchers that the use of a condom did not diminish the enjoyment of the couple.

“Adults using a condom for intercourse were just as likely to rate the sexual extent positively in terms of arousal, pleasure and orgasm than when having intercourse without one,” the release regarding what was referred to as “the largest nationally representative study of sexual and sexual-health behaviors ever fielded conducted by Indiana University sexual health researchers” stated.

“There’s this commonly held belief that condom use makes sex feel less natural or pleasurable,” lead author Debby Herbenick, who is also an associate research scientist and co-director for the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at IU’s School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, told the U.S. News & World Report. “But when people use them, sex happens to be great.”

Michael Reece, the director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, said that their findings regarding the implementation of condoms is especially important from a health perspective – and that more could always be done to foster public awareness about the importance of engaging in protected sex.

“These data about sexual behaviors and condom use in contemporary America are critically needed by medical and public health professionals who are on the front lines addressing issues such as HIV, sexually transmissible infections and unintended pregnancy,” he was quoted as saying. “[This] data … suggest that although condom use has increased among some groups, efforts to promote the use of condoms to sexually active individuals should remain a public health priority.”

The study was intended to function as a broad-reaching look at modern-day sexual activity, and uncovered a wide range of interesting facts about American health and habits regarding sex.

“About 85 percent of men report that their partner had an orgasm at the most recent sexual event; this compares to the 64 percent of women who report having had an orgasm at their most recent sexual event – a difference that is too large to be accounted for by some of the men having had male partners at their most recent event,” one bullet point in the press release stated.

The team involved with conducting and authoring the study, most of whom were based out of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, included people of varying genders and sexual orientations, as well as different ages.

The release explained, “[The study includes] a description of more than 40 combinations of sexual acts that people perform during sexual events, patterns of condom use by adolescents and adults, and the percentage of Americans participating in same-sex encounters.”

The study was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine on Jan. 23, according to a HealthDay article in the U.S. News & World Report.


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