Wise Guys: Is Sex With a Condom Really All That Bad?

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: Okay, so how different is intercourse with a condom? What does it feel like? Do different kinds of condoms make a difference?

Straight Married Guy (Fred): It’s different.  It’s not as good.  Think pancakes without the syrup.  Scratching an itch with the palm of your hand.  A foot massage while wearing slippers.  “American Idol” without Adam Lambert.  It’s still okay, just not great.  It can be frustrating for guys because everything else about the experience is vivid but where it really counts it is dull.  And we know what it feels like au natural.  Different types of condoms definitely make a difference.  Anything that says super-thin, ultra-thin, sensitive, etc., are usually waaaay better than your regular, cheap, vending-machine rubbers.  Sometimes you have to use them.  If you’re dating, it’s obviously a must.  Ladies, if you’re buying, do him the favor of getting the thin, high quality ones.  And remember, the more excited he is, the less he’ll be distracted by the lack of feeling, so getting a little naughtier than usual can really help.

Gay Engaged Guy (Joel Derfner, author of Swish): I’m an exclusive bottom, so I had to e-mail hundreds of — er, a few past sexual partners to ask them.  The general consensus was that it’s different but not by a whole lot.  With a condom you have less sensation (“33% less,” said one when I asked) but you last longer (I didn’t ask, but the obsessive-compulsive in me has decided that it’s 33% longer), so it’s kind of a trade-off.  Thin condoms are better, apparently, and polyurethane condoms are by far the best (though they’re more expensive).  All the men surveyed said that condoms felt better when they were having sex with me than with other partners.

Straight Single Guy (L.A. Chris): It’s very different. Basically, it sucks. But not in a good way. What is it like? It’s like getting a massage with a sweater on. It’s like watching a movie with the sound off. I guess a way to describe it to a woman is that it’s like having sex with a guy with a really small penis. It’s sex…but not really. If you have to wear one (and you definitely should if you’re having casual sex), thinner condoms are better, and it helps to find one that fits right.

Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Gay Engaged Guy is Joel Derfner, author of Swish.To ask the guys your own question, click here.


  1. Well i only had one sex partner. Both of us lost our virginity to each other so we were clean and i must say sex without a condom feels so much better but it is much more risky. But with a condom it doesn’t feel bad unless i use a thin one. If i use a regular condom then i don’t feel anything. i tend to stay erect because the heat of the moment but i had t “fake it” a lot because i find my self lasting for an hour at a time. And after that long it gets to get to tedious especially when my partner wasn’t up to try different positions and new things -_-

  2. I have sex with my partner and I am like 50% good, but like others said I lose a lot of sensation and have to pound away to get off. I think it’s more mental, I am not sure…

    It is actually causing me to get pretty frustrated and angry at times, plus my girlfriend is foreign and the language barrier makes it hard for me to communicate the issue without one of us getting mad.

    It is not fun. I get the purpose of condoms and get the draw back of the pill, but my sexual desires are not being met in my relationship and it is killing me.

  3. Sex with a condom is pointless no fun takes the risk out of it and it feels like nothing and you dont get off if you were ment to use condoms youd be born with a pack of condoms

  4. I love sex without a condom, it feels natural. It’s the full connection between you and your partner. I unfortunately caught an STD and I can say I’ll never go unprotected again. I lucked out and my STD was only Chlamydia and it’s gone away however, when the doctors told me they were afraid of other things and talked to me about HIV, the fact that I was even at risk has ruined me. the secure feeling that my partner is neither infected or pregnant is worth the lack of 33% of my pleasure.

  5. Forget condoms. They suck period. I would rather take my chances with STDs than have the act ruined by those nasty things.

  6. I tend to agree with John above. If you’re having sex with someone where the relationship REQUIRES a condom, you should probably reevaluate your relationship.If you’re married or monogamous, the depo shot is actually more effective than a condom at preventing pregnancy — condom not needed.

    Also, as mentioned above, hook up sex, at least in my experience, almost always turns out to be bad sex — or at least worse than sex comparable sex inside of a committed relationship would be. Why not just date the guy/girl full time if you like them enough to have sex? Is it really that fulfilling to hook up with ugly partners off the internet over and over again?

  7. If you are having sex with someone you need a condom with, you probably shouldn’t be having sex with them in the first place.

    1. Bad sex, if you can even get it in.

    2. You can still get herpes and genital warts. The fact you are fucking some random slut (hence, the condom) means she is more likely to have those.

  8. I dunno…I don’t have much trouble getting off when a guy is using a condom, and he seems to be very much enjoying himself (and the guys always come back for seconds)… people here are talking like it’s life or death! I’m glad I’ve practiced safe sex from the start so that I’m quite comfortable orgasming with a condom-it doesn’t feel foreign.

  9. Trust me, condoms are better than taking poison aka nasty antibiotics for the STDs after contracting Epididmytis. Use a condom, get over yourself and fuck hard!

  10. What’s all the deal with worrying about “The Mess?” It’s approximately 10cc of seminal fluid. Usually between a teaspoon and a tablespoon. It isn’t a huge deal.

    Condoms are good for birth control and disease prevention, and I wholly support the use of them for many people. But, some people simply have no need for them anymore, due to other forms of BC, latex allergies, actually wanting to conceive a child etc.

    “The Mess” isn’t something I can get too worried about. Grab a couple of Kleexex and it isn’t a big deal. (Shrug)

  11. Silly question for the women who don’t use condoms:
    How do you deal with the mess after? It’s probably obvious but I just can’t think of a practical way…

  12. Three months ago I started exclusively dating a man and we were having unprotected sex and it was amazing…recently however, I was told by my doctor that I had HPV when I went to get my routine annual exam results. I was shocked! I had never had an abnormal test result..ever. So, after treatment, which was uncomfortable and expensive, my doctor suggested we use condoms. Well, last night was the first time and it wasn’t the best feeling in the world. nothing compares to the sensation of him not having a condom on. But if it means that my risk of having the procedure done again and not ending up with cervical cancer, then so be it. Staying cancer-free is more important.

  13. I’ve only had one sexual partner (we’re still together) and we’re both clean so I was on the progestogen only pill which meant we didn’t use condoms for nearly 5 years. However, hormonal birth control is no longer an option for me (extra oestrogen puts me at a very high risk of having a stroke, and extra progestogen gives me depression, complete loss of sex drive, constant headaches and unmanageable periods which basically meant we were never able to have sex) so had sex last night for the first time in nearly 5 years using a condom. I was shocked to find I actually prefered it (although maybe because I no longer have the artifical hormones sapping my sex drive?) and my boyfriend said whilst it didn’t feel quite as good as without a condom, it was still amazing and far better than no sex at all.
    It was also nice not having to deal with the mess.
    I say woohoo for condoms!

  14. Condoms are horrible. I’ve been married to my wife for 15 years and she is totally against me getting snipped so I still have to wear a rubber. There are many times that I can’t even get off because she is so wet and, well, we have children so things aren’t as tight as they were when we were younger. There are times I just avoid having sex because I don’t want the frustration of having a condom ruin things.

  15. if you dont like condoms …then okay but i had sex with condoms multiply times and its better for me because i can relax and know im leaving how i came -Std free and no kids

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