For too many men, it seems, size matters.
According to a new poll by the Kinsey Institute, nearly half of men surveyed said the last time they had sex they used a condom that was either too big or too small. And those who reported having a bad fit were twice as likely to simply take off the condom during sex, the survey found.
The author of the study, Dr. Richard Crosby of the University of Kentucky, said he believes the men were either not using the prophylactic the right way or were unaware that condoms come in different sizes.
“There is a reluctance to talk about this,” Crosby said. “It has to do with this masculine idea that size matters. People say, ‘well I couldn’t be a small.’”
The study, of 436 men, found that ill-fitting condoms were 2.6 times as likely to break.
Crosby said there are dozens of different sizes from different brands and he urged people to keep trying until they found a type that works. Ditching the condom vastly increases the chances for contracting an STD or causing an unwanted pregnancy.
“We have this idea that if we don’t like something once we just throw it away,” said Logan Levkoff, a Manhattan-based sex therapist. “There are lots of new things on the market that are being done to make them more comfortable.”
New Yorkers interviewed Tuesday about the often-touchy subject agreed more education is needed.
“A lot of people don’t know how to use it properly . . . and they’re afraid to ask,” said Kiev Davis, 27, of Brooklyn.
Harold Avilez, 49, of Brooklyn, said there had been an unintended pregnancy in his family due to a condom slipping off.
“It’s not taught well,” he said.
But Ian Kerner, an author and sex therapist, said the problem is less likely ignorance about how to wear a condom and more a lack of knowledge about their variety.
“Condoms are pretty easy to put on,” Kerner said. “It’s common sense.”
Taneish Hamilton contributed to this story