"But one-third of American women experience the need for lubricants," said Herbenick. "Now, in the last five to seven years on TV, lubes are talked about as related to pleasure and excitement."
The study tapped data from the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, which includes the sexual experiences and condom-use behaviors of 5,865 Americans.
Randomly selected households reflecting the U.S. population at large were recruited through a series of mailings and follow-up phone calls. When individuals agreed to participate, they were provided Internet access and computer hardware, if needed, to take an online questionnaire.
Participants were asked to report on their most recent sexual event in the last year and the behaviors associated with it, such as performing or receiving oral sex, and vaginal and anal intercourse. They were also asked information about their partners, including gender, and whether the other person was a spouse or domestic partner, girlfriend or boyfriend, friend, new acquaintance or "transactional sex partner" (prostitute).
Participants also were queried about condom use, including type (latex, polyurethane, or other) and whether the condom was lubricated. They were asked if lubrication was used and, if so, the type and where it was applied. They were also asked to rate their most recent sexual event in terms of their perceptions of pleasure, arousal and whether they or their partner experienced orgasm.
While other studies have looked at attitudes toward condoms, this is the first to focus on Americans, said Herbenick.
In addition to the findings about sexual pleasure from condoms and lubricants, the study found that women were less able to identify what material the condom was made of than men: about 24 percent of women were unsure versus 9 percent of men. This was probably because men typically purchase
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