Fri | Dec 14, 2018

Dear Doc | I can’t last long bareback, girlfriend doesn’t like condoms

Published:Sunday | May 6, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Q: I am in a bit of a predicament with regards to my relationship with my girlfriend. We are both in our 20s and have been in a relationship for over a year now. We recently became sexually active. She was a virgin. However, I was not.

Our sex life has been okay at times. The issue is that she does not like condoms because she is allergic to the latex. I tried using the non-latex condoms which works fine, but she does not like the feel of the condom inside of her, as she says she is not feeling me the way she wants to. She wants it 'bareback' all the time and whenever we are about to have sex and I attempt so slip on a condom, she tries to take it from me.

Using a condom prevents pregnancies, which we both want to avoid. She does not like to take birth-control pills as well, because of the hormonal changes that affect her. Moreover, I cannot last long going bareback, as I average about three to five minutes, if that much. Using a condom allows me to go for 40 minutes to an hour during the first round, as the sensations in my penis aren't so high, as opposed to going bareback. I do not want to be having sex for about three to five minutes because that is not satisfying enough for both of us, nor do I want a child at this time.

Please advise. Thanks in advance.

A: Latex allergies/sensitivity is actually quite common, and women are more likely to experience this than men. Luckily, there are plenty of latex-free options available. These alternatives include:

Polyurethane condoms: These are made of thin plastic instead of rubber. They offer similar levels of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection (STI) protection. However, they don't fit as tightly as latex condoms, so they are more likely to slip off. They also cost a little more.

Polyisoprene condoms: These are made from synthetic rubber, and do not contain the same proteins that cause the latex allergic reaction. These condoms are stretchier than latex condoms, and they also offer similar levels of pregnancy and STI prevention.

Lambskin condoms: These are made of sheep intestines and is the only one made from a natural animal product. This condom, though effective in protecting against pregnancy, it is not as effective in protecting against Sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This is because these type of condoms contains tiny holes that are big enough to allow viruses that cause STIs to pass through. Only use this condom type if the risk of STIs isn't a concern.

Female condoms: This is the only option a woman can wear. It is made of a flexible, soft plastic pouch which is inserted into the vagina with a flexible polyurethane ring coated with a silicone lubricant. The levels of pregnancy and STD prevention are similar to other condoms.

 

STRIKING THE BALANCE

 

One of these condom options may improve the feel and sensation of intercourse and hopefully strike a balance that will be sensitive enough for her pleasure, and not too sensitive to cause the early ejaculation you described.

If, however, this does not provide a solution, there are two issues that you mentioned that need to be addressed: contraception (prevention of pregnancy) and sexual satisfaction.

There are other options for contraception for your partner which are non-hormonal, or provide low-dose hormones that will help prevent against an unwanted pregnancy. There are numerous low-dose contraceptive pills available with minimal side effects. There are also intrauterine devices that are very effective at preventing pregnancy and have no hormonal side effects. Your partner should visit her gynaecologist to discuss the option that is best for her.

Do make special note: Condoms are the only form of contraception that protects against STIs.

Regarding sexual satisfaction, there is a lot to be said.

Men are usually preoccupied with how long sex should last, so to provide you and many other men with some comfort, a 2008 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine stated intercourse lasting 1-2 minutes was "too short", 3-7 minutes was "adequate", 7-13 minutes was "desirable," and 10-30 was "too long".

There are some interesting additional information, too! Condom use did not seem to affect the time, and neither did being circumcised or not. This, therefore, challenges the popular opinion of penile sensitivity and its relationship to delaying ejaculation.

However, if you want to make sex last longer, there are a few tricks.

To help reduce sensitivity, topical anaesthetics (lidocaine-prilocaine spray), when applied topically to the penis five minutes before intercourse, improves ejaculatory latency, ejaculatory control and sexual satisfaction.

Also, as a couple, you should keep things interesting by changing the scenery, whether that is moving rooms, or trying a new position, and also changing positions during intercourse.

Communication is the key to a good relationship, and that doesn't change in the bedroom.

Talking to your partner during sex, to tell them what is working for you and what isn't, will let them know how to please you, and vice versa.

Behavioural and psychological therapies are also effective in some men. These interventions are designed to improve self-confidence and communication in the relationship and, ultimately, increase the ejaculation latency.

Q:Doc, since the passing of my mom in June 2016, I notice in that same year (in November) that I felt this awful pain in my chest (left side below my breast). I went to the clinic to check it out and they did an X-ray on my chest. The doctors told me that there was a bacteria on my chest and he prescribed antibiotics. I took them as they instructed, and since then, I'm not getting that awful pain again, but sometimes when I do eat, I feel very uncomfortable. I feel like I have shorter breath and my head gets light, and sometimes I feel like someone jumps out on me from the dark ... my heart give me that fright. Could this be anxiety? Please let me know what could be the cause of my condition. If so, can you recommend me to a specialist to check out my condition. Can you give me some advice on what to do? Thank you very much.

A: Patients who complain of chest pain are a diagnostic challenge, given the wide array of possible causes. However, the diagnosis can often be derived from a history, physical examination and specific investigations.

Chest pains from a cardiac (heart) cause include a pressure, heaviness, tightness, or constriction in the centre or left of the chest that is worsened by exertion and relieved by rest.

Gastrointestinal causes for chest pain will include squeezing or burning, located between the breasts. It can last from minutes to hours, and resolves on its own or with antacids. It can occur after meals, awaken patients from sleep, and be exacerbated by emotional stress.

Chest pain is a common complaint in patients with panic disorder, commonly called anxiety. Panic attacks typically present with spontaneous, discrete episodes of intense fear that begin suddenly and last for several minutes to an hour. In patients who have panic disorder, they experience recurrent panic attacks. A diagnosis of a panic disorder/anxiety is, however, a psychiatric diagnosis, and a medical cause has to be excluded before such a diagnosis is made. Another cause of chest pain can be depression.

Based on your symptoms, and the recent emotional loss, you may have an element of both.

It is best to see your doctor and have the medical cause diagnosed and treated and if needs be, referred for the appropriate treatment.