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Patterns of Sexual Arousal in Young, Heterosexual Men Who Experience Condom-Associated Erection Problems (CAEP)

Authors

  • Erick Janssen PhD,

    1. The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA
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  • Stephanie A. Sanders PhD,

    1. The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA
    2. Department of Gender Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA
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  • Brandon J. Hill PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA
    2. Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3), Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
    • Corresponding Author: Erick Janssen, PhD, The Kinsey Institute, 1165 East Third St., Morrison Hall 313, 47405, Bloomington, IN, USA. Tel: 812-855-7686; Fax: 812-855-8277; E-mail: ejanssen@indiana.edu

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  • Erick Amick MA, MPH,

    1. Department of Education, American Academy of Pediatrics, Elk Grove Village, IL, USA
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  • Drake Oversen BS,

    1. Indiana University School of Dentistry, Indianapolis, IN, USA
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  • Peter Kvam BS,

    1. Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA
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  • Kara Ingelhart BA

    1. The Law School, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
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Abstract

Introduction

Condom-associated erection problems (CAEPs) are reported by a substantial number of young men and are associated with inconsistent and/or incomplete condom use. The underlying mechanisms of CAEP are not well understood, and research examining the possibility that men who report CAEP differ from other men in their sexual responsivity is lacking.

Aim

This study used psychophysiological methods to examine whether men who report CAEP have a higher threshold for sexual arousal, a stronger need for tactile stimulation, and/or more easily lose their sexual arousal due to neutral distractors or performance-related demands.

Methods

A total of 142 young, heterosexual men (53% reporting CAEP) were presented with four 3-minute erotic film clips. Three film clips were combined with one of the following manipulations: (i) distraction; (ii) performance demand; or (iii) vibrotactile stimulation. One erotic film clip was presented with no further instructions or manipulations.

Main Outcome Measures

Average penile circumference changes during the first, second, and third minute (time) of the erotic film stimuli (condition) were submitted to a mixed-model analysis of variance with condition and time as within-subjects factors and group (CAEP/no-CAEP) as between-subjects factor.

Results

Significant main effects of condition and time and a significant interaction of group × time were found. No significant interactions involving condition were found. Men who reported CAEP had smaller erectile responses during the first minute, regardless of film condition, than men who reported no CAEP (F(1,141) = 8.64, P < 0.005).

Conclusion

The findings suggest that men with and without CAEP differ in the ease with which they become sexually aroused. Men reporting CAEP needed more time and/or more intense stimulation to become aroused. To our knowledge, this study is the first to use psychophysiological methods to assess sexual responsivity in men who report CAEP. Janssen E, Sanders SA, Hill BJ, Amick E, Oversen D, Kvam P, and Ingelhart K. Patterns of sexual arousal in young, heterosexual men who experience condom-associated erection problems (CAEP). J Sex Med 2014;11:2285-2291.

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