Q&A with J: “Condoms Make It Difficult for Him to Finish”

Today we’re talking about birth control. The reader has an interesting scenario in which other birth control methods aren’t good options, so condoms are what they are using. However, condoms are also affecting their intimacy. Here’s her specific question:

Hubby and I have always had a wonderful and frequent sex life and I’d like to keep it going! However, hubby has a difficult time finishing with condoms (he does perfectly fine without). He just doesn’t get as much friction and doesn’t enjoy the feeling (or lack thereof). Obviously, I don’t either. Do you have some tips for helping him finish and enabling us both to enjoy the experience a little more? 

Blog post title + illustration of three condom wrappers

You know, I’m always amazed at how often condoms are touted as the perfect contraceptive method. Yet a fair number of people report what this wife says: Condoms lessen the friction and can make it difficult for him (and/or her) to finish.

So if condoms are your best, or only, birth control option, what can you do to reach climax?

If condoms are your best, or only, birth control option, what can you do to reach climax? #marriage Click To Tweet

1. Try different condoms.

There is a large variety of condom brands, sizes, and types — not to mention novelty condoms (e.g., glow-in-the-dark). Experiment with different condoms to see what feels best to both of you.

Considering the issue is reaching climax, first get a good fit. Yes, I know some guys would like to boast that they require the jumbo-sized, hung-like-an-elephant condoms. But in reality, an average-sized penis can more than get the job done. And wearing a too-large condom can lessen sensation. The condom should instead be snug on the penis, feeling like a second skin.

Then look for an ultra-thin condom so that you can keep as much sensation as possible. Also, brands make comfort fit or “pleasure-shaped,” which means it’s tapered at the bottom and wider at the tip to allow for that tight fit around the shaft and more room around the head.

Finally, one interesting suggestion is to squeeze a small amount of personal lubricant into the tip of the condom before putting it on, with the idea that the squishy feeling mimics the feel of a lubricated vagina.

2. Stimulate the perineum.

The space between the bottom of his penis and his anus is the perineum, and massaging it can provide additional stimulation that can help him get over the edge. Some suggest the prostate gland is the male version of a G-Spot, and stroking the perineum can reach that sensitive spot.

Digital (finger) penetration of his anus is also a possibility to reach that spot, but anal stimulation presents some health risks, as the rectum is not designed with the basic cleanliness a vagina has. So while I felt I should mention it, I’m not one to recommend it.

But adding your hand to that sensitive area beneath his penis can assist his arousal. You can read more in this post: Making the Most of His Manhood.

3. Experiment with positions.

When you’re reaching for that elusive climax (for him or her), sexual position can make a difference. While there a gazillion positions out there, I go into all you really need to know about trying new positions in my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design.

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Shift around and give various positions a shot. You might even want to try a wedge pillow that can help you get into the right angle.

4. Employ edging technique.

What is edging? I’ve been meaning to write about this technique forever, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. Essentially, it’s getting right up to the edge of climax, then pausing or lessening stimulation; then building up again and dropping back down; and going up again until the tension is high enough that climax is more likely to happen.

How can he use edging during intercourse? Your husband can thrust for a while as he feels the tension build, then pause and hold still for several seconds, then continue his movements, pause again, and again begin thrusting again, etc.

Some who’ve tried edging also report experiencing a more intense orgasm. Regardless, that build-up, stop or slow down, build-up, stop or slow down, etc. does seem to create an urgency that could help your husband reach climax.

5. Add erotic touches.

Where else does he like to be touched or kissed? Or where does he enjoy touching or kissing you? Add another form of stimulation through erotic touches that gets his heart pumping, and eventually that other part pumping too.

And yeah, I have chapters in my book too that go over how to use your hands, mouth, and other body parts for sexual intimacy. It’s a great resource for fresh ideas!

If you already know things he likes, give those a try during intercourse. Just add that supplemental affection so he’ll feel not only the pleasure with his penis but elsewhere on his body as well.

6. Use your words.

Words are powerful. They convey our feelings, create images in our minds, and set a mood with our tone, volume, and pitch. I’m always a bit amazed by how much of Song of Songs in the Bible involves the husband and wife talking to each other about their bodies and sexual intimacy.

Some spouses are big talkers during sex, and others can only come up with a few coherent words during a sexual encounter. But even a few sexily spoken words could be a big turn-on.

What can you say?

  • express admiration of his body or a particular part of his body
  • tell him what specifically feels good to you at the moment
  • vocalize your own orgasm with abandon
  • detail what you want to do or how you want to feel
  • use nicknames that convey how much you desire him
  • encourage what he’s doing (e.g., “that’s it, ” “right there,” “oh yeah”)

What about “dirty talk”? I believe you can do a lot of sexy talk without having to use words that you would never elsewhere use (see Talking Flirty vs. Talking Dirty). The couple in Song of Songs were very frank with each other about their sexuality, yet they also used symbolic and beautiful language to express their eroticism. And Ephesians 5:3-4 says, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” Make of that what you will.

Whew, six suggestions! Surely something in that list will help. Riiiiiight? *crossing fingers*

And don’t forget, y’all: Both of my books are on sale for $2.99 for the ebook.

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29 thoughts on “Q&A with J: “Condoms Make It Difficult for Him to Finish”

  1. Brent

    I would highly suggest to use non-latex condoms. I believe the material is polyisoprene. I have not purchased condoms in a long while since we are no longer of childbearing capability. But I think one brand Trojan BareSkin.

    While they still reduce sensation, they are way better than latex … sometimes they actually helped prolong extra passionate encounters for a delightful few extra moments. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Brian

    Here are some options from my perspective other than what J listed:

    -If you’re done having children either get a vasectomy or have your tubes tied
    -Use a condom for intercourse until you are satisfied, and then take off the condom and satisfy him orally. For some men this could be even more amazing than having an orgasm inside his wife.

    One comment on edging: the issue for a man wearing a condom is that he isn’t able to achieve a high enough level of stimulation to orgasm. If you think of sexual stimulation on a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being orgasm, the man wearing the condom isn’t able to get any higher than a 5 or 6. In other words, he probably feels sensation and it’s probably somewhat pleasurable, but not enough to progress the sexual response cycle. In order to edge, the sexual stimulation needs to reach an 8 or 9 before stopping stimulation. If the man isn’t able to get to a 10 in this scenario, he’s not able to get to an 8 or 9 either. That doesn’t mean edging isn’t awesome, but I don’t think it would help with this issue.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Thanks, Brian. Not having the actual equipment, I am a slight disadvantage here. 😉 I did do my research, though, and edging was mentioned as a possibility. So maybe it works for some? I don’t know. (It’s kind of a fun feeling anyway, so no harm done regardless. Yes?)

      Reply
  3. Heather

    I absolutely agree with the non-latex suggestion! We haven’t used condoms in several years, but recently decided against hormonal birth control for my body’s sake, and are using them again until my gracious husband’s vasectomy “takes.” I also recently developed a latex sensitivity, so we tried the Trojan Naturalamb variety and love them! They are very thin and have a generous amount of water-based lubricant–nothing like the latex condoms we used in years prior, and they don’t irritate me like those did, either (one of the big reasons we stopped using condoms originally.) The only drawbacks for us are that they don’t smell all that great (animal-based product,) and they are much pricier than most condoms (but totally worth it!) Of course, they are not vegan-friendly, nor do they offer protection against STDs–only pregnancy.

    Reply
    1. S

      We use the Trojan Lambskins too and they are the best thing we have found as far as condoms go! We recently found them on Amazon for $1.99 a piece (10 pack), which is the cheapest I’ve seen so far. My husband says WAY worth it 😉

      Reply
  4. C

    I’d literally rather not have sex than use condoms. My husband is not far from my opinion. Thankfully, we have found what works for us (but is not recommended by any dr-including mine 🙊🙊).

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Wow, that’s a strong opinion. I think this couple is fine with using condoms, as long as they can work out this issue. Glad you found what works!

      Reply
      1. Anonymous this time

        My wife and i reached an impasse sometime back about this. If i want sex i have to use a condom. I would rather not have the sex, when i was younger i would have accepted those terms but not anymore. She says she doesn’t need sex anyway so she doesn’t feel like she is missing anything.

        Reply
    2. MG

      Same. Married for almost 10 years, and due to me forgetting to reorder birth control pills, followed by the pharmacy being closed several days over the holiday + snow days, we tried condoms for the first time. Probably not happening again. I’d rather just get pregnant. And I hate being pregnant. (But we do have 4 kids, and will probably try for a 5th sometime.)

      Reply
  5. E

    We only use condoms at the end of my period if we are desperate to have sex because they help my husband get past the “ick” factor. In general, we use the Fertility Awareness Method for birth control, which calls for abstinence or barrier methods during the fertile period. Other than the aforementioned period times, we just use the pull out method. Yes, I know it’s not recommended. However, we have used this combination of methods very effectively for the 6 years we have been married, except for when we were trying to conceive. Also, we had a “playing with fire” time period when we didn’t necessarily mind conceiving but weren’t trying; of course, we got burnt. 😂 But anyway, when we do use condoms, we bemoan the lack of sensation as well. However, I generally climax fine. Then, a large portion of the time, I remove the condom and finish him with my hand. He prefers that to finishing in the condom 90% of the time.

    *I would also like to note that I have a regular cycle, did significant research, charted my cycle, and studied my cervical fluids for several months before we got married and needed to use FAM as birth control. We love this method bc we feel close as a couple sharing this knowledge, it’s cheap, it’s easy, and it’s effective for us. But if you choose this, you both need to be on board and very well-educated on the subject. We look forward to when our childbearing days are finished and my husband can get the big snip so we don’t have to work around my fertility. 😁

    Reply
    1. Karen

      Same for us! I can’t and won’t do hormonal bc and he hates condoms. He and I would wear out before he could climax when using them, even with the lamb ones, which were nice and thin but would slip too much. It was such a godsend to find that FAM and withdrawal (during fertile days) worked for us. I loved learning about my cycles and just the general science side of how my body works and I think that’s why it’s been successful for several years. It does take self-discipline, NO CHEATING!

      Reply
  6. Ads

    I don’t like condoms. I hadn’t thought about it but that’s why I had a hard time finishing the last time. It wasn’t until I saw my wife really aroused that I finished. What makes sex sad with condoms for us is that my wife doesn’t enjoy it the same. She is from what I understand one of few women who can have an orgasm from PIV sex. The thing that makes her finish fast is when she feels my semen inside her and now that we have to use condoms she doesn’t feel he same pleasure. She also says it hurts in the beginning when I use one. She has tried another contraceptive but it only made her angry and moody etc. So she took it of. She wanted me to do a vasectomy but we decided not to do it since we are not 100% that we don’t want kids in the future. We are relatively young(30). I don’t know what to do. We have only had sex once since the baby was born but while we talked about this she first said she didn’t want to have sex with me until she was sure she couldn’t get pregnant. She says she worries the condom will brake which makes it harder for her to enjoy sex. I really don’t know what to do. I don’t ask for sex because she is tired all the time so I don’t want to burden her but it’s a little sad that this has to ruin sex for us. I wish she could enjoy it and get pleasure from my semen in some way but I don’t know how.

    Reply
  7. L

    After having 3 babies in under 3 years (and under 4 years of marriage), my health crashed and we decided we needed to wait on getting prego again (we’re hoping for at least one more baby in the future). Hubby bought some standard condoms, but he could NOT feel through/orgasm with them. Then he purchased Trojan Ultra Thin ones, and he’s just fine with them now! I mentioned getting the Trojan Bare Skin (thinner yet), but he said the Amazon reviews are lower as they break easier. As I said, he’s fine with these ones now, but condoms are a turn off for me. Sure, I still go, but it feels and smells more clinical and not the intimate smell and skin-on-skin feel.

    Reply
  8. Lizzy

    We struggled with this too. Our best option at the time was to only use lambskin condoms (there was one reputable seller who sold them cheap on eBay … trust that if you will). But once we switched to a diaphragm we never looked back, except to say “why did we go to all the trouble??”

    Reply
  9. Alyssa

    I would also highly recommend trying different brands – we have found one we like. Condoms are our contraceptive of choice for now, and we used to use a different brand that was terrible – no sensation. What helps my husband and I considerably is having a lot of foreplay (instead of using PIV as the main arouser). We both climax far faster and better when we spend a lot more time just enjoying each other’s bodies. It changes the dynamic of our intimacy, in a good way.

    Reply
  10. B

    Well, these comments actually make me feel a lot better. To keep it brief, I have the higher drive which caused a LOT of insecurity and baggage. A while back, with me on top, I tried for like EVER, and I could not make my husband finish. I gave up and we switched positions and he finished soon after. For the longest time I figured he was so completely disgusted by being able to see my body while I was on top, that he just couldn’t get worked up enough to finish. When I finally told him about it (after weeks of not going anywhere near that cowgirl position) he said I hadn’t done anything wrong, he loved my body, blah, blah, blah (hard to believe because – hello – mirror!) ANYWAY, he claimed it was the condom. I did not believe him. He finished just fine with himself on top, with a condom. Plus who ever heard of condoms making it hard to finish?

    I never had. Until now. So reading all of these comments makes me feel a little better. Maybe he was telling the truth.

    On a different note, we don’t use condoms too often anymore. I much prefer the feeling and the connection of not using one. I’ve gotten pretty good at knowing when I’m ovulating, and at my age – just over 40 – the odds of me getting pregnant are slim to none. So I really just don’t worry about it unless I know I’m close to ovulating.

    Anyhow, interesting post. 😊

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Hey, B! Also add to your list of normal that it can be harder for a man to ejaculate in certain positions over others. (Especially as they age.) In fact, I talk (in my book) about being willing to use more than one position during a single sexual encounter; so that the wife and the husband can each experience the position that provides them the most pleasure and likelihood of climaxing.

      Reply
      1. Brian

        Exactly J. We do this many times in fact. Sometimes we will start out in missionary for my wife (I love it too but it seems the most amazing for her). Later I might ask her to turn over. Or she might want to be on top at first but we finish in missionary. For me it makes a huge difference.

        Reply
    2. Brian

      Honestly when my wife is on top I could probably last forever without orgasming if I wanted to. For some reason I’ve always had far more control in that position and even had a hard time reaching the finish a few times. The missionary position feels better physically. That being said, I absolutely love it when she’s on top. I get to see her, touch her, and let her do most of the work. It’s the only position when she contributes the majority of the effort.

      Reply
  11. AF Watkins

    Well I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks. We have been married for 35 years. I didn’t realize I was such a prude. I have ordered your books after enjoying the comments listed, above. This gray haired granny will write back. I never dreamed I would say this. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  12. Paul Henry Byerly

    One other way to make condoms better is to get one with an oversized head. This allows the condom to move against the head of the penis, providing stimulation. Adding a bit of lube to the inside of condom as you suggested makes this even better.
    This not the same as an oversized condom, the shaft is a good snug fit. Only the tip is enlarged. There are several brands that offer thisa.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Great idea, Paul! Um, which is why I’d written this in the post:

      “Also, brands make comfort fit or ‘pleasure-shaped,’ which means it’s tapered at the bottom and wider at the tip to allow for that tight fit around the shaft and more room around the head.

      “Finally, one interesting suggestion is to squeeze a small amount of personal lubricant into the tip of the condom before putting it on, with the idea that the squishy feeling mimics the feel of a lubricated vagina.”

      😀

      Reply
  13. Jon

    My wife and I use the natural Family Planning method, NFP. We have also used the Sympto-tThermal method and Creighton model. These methods have over 95-99% rate of accuracy. We have been able to plan out having children every two years; we have four boys now almost exactly each two years apart.

    We have never used artificial contraception. Hormonal birth control is an abortifacient: it kills babies. That is its function. We have never used condoms or any other barrier method. We have given our sexuality completely to God. We will not keep any part of our lives for ourselves, our lives are for God. What is also amazing is that married couples that practice NFP only have a 5% divorce rate.

    I almost never read anyone else using NFP on these blogs, and it makes me sad. It’s such a wonderful, and selfless method. My wife enjoys all of me. My hope and prayer is that all Christians commit themselves completely to God including their sexuality. It’s so needed in todays selfish society.

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      I’ve mentioned NFP and referred others to Engaged Marriage blog, which does a better job with that topic than I do, because we never practiced that in my marriage. I do take issue with NFPers saying things (in a better-than-you way) like “We have given our sexuality completely to God,” because that implies that you wouldn’t practice any form of birth control…and you do. You time your sexual intimacy within a cycle to prevent pregnancy.

      And while I’m not a big fan of hormonal birth control, saying that its function is to kill babies is way off. Its purpose is preventing fertilization, although some forms can also cause a fertilized egg not to implant properly, so I understand the concern. But that’s not the point of hormonal contraception. And barrier methods, when used properly, work well in preventing fertilization.

      I applaud you for figuring out what works for your marriage, but I caution against judging others, and especially their faith, for their choices. If you have a case to make against a form of birth control, make it without criticizing others.

      Reply

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