An event-level analysis of adding exogenous lubricant to condoms in a sample of men who have vaginal sex with women

J Sex Med. 2012 Mar;9(3):672-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02605.x. Epub 2012 Jan 12.


Introduction: Little is known about the characteristics of sexual events during which individuals choose to use lubricant with condoms.

Aims: The aims of this article were to evaluate the determinants of adding lubricant to condoms during baseline and at the event level, to assess the event-level variables' influence on adding lubricants to condoms, and to assess the event-level influence of using condoms with lubricant on event-level condom attitudes.

Methods: A total of 1,874 men completed a 30-day Internet-based prospective daily diary study of sexual behavior and condom use.

Main outcome measures: Baseline data included demographic variables and information about condom education. Daily diary data included reports of penile-vaginal sex regarding intercourse duration, intercourse intensity, intoxication level, condom application method, partner contraceptive method, and partner and relationship characteristics.

Results: Lubricant was added to 24.3% of the study-provided condoms and 26.2% of the condoms selected by study participants. Those with more education and those who were married were more likely to add lubrication to condoms. Adding lubricant to condoms, a female partner putting the condom on with her hands and using contraception, and the event occurring with a wife (vs. girlfriend) was significantly associated with longer intercourse. Event-level lubricant and condom use significantly predicted lower willingness to buy the condom it was used with, as well as to recommend the condom. Adding exogenous lubricant was not related to the participants' confidence in condoms as a method to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Conclusions: The event-level nature of this study provided for a more comprehensive assessment of the situational factors that are associated with applying lubricant to condoms. Findings from this study suggest that men are adding lubricant to condoms for reasons other than to increase condom efficacy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Coitus*
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Lubricants / therapeutic use*
  • Lubrication / methods*
  • Male
  • Medical Records*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Partners
  • Young Adult


  • Lubricants