Impact of Condom in Reducing the Prevalence of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea in Men who Sleep with Men


The rate of sexually transmitted infection is increasing particularly gonorrhea and chlamydia in men who sleep with men (MSM). MSM are straight men who seek a sexual encounter with a fellow male counterpart. These men are neither gay nor do they have a sexual attraction to their fellow men. They are attracted to women in both mentally and physically. However, their attraction to men is only sexual and not emotional or romantic. The Northwestern University conducted a research on 2016 for straight men that were looking for casual sex with men (1). They got a chance to conduct an online interview to over a hundred MSM. The summed up report showed that the highest majority of MSM are attracted to men not because of their attractiveness but because of the attractiveness of their penises. As such, they interest in sex in men is not as strong and intense in men as it is in women. It is for this reason that has led them to adopt a secondary description for their sexuality.

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One of the main reasons why MSM engage in sex with men is to get a quick sex release. They find men more available for them for a sexual encounter than women. Moreover, to them, women require money or emotional engagement to offer a similar sexual service that a fellow male counterpart can offer quick and for free without waiting for emotional engagement. Some of these sexual encounters happen abruptly without any previous plan. As such, sexual intercourse is done without the use of any protection for sexually transmitted Infections (STIs). Others prefer not to use a condom despite the growing preference of STIs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. They argue that their sexual act progression is interfered with by the condoms hence reducing their sexual pleasure (8).

That reason led researcher from the North Dakota University to conduct a study on condom use in the context of sexual arousal used audio scripts which were based on scenarios male students. 15 male students volunteered for the exercise. Each of them listened to the sexual audio scripts which culminated into a sexual intercourse between two men for two minutes. Scenarios in Half of the audio scripts included the use of a condom while the remaining half depicted scenarios where condoms were not used.  Each of the 15 volunteers was placed in a furnished room. The room contained only a reclining chair and a pair of stereo headphones. A device for measuring slight changes of the circumference was used in the experiment (8).  Advanced CODAS software was used to collect psychological data on the response of the penile for the fifteen volunteers while listening to the audio scripts. The results of the experiment showed no significant difference on male sexual arousal between the conditions when they had worn the condom and when the condom was absent.

From the experiment above, it can be concluded that male sexual arousal is not affected in any way by condoms or condom use. However, the research did not explain the impact the use of condoms has on the sexual pleasure of MSM. Another study carried out by the Trojan Brand Condoms was carried out to examine behaviors and attitudes adult Americans have towards the use of a condom.  50% of those who were interviewed said that condoms reduce their sexual pleasure but they have to use them for prevention purposes. According to (7), human sexual activities are mainly motivated by the pleasure received from them. As such, people accept reluctantly or avoid any artifice that interferes with their sexual sensations. Condoms reduce tactile sensation, attenuate heat transduction and limit physical contact by interposing a mechanical barrier between male sex partners reducing their sexual pleasure. MSM have eschewed the use of condoms mainly because of this reduction in pleasure. This reason of condoms reduces pleasure have been developed into a belief which when they get the bigger stage into a mind of a person participating for the first time in a relationship can distort the good perception about condoms in him.

This discomfort of condoms in Men who sleep with men and other sex partners is caused by the thickness, the material and also the size of the condom used during intercourse.  Big thickness can reduce sexual sensations, a very tight condom can cause discomfort to the user while a latex condom might be allergic to some people thus resulting to other health complications. However, there is a large variety of condoms on the market today. Thus, one can select the size of condom he is comfortable with, select a different material such as Durex if he is allergic to latex as well as the color and flavor he desires. Every adult should be made aware of this to drive the negative perception about condoms away. This is because condoms have a lot of advantages that should not be underestimated. One of the key advantages of condoms is that it controls the population by helping people protect themselves against unwanted pregnancies.  The other primary purpose is to protect someone from HIV and other STIs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia.

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that affects the soft and moist tissues within the body. The bacteria that causes gonorrhea infection is spread in men through semen although some studies argue that ejaculation is not the dependent transmission channel. The infection mainly infects the genitals, anus, and urethra. However, throat, mouth, and eyes are also infected. Gonorrhea can infect anyone who engages in unprotected sexual activities with an infected person even if the symptom were detected, diagnosed and treated before the sexual encounter. According to (5) gonorrhea cannot be transmitted through body contact or kissing with an infected person. Previous studies have shown that only 10% of men who have been diagnosed with the infection show symptoms. This means that it is hard to notice the symptoms of the infection in its early stages. The disease can be transmitted even without manifestation of symptoms. In many men, symptoms start to appear in the second week after an unprotected sexual encounter with an infected person. Some of the common symptoms of this infection include white, yellow or green discharge around the penis tip, burning sensation during urination and itching around the penal opening.

Just like gonorrhea, chlamydia is a silent infection and it can go for weeks completely unnoticed. The infection is caused by, Chlamydia trachomatis, a tiny bacteria. Common symptoms of the infection in men include pain, tenderness and inflammation around the testicles, pain and burning sensation during urination and cloudy, white discharge at the tip of the penis. Similar to gonorrhea the infection can also infect the eyes and throat (4). If the disease goes untreated it can have a negative side effect on men reproduction system where the sperms are damaged and scarring is caused in their reproductive tract leading to permanent infertility. Studies show that 80 % of the infected men produce sperms with physical abnormalities. Moreover, males infected by the disease have high chances of experiencing urethritis, reactive arthritis, conjunctivitis and rheumatologic condition (6).

Research has shown that a person can contract and carry both chlamydia and gonorrhea at the same time. Moreover, a person who has contracted one of the two infections, gonorrhea or chlamydia, has the highest likelihood of contracting the other.  MSM who have multiple sexual partners and those who engage in unprotected sex have a higher likelihood of contracting the two infections. As such, it is important for a person to get tested for both infections and treated earlier before the infections spread to other parts of the body. It is advisable to use protection when having sexual encounter either oral or anal with a new partner or someone you suspect of having the disease (3).

Gonorrhea and chlamydia are among the common STIs affecting MSM. This has been attributed mainly to indulging into sexual intercourse without the use of a protection. One of the most common protection for this STDs that MSM should be encouraged to use is the condom.  A condom is a thin elastic rubber material designed to fit over the penis (2). The condoms have helped a lot of people in the world to protect themselves from gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV and other STIs when engaging in unprotected sex with infected persons. Majority of people in the world are aware that a condom is a material used for protection of STIs; however, they have no adequate knowledge, on the dos and don’ts of a condom. As such, it is important for the awareness on how to wear and use a condom to be increased in the world. For instance, a condom should be worn before a sexual penetration or oral sex to minimize the risk to both partners. The use of two condoms at the same time does not increase the safety but can increase the chances of the breakage exposing one to the risk of conducting an infection.

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Impact of condom in reducing the prevalence of chlamydia and gonorrhea in men who sleep with men. (2019, Oct 10). Retrieved November 28, 2022 , from

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