NCBI ROFL: Those are the [condom] breaks.

By ncbi rofl | August 14, 2009 4:43 pm

Male condoms that break in use do so mostly by a “blunt puncture” mechanism.

“METHODS: Over a period of 7 years, broken condoms returned to a supplier (SSL, Durex) via consumer complaints were examined to determine the cause of failure. Also, some consumers who reported breakage but did not return condoms were sent a questionnaire on the causes of breakage. Finally, theories proposed for the mechanism of breakage were investigated on a laboratory coital model. RESULTS: Nearly 1000 (n=972) returned condoms made from natural rubber and polyurethane were examined. Visible features on those that were broken, were classified. Evidence combined from examining returns, questionnaire responses and the coital model strongly suggests a single predominant mechanism of failure we named “blunt puncture,” where the tip of the thrusting male penis progressively stretches one part of the intact condom wall until it ultimately breaks.”

And the pièce de résistance, the “laboratory coital model” used to test condom breakage:

Thanks to Esther for today’s ROFL!

  • Deray

    Why would you return a broken condom? o_0 eeewwww

  • Anonymous

    This is why proper lubrication is so important.

  • Anonymous

    Especially when returning the condom…

    Wait… what?!

  • melle

    Ditto on the previous anonymous commentor "This is why proper lubrication is so important".
    Vaginal dryness tends to be a problem in situations executed without adequate foreplay. Methinks that this 'rupture' is rapture by the impetuous. A young "buck" may not yet have learned the techniques to ensure the full measure of skilled lovemaking.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, most women do not produce enough lubrication naturally, especially if the young buck can last. Which is why, in addition to foreplay, a store bought lubricant is often necessary.

  • James

    Ars Technica did an article on this which summarises the results: "The researchers found that local stretching and subsequent condom failure could be replicated by a combination of excess lubrication on the penis (inside the condom) and not enough lubrication outside the condom. They did not, however, report on the robot's satisfaction.

    I guess the conclusions are clear: the lube goes on the outside."

  • Burf Ralgert

    SSL = Secure Socket Lay er
    There are no coincidences.


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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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