Safe sex messages are failing to hit home, judging by research which shows lovers in Britain are spurning condoms for alternatives such as sandwich bags, rubber gloves and even plastic food wrap.
That is the unromantic finding of a study by a German health firm on Britons, which suggests people are trying to practise safer sex – but failing miserably.
Bayer Healthcare found a quarter of British women had heard of people using household or kitchen items as contraceptive devices.
This research highlights some important knowledge gaps and misconceptions that continue to exist around contraception.
Sexual health experts said the study showed that misconceptions continue to abound in matters of safe sex and pregnancy.
A worrying lack of knowledge was suggested by the findings from a survey of 1,500 women, aged 25-34.
- 10% believed it was impossible to become pregnant during their period,
- 58% had not talked about contraception methods with their doctor,
- 30% reported using the 'morning-after pill',
- 48% used the Pill as their main contraception, and
- 17% said they had relied upon the 'withdrawal' method for contraception.
Natika Halil of sexual health charity FPA told MailOnline: "Our aim is to encourage positive conversations between women and healthcare professionals to ensure that all methods are communicated and any myths are accurately dispelled."