From ancient civilization to present day, humanity has been on a mission to improve the condom. Aside from new textures and thinner iterations, however, things have stayed pretty much the same for the last century. For this reason, neither gender seems exceptionally fond of them, because in an evolutionary sense, condoms have disappointed. To prove this fact, the 2010 Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior found that just one in four acts of intercourse are condom-protected, and what’s worse are these numbers dwindle with age. With statistics such as these, it’s evident that we, and future generations, require some innovation in lovemaking. So let’s look at some of the front-runners in condom technology, shall we?
1. ORIGAMI Condom
The idea of the ORIGAMI condom was so fascinating, that it was the recipient of one of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s grants toward manufacturing the condom of the future. Creator Daniel Resnic has used these funds to conduct the item’s first phase of clinical trials in South Africa. The condom, lauded the first of its kind to lubricate from the inside, promises a realistic feel for the wearer, courtesy of its roomy fit. The condom is also recognized for its ease of application, as it uses a collapsible design – like origami – instead of rolling.
Availability: Should hit shelves in 2017, pending FDA approval.
2. Galactic Cap
The Galactic Cap is both fascinating and mutually beneficial. The cap is, well, a cap that is placed on the tip of a man’s penis, meaning the shaft is still exposed for what feels like unprotected sex. The adhesive base of the Cap – or the “second skin” – can be placed days or hours before intimacy and men can bathe and urinate with it on. Then, when sex is imminent, the man simply secures the FDA-approved Cap to the base of the product and can then have protected sex. The Galactic Cap won’t prevent its wearers from STIs like herpes, according to experts, but it serves as a great tool for pregnancy prevention with a trusted partner.
Availability: Pre-order: five for $19, 20 for $38, 45 for $56.
3. TheyFit Condom
Penises come in all shapes and sizes, but condoms don’t – until now. TheyFit condoms, which offers 95 different condom sizes (14 different lengths and 23 widths), ensures its condoms fit as if they’re tailored just for you. The website offers a printable FitKit, which helps men measure their penises to secure his best fit. The company also ensures 100 per cent anonymity, with discreet packaging when the order arrives at the door. Unfortunately, TheyFit is only available in the UK, but the company is seeking approval for sale in North America.
Availability: $13 for six in the UK.
Thin condoms have been an alluring prospect since they’ve been invented, and Sagami Originals have manufactured the world’s thinnest, which measures at 0.01 mm thick – that’s one sixth of the width of human hair. Until then, the thinnest condom in our neck of the woods was Trojan Ultra Thins, which measured at 0.06 mm. Reports claim it took over a decade for Sagami to manufacture this extraordinary material, and over 20,000 condoms were tested for safety assurance. Prior to this advancement, Sagami was also the first to create a coloured condom, and manufactured the former thinnest condom in 2005, which measured at 0.02 mm.
Availablity: $18 for a pack of 12.
5. LifeStyles Dual Protect
While condoms do protect against pregnancy and STIs, they still aren’t 100 per cent effective. To address the latter issue, Australian businesses Ansell and Starpharma have partnered up to create a condom coated with an antiviral compound – VivaGel lubricant – to further reduce the likelihood of contracting an STI. Studies claim the VivaGel condom is 99.9 per cent effective in protecting against HIV, HSV and HPV. While this still isn’t 100 per cent, this has proven to be the mightiest product available in fighting sexually transmitted infections.
Availability: $7 for 10, only in Australia right now, but working toward a wider market.