Everyone even your grandmother fuckin’ knows the benefits of using condoms; not only do they prevent unwanted pregnancies, but also the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and have indeed prevented over 45 million HIV infections in the last 30 years. Still, not everyone is enthusiastic about using a condom. In fact, a YouGov poll found that 50% of sexually active youths aged 16-24 rarely use a condom when having sex with a new partner. One in every ten has never used a condom before.
Discomfort has been cited as a major reason why many people refrain from using condoms. But now scientists at the Boston School of Medicine may have found an unlikely solution; a self-lubricating condom which I have looked into below;
According to the scientists, the new condom has a special, durable coating that becomes wet and slippery when it comes into contact with natural bodily fluids. The scientists believe that the self-lubricating condom could prove more comfortable during intercourse compared to typical condoms and thus encourage more people to practice safe sex. This will decrease the number of people using contraceptives, as the scientists from Boston University explain.
“Such a coating shows potential to be an effective strategy for decreasing friction-associated pain, increasing user satisfaction and increasing condom usage,” the researchers state in a study published in the Royal Society Open Science journal.
Without lubrication, condoms can split and make sex painful. Of course, there is the option of shop bought lubricants, but applying them can be a messy affair, and they wear off anyway which is another disruption you could do without.
“We responded to a call from the [Bill and Melinda] Gates Foundation,” said Dr. Mark Grinstaff, who co-authored the study. “They had identified that a prime reason for not using condoms was a lack of lubrication, but that people didn’t like using their own. So the idea was that if you could find a way to improve lubrication, you could improve condom use.”
To back up Dr. Grinstaff’s comments, a national survey conducted in the United States in 2009 established that 77 percent of men and 40 percent of women enjoyed sex less when they used a condom.
How was the condom made?
To start with, the scientists developed a thin coating for the condoms which becomes slippery when it comes into contact with water or natural bodily fluids.
“The latex maintains its normal properties, and this thin layer sits on top and holds water molecules in a fluid film on the surface,” explains Dr. Grinstaff.
He noted that the only notable improvement in the world of condoms was the development of silicon-based lubricants which happened half a century ago. “So it’s almost like we are not using technology which fits this century. Think of how much phones have developed during that time,” he added. He warned that glow-in-the-dark condoms and flavored condoms are simply ‘gimmicks’ that do little to improve performance.
The researchers created the slippery surface by binding water-loving polymers to the surface of latex condoms and then exposing them to 30 minutes of UV light, the report explains. This makes the new condom significantly more slippery than a regular condom. The latex stays lubricated over the course of 1,000 thrusts – assuming it’s a rate of one thrust per second, that’s 16 straight minutes of jackhammering. The average sex involves between 100 and 500 thrusts. Make the comparison.
“The strategy renders fluid lubricants unnecessary for delivering a feeling of lubrication, as the latex surface itself is rendered slippery by the surface treatment,” the team wrote.
Many people perceive condoms as barriers to sexual pleasure as opposed to something they can use to improve their sexual experience. “So if this product can help to change that perception and make condom use more likely it will be a positive step forward,” said Bekki Burbidge, Deputy Chief Executive at sexual health charity FPA.
A poll conducted by the team established that 73% of the participants would prefer to have sex with a condom that has a self-lubricating surface. The poll involved a group of 33 people, including 13 men, where the participants were asked to rate the condom’s ‘slip’ by blind touch. 85 percent of the group said the new condom was the most slippery once the water was applied.
“People who said that they don’t regularly use condoms said that they would consider using ours,” said Dr. Grinstaff. “That could have a big benefit to society.” The hell it could, doc.
However, the condoms cannot be tested using sexual intercourse as the product is yet to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
The new latex could hit a shelf near you as the team has already filed for a patent on the design and even created a startup, Hydroglyde Coatings, which will work on bringing the self-lubricating condoms into the commercial market in a few years.
The researchers hope that the new invention will prove a little less messy and do away with the condom-associated discomfort which we all agree can be a complete turn-off. The researchers were awarded a $100,000 grant for their research by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. On this evidence, they’ve clearly put the money into good use, and this is certainly an exciting technology.
The only thing I can add is; do not reuse this condom for fuck’s sake. Or any condom for that matter. That said, the team is definitely onto something here, and we can’t wait for the next step.
I honestly can’t wait to see what Cubans are going to do with this upgrade.