Sex Revolutionized: Are These The Condoms Of The Future?

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By Taylor Kubota | Men's Journal

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After decades of the same old designs, scientists, philanthropists, and companies are pooling their collective powers to try and make a better condom. In 2013, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation condom challenge brought a wealth of attention to the need for more innovative contraception. About five years before that, LELO, a Swedish company that specializes in adult toys, had already set their sights on this issue. “The availability of condoms is not, today, a problem at all,” Filip Sedic, LELO founder and CEO tells Men's Journal. “It's not that people can not have them, people don't want to use them.” LELO’s solution? HEX, the futuristic-looking condom that the company is launching today, calling “one of the most important advances in condom technology for 70 years.” But is it really so revolutionary?

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HEX certainly looks like a revolutionary condom. This is due to the unique hexagonal structure that lines the inside. According to the company, this structure isn't meant to be felt but will provide extra grip, like tread on a tire. This, says Sedic, should reduce slippage and help with heat transfer (which is key to comfort).

Most condom manufactures focus on thinness. In this aspect, the HEX is nothing special. The web is about 0.055 mm thick and the panels within the web, which make up 96 percent of the condom, are 0.045 mm thick. That's better than most, but a little more than double the thickness of certain “ultra-thin” condoms now available. Sedic points out that HEX is still considered an ultra-thin condom — one that is three to four times stronger than it would be if it was only the thinness of the panels without the thicker hexagonal structure.

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Aside from novelty features — such as glowing in the dark or tasting like strawberries — condom design has been a rather stagnant field. The last major progression to make it to market was the switch from animal skins to latex around the 1920s. There was also a good shakeup of the status quo from Durex in the 1950s with the addition of lubricated options. Since then, though, not much has changed.

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