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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

$100,000 Condom...Would You Use It?

Posted by on Nov. 21, 2013 at 11:01 PM
  • 34 Replies

Reinventing The Condom With Easy-On Tabs And Beef Tendon

One experimental condom has tabs on either side so it's easier to put on in the dark.

One experimental condom has tabs on either side so it's easier to put on in the dark.

Courtesy of California Family Health Council

When you hear the term "next-generation condom," beef tendon probably isn't the first thing that pops into your mind.

But a condom made from the cow part is one of $100,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in its reinvent-the-condom competition.

Another winning proposal uses a material that shrinks when it warms up on the body so it provides a perfect fit. Yet another team combined opening the condom package with application — in a single quick motion — so there's no more fumbling in the dark.

ProntoCondoms/YouTube

No more fumbling in the dark? South African designers have developed a condom that you crack and put on in one quick motion.

Back in March, the Gates Foundation to design a condom that men or women would actually want to use. The goal was to develop "new condoms that significantly preserve or enhance pleasure," the foundation's website.

The motivation is simple. The Gates Foundation is one of the biggest supporters of global health (and a funder of NPR). It figures that if more couples use condoms, they're less likely to transmit viruses like HIV or end up with unwanted pregnancies.

The foundation received more than 500 entries for the condom challenge. It announced the 11 winning proposals on Wednesday.

For the next-generation condom, it's all about being thin and strong.

Studies have found that most men prefer a condom that they don't notice, says chemical engineer Mark McGlothlin of in San Diego. But it still needs to be tough enough so it doesn't break or allow pathogens to pass through.

"Current condoms always have a plastic feeling," McGlothlin tells Shots. "We wanted to make a condom you don't feel when you have intercourse."

Beef tendons or fish scraps provide the starting material for a condom that feels like moist skin.

Beef tendons or fish scraps provide the starting material for a condom that feels like moist skin.

Courtesy of Apex Medical Technologies Inc.

To do that, McGlothlin has invented a condom made out of the same material in animal tendons and ligaments: long fibers of protein, called .

"We take raw collagen from beef tendons or fish scraps, and gingerly separate out the fibers," he says. "We form it into a condom ... and when it dries down, it looks like sausage casing."

The result, he says, is a material that almost feels like wet skin. "It's a totally different sensation than a latex condom. It's like rubbing your hand on a real leather car seat versus one with fake leather. The fake fabric — and the latex — just feels bad."

Of course, condoms also have to fit right to work. So Ron Frezieres and his team at the have developed a condom that he hopes will be more comfortable and less noticeable for men.

To that end, they've redesigned the standard latex condom. "A quarter of men say they're too tight," he tells Shots. "Our material clings to the penis so it's not as restrictive."

His design also improves the application of the condom, or "donning," as the industry calls it. Instead of rolling on, Frezieres' condom has two tabs on either side that allow men to pull the condom on like a sock over a foot.

A team in South Africa stuck to the traditional roll-on method, but they've made it faster and easier. The cracks the package open at the center. The condom slides on without ever leaving the foil.

Of course, all of these ideas are in the early stage of development. Inventors will still have to develop working prototypes and test them before they can be produced for public use.

The competition is part of the foundation's . The goal is to give scientists money to explore quirky ideas that sound a bit crazy, but if they actually pan out could have a huge impact on global health.

The winning groups of the condom competition have 18 months to show that their design can be easily manufactured, and that the device could be safe and effective.

Then each group can apply for a $1 million grant to scale up production and do rigorous clinical trials.

Who knows, maybe in five years you'll be able to pick up a beef tendon condom at your local CVS. Sounds so appealing.

National Woman's Party


by on Nov. 21, 2013 at 11:01 PM
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Replies (1-10):
krysstizzle
by on Nov. 21, 2013 at 11:10 PM
10 moms liked this

"A quarter of men say they're too tight" 

*nudge nudge* * wink wink* 

AlekD
by Gold Member on Nov. 21, 2013 at 11:17 PM
Nope :)
lga1965
by on Nov. 21, 2013 at 11:18 PM
Ewww.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on Nov. 21, 2013 at 11:25 PM
4 moms liked this
I think this is well worth researching. If they had condoms that work well and were less noticeable more people would use them. It is an important step in stopping the spread of disease and making it easier to make a good choice about condom use.
jllcali
by Jane on Nov. 22, 2013 at 12:22 AM
2 moms liked this
People seriously have that hard of a time putting condoms on?
paganbaby
by Teflon Don on Nov. 22, 2013 at 1:26 AM

I'd try em!

pj2becca21
by Bronze Member on Nov. 22, 2013 at 2:24 AM
1 mom liked this
so you mean to tell me that right now there's a guy literally sitting around somewhere with a fish iand his dick out literally trying to figure out how we can combine fish with penis I'm talking literally taking this guys c*** sticking in the fishes a****** or some other equivalent of pink socking and cuting it right there and going yes this could be a f****** viable option for contraceptive this is the thing that's going to help stop make babies yeah that's f****** retarded
taniamorse85
by Bronze Member on Nov. 22, 2013 at 2:28 AM
1 mom liked this

As long as it is actually latex-free (I'm allergic), I'd try it.  The fact that it is made of beef tendon doesn't freak me out.  Just think of it as a leather jacket for the dick.

romalove
by Roma on Nov. 22, 2013 at 6:45 AM
8 moms liked this

Is it really early and I'm exhausted to the point of punchiness that I see irony in that the initial drawing of the condom with tabs looks like a vagina?

Oh dear, I think I'm losing it lol

Woodbabe
by Woodie on Nov. 22, 2013 at 7:23 AM
7 moms liked this


Quoting pj2becca21:

so you mean to tell me that right now there's a guy literally sitting around somewhere with a fish iand his dick out literally trying to figure out how we can combine fish with penis I'm talking literally taking this guys c*** sticking in the fishes a****** or some other equivalent of pink socking and cuting it right there and going yes this could be a f****** viable option for contraceptive this is the thing that's going to help stop make babies yeah that's f****** retarded

 Sexy If its unladylike, fattening or fun, I'm in!
  

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