As you can imagine, condoms are my best friend (and at the same time my worst enemy). I am very familiar with all of the different brands, styles, and thicknesses. Some of them are great, some of them don’t suit me, and some are not so great.
They are however all pretty much exactly the same. At least in so far as how they work – close fitting, lubricant on the outside, reservoir tip, roll on, pull off. The “technology” of condoms hasn’t really changed in centuries, only the materials, we now use latex and silicon instead of animal gut.
So today I came across what is possibly the first real innovation in condoms in well, a very long time. It comes from a company called Origami Condoms. You can see their website here:
They have a range of three different condoms – for heterosexual sex for men, for heterosexual sex for women, and for anal sex for either gender. This is very interesting because it shows that Origami understand that desires for pleasure, contraception, and STI prevention require different solutions depending on your gender and what you are doing.
Here’s a video demonstrating the male condom …
The Origami condom for women allows a woman to take complete control of contraception using a barrier method (like a condom where there is a physical barrier preventing unsafe contact). This is not something women have had before (if you discount the horrid “Femidom” which – having tried them – I would not recommend). This “condom” is inserted by the woman before sex, so she has complete control over it and its use.
The Origami condom for men is quite similar to the women’s version, but it is fitted by the man over his penis. It is different to regular condoms in that instead of clinging tightly to the man’s penis and being lubricated on the outside, it is a looser fit and lubricated on the inside. This means that when you are having sex the condom stays still inside the woman’s vagina and the penis moves in and out of it (although I believe that it holds onto and moves with the base of the penis).
I can imagine that this arrangement may well make sex with a condom feel more natural for the man. I don’t know if it would be better or worse for the woman. Given Origami’s aim to improve the experience of protected sex I am hoping that they are considering this, as they are clearly considering men’s pleasure.
One thing I note that is a potential downside is that their condoms are made of silicon. Personally I don’t much like the feel of silicon, but that may be different in these condoms.
As for the anal sex condom, this looks like a real winner. Giving control to the partner receiving, providing a strong condom that reduces the risk of breakage and a style of condom that is impossible to “lose”. It may also help to prevent potential damage by reducing friction.
Now the bad news: they won’t be available until somewhere in late 2014. These things have to go through FDA approval in the US sadly, so don’t expect to see them any time soon. That said, the year is flying by once again and 2015 will be hear before you know it!
Ultimately time will tell if these things are any good, but honestly I think that it is GREAT that someone out there is taking condoms seriously and looking for ways to improve them.