The future of condoms is looking bright. Back in March, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation dangled a $1 million carrot in front of anyone who could invent a condom that “significantly preserves or enhances pleasure.” Now, after over 800 entries were submitted, the Foundation has chosen 11 to receive grants — and unveiled their prototypes.
Many of the condoms are crafted of new materials, such as thermoplastic elastomer (durable and stretchy polymers that don’t tear or deform as easily as latex), graphene (a carbon material currently used in cell phone screens that is one atom thick and virtually indestructible), polyethylene (a material that “wraps and clings rather than squeezes,” making it less restrictive), and even collagen fibrils from cow tendons (which feels like skin and enhances heat transfer).
Other innovators aim to make application more intuitive, as in the case of a condom with pull tabs, and the “Rapidom,” which is applied in a single motion, without the user ever touching the condom itself.
One of the inventors to be awarded a grant is a chemistry research professor and scientist at the University of Oregon. In his grant application, Richard Chartoff explained how he will use polymers to construct polyurethane condoms that are not just stronger and thinner than current condoms, but also one-size-fits-all — body heat will cause the molecules in the condom to contract, conforming it to the wearer. Additionally, Chartoff’s condoms will be embedded with nanoparticles that contain STI-fighting drugs.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has dispersed $1 million among the 11 grant recipients, with the promise of an additional $1 million more for those who show the most promise after further development. Inventors now have 18 months to show that their condoms are safe, effective, and can be easily manufactured. Then they can apply for a second grant to scale up production and launch clinical trials.
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She Bop is a women-owned sex toy boutique specializing in body safe products and education. Our mission is to promote healthy and safe sexuality by offering quality products and educational workshops in a fun and comfortable environment. She Bop welcomes people of all genders and sexual orientations.
- April 23, 2014 – Full-Bodied Fellatio
- May 7, 2014 – Pleasure, Power, and Pain: An Introduction to BDSM
- May 15, 2014 – Back That Ass Up!: Anal Sex 101
- May 29, 2014 – Female Ejaculation and the G-spot with Deborah Sundahl
- June 1, 2014 – Good in Bed/Good in Birth: Science and Celebration of Oxytocin
- June 18, 2014 – Exploring Burlesque: Striptease Salon
- June 26, 2014 – Full-Bodied Fellatio
- We are honored 2 be included on this list of women improving sex! There's a shout-out to Ti Chang of @FollowCrave too http://t.co/i7CHJ9NkXZ
- Happy Tuesday! Come shop with us today and you'll be supporting the life-saving efforts of @PWCL. http://t.co/pM8Lbd5Vjp
- This Wed: the hearing in the case challenging Oregon's ban on gay marriage. Show yr support by attending a vigil tmrw http://t.co/7I3T9nFrwY
- .@QDocFilm dropped off programs the other day and got us really excited! 1 month til this epic lineup of queer docs. http://t.co/HIrvjB7K7C
- Hippity hoppity! Open regular hours today so HOP on down spring chickens ;-) #easter #timetoplay http://t.co/vTsUGAqi2y
- Just added 3 workshops for June: a birth/oxytocin class, a burlesque class, and our popular fellatio class! Sign up: http://t.co/IIygndVEat
- For a queer woman with cerebral palsy, a small act of kink gave her more permission for pleasure than she'd ever had. http://t.co/eHXNR4V6tg
- Join our own @Amory_Jane for an evening of vintage sex ed clips & personal sex ed tales with @BitchMedia & @PPCW! http://t.co/F9WtlIipAn
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