24/03/2013

Next Gen Condoms

One of the biggest names in philanthropy is offering potentially more than a $1 million to build a better condom.

So I've sent in a rough drawing entitled "Padded". I'll let you know how I get on.

The Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative, backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, launched the "Next Generation of Condom" challenge this month.

But why do we need new condoms, why reinvent the sex wheel? Well, as it says in the initiative: "…condoms decrease pleasure as compared to no condom, creating a trade-off that many men find unacceptable, particularly given that the decisions about use must be made just prior to intercourse."

Yes, but that trade off is 'slightly worse sex' vs 'dying of knob-rot'. It's not a tricky one really. Even if it's not a fatal knob-rot you get, it's still only slightly worse sex that you'd have. Other factors can often lead to much worse sex. Drinking alcohol, personal hygiene issues, her husband coming home...

But they're right, the decision is made just before having sex, and that's a point when no decision can be done well. It's an evolutionary thing. The part of a man's brain that can make correct decisions gets turned off on the lead into sex. If it stayed on more often than not you wouldn't go through with the sex.

All in all it's a good idea, if it helps to save lives, reduce the spread of disease and cut unwanted pregnancy, but I don't like the name. The "Next Generation of Condom" challenge. Next Generation makes me think of Star Trek, and how can you have a Star Trek condom? Would that be for when you have sex with Ann Widdecombe? When you're boldly going where no man has... you get where I'm heading with that.

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