Now more than ever, casual sex doesn’t have to lead to negative consequences (sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, being burnt at a stake…). Since we’re all fans of sex-for-fun-only here at CSP, we’re thrilled that the world seems to become more sex positive every day, breaking down social taboos and improving access to sexual health services.

As far as sexual and reproductive health goes, the condom is the most important technological invention to keep the frequent hookup aficionados healthy and happy. The birth control pill, implants and IUDs are also great for preventing pregnancy, but they do nothing to protect against sexually transmitted infections, a consequence much more common in hookups, and one that affects men (almost) as much as women. STIs are real and rates are rising in the US; condoms are the single most important tool out there for protecting ourselves and our partners. Fortunately, condoms are available pretty much everywhere! Unfortunately, they’re often the least sexy part of sex. 

We know what you’re thinking. Condoms. Boring. Annoying. Awkward. We reluctantly use them because we’re adults and we want to hook up responsibly, but it’s rare that they actually enhance a sexual experience. Men, we know some of you will do anything to get out of wearing condoms during a hookup. Women, we know many of you don’t love them either. Of course, everyone has a different level of comfort with risk and some may choose to forgo condoms and knowingly place themselves at higher risk for STIs or unwanted pregnancies. For most of us, however, condoms are the right choice for at least some of our hookups.

You may be surprised to learn that the basic condom design hasn’t changed for… an embarrassing length of time! The rubber condom was first invented in 1839, and produced in a factory in 1855, but cloth, shell, or animal-intestine condoms have been around since 12000 BC (14 thousand years ago)! It actually wasn’t until an STI pandemic during World War I that governments started to encourage soldiers (some of whom were frequenting sex workers) to use condoms. Then, condoms gradually became more available to the general public. 

The condom as we know it now is (usually) made of latex, a thinner material, similar to rubber but made of a synthetic polymer. That version was created in the early 20th century and it hasn’t changed much since. Sure, they’ve been improved somewhat. They’ve become thinner, stronger, textured, and pre-lubed. They now come in different sizes, colors, textures, and flavors for oral sex. And now thin polyurethane (non-latex) condoms are available for those with latex allergies or sensitivities (there’s also lambskin condoms, which protect well against pregnancy, but less well against STIs).

Yet, the design is still far from perfect. LELO had Dr. Zhana and other sex educators weighed in on some of the downsides. Besides the decrease in pleasure or interruption of fun sexy time, condoms can slip, break, or get stuck inside a partner. There’s nothing like the panic of realizing that the condom has broken after the man has ejaculated, or that the condom didn’t come out when he pulled out and it’s now floating around the vagina or anus (tip: this is easily avoided if one of the partners holds on to the condom while the condom-wearer pulls out). What’s more, people don’t always use condoms correctly, making them less effective than they would be. For example, when used perfectly, latex male condoms are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy but accounting for human error in use, they’re only about 85% effective.

We’re all grateful that the morning after pill is available over the counter and that many STIs are easily curable or at least treatable these days, but there has to be a better way.

Condoms are overdue for a change. And now… we present the condom re-engineered: LELO HEX!

 

So what’s the difference between HEX and your current condom? They look the same on the outside…

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But they’re VERY different!

When a regular condom breaks, it tears open completely. Like a popped balloon. Game over. (Often breakage happens due to a lack of lube or air in the condom when the wearer ejaculates. So pinch that tip!). Each HEX condom is made up of 350 latex hexagons arranged in a honeycomb structure (a structure inspired by graphene and Formula 1 wet tires) that make it lightweight, ultra-thin, and incredibly strong all at the same time. They’re less likely to break; and even when they do, they will not disintegrate so they continue to offer some protection! 

A regular condom vs LELO HEX in "The Poke Test"

A regular condom vs LELO HEX in “The Poke Test”

Regular condoms slip. The hexagonal structure of HEX condoms creates a raised internal surface which grips the wearer better (like those Formula 1 wet tires grip the road), reducing slippage.

Regular condoms reduce pleasure. That’s one of the most common complaints people have about condoms. It probably took a few tries for you to find a condom you like, right? (And maybe you’re still searching.) The hexagonal structure of HEX is designed to flex and mold to the uniqueness of the wearer, for a more natural feeling of intimacy. No more baggy condoms that leak from the top (or bottom…er, the open end). 

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Intrigued? You should be! Try them for yourself by supporting the crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo called the “Hex Appeal,” or pre-order your HEX condoms from the LELO website at a 40% off the retail price for the next two months only! HEX starts shipping–free in the US–on August 15! Make sure you get some lube while you’re at it, too! (For sex toys and LELO products, use code DRZHANA for a discount!)

We can’t wait to hear what you and your hookup partners think about LELO HEX! Share your story once you’ve given them a try!

We’ll have more photos and videos of LELO HEX to share as we get more information and try them for ourselves.

LELO is also curious to know what do YOU think of condoms in general. Hate ’em? Like ’em? Avoid ’em at all costs or don’t leave home without ’em? Take the Lelo survey to share your thoughts.

As always, share your hookup stories! 

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