Photo: Stock Connection/REX USA.
It's not a secret that condoms are kind of crappy, for a number of reasons. They're clumsy, can irritate your skin, and, at least under normal use, they're only about 85% effective. And, many men hate them, which makes the contraceptive conversation awkward, and often shifts the onus of preventing pregnancy and STDs to the receptive partner.
Of course, the design of the condoms we use every day hasn't changed too much in the last 400 years. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is on the hunt for the best, next-gen condom design, with the hope of maximizing condom use, especially in nations affected by AIDS, by maximizing pleasure (and minimizing annoyance and frustration).
One of the most, uh, interesting new designs we've seen comes courtesy of a man named Charlie Powell, inventor of a gizmo called the Galactic Cap. Inspired by a friend who died of AIDS in the 1980s, Powell created a condom design that covers only the tip of the penis, thereby eliminating the complaint that condoms necessarily decrease sensation.
You can watch the (deeply hilarious, not-at-all safe for work) video below for a thorough demonstration. But, in case you'd prefer a visual-free walkthrough, I'll try to do it justice. The Galactic Cap consists of two pieces: an adhesive polyurethane base that is placed on the tip of the penis, and a reservoir "cap." The base can be applied at any time (it lasts for about a week), it's waterproof, and allows the man to urinate without a problem; according to the video, "it becomes like a second skin!" The cap, which is "thicker and stronger" than standard condoms, is applied on top of the adhesive base before sex, and theoretically catches all fluid emitted in coitus.
The result is a sort of top-hat scenario for the ween (one creative R29er said it reminded her of a contact lens). According to the video, the unobtrusive design allows "customers to feel complete sexual sensation — the way nature intended."
Sadly, the Galactic Cap is not yet in production. Beginning on Sunday, supporters can donate to the company's Indiegogo campaign to get the ball rolling.
What do you think? Will this sophisticated, elegant new approach to prophylaxis catch on? Sound off in the comments below.
Ed. Note: The video below contains NSFW content.