Experiencing vaginal dryness is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, when it comes to natural lubrication down there, everything from your menstrual cycle and birth control to your diet and hydration levels can play a role—meaning the state of things might well have nothing to do with your level of arousal. And soon enough, you won’t need to rely on that trusty bottle of lube in your nightstand drawer when you need an assist: A self-lubricating condom is in the works, and it could make a huge difference for the future of your sexual health.
According to Fast Company, Boston University researchers received a $100,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to give condoms the serious upgrade. The result? A safe-sex innovation with a polymer coating that traps in moisture from the wearer’s skin, creating a thin layer of water on the surface that makes the condom slippery. And unlike pre-lubricated condoms, this model stays slick way longer than 30 seconds. In fact, it can handle 1,000 thrusts before drying out, which is pretty stellar considering the average intercourse sesh involves a reported 100 to 500. “The polymer binds to the surface of the latex condom and does not come off,” says lead researcher Mark Grinstaff.
The condom has a polymer coating that traps in moisture from the wearer’s skin, creating a thin layer of water on the surface that makes the condom slippery.
Aside from keeping sexual experiences as pleasurable as possible, the extra-slick polymer coating is intended to solve for a handful of problems: It’s easier to put on, more comfortable for both parties, and can help avoid mid-sex condom breakage that can happen due to poor lubrication. Furthermore, hopefully the ease of wearing combined with the experience enhancement will make people want to use them, which could in turn cut down on STDs and unintentional pregnancies. In one test (which asked participants to touch the condoms, not actually wear them during intercourse), 73 percent said they preferred the self-lubricating condom to others—so odds look good.
So, when can you get your hands on this game-changer? Unfortunately, it’s still going to be a year or two before the condom is available for purchase. But it definitely sounds worth the wait.
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