This article originally appeared on VICE US
Over the centuries, a lot of brain power has gone into making condoms more enjoyable. Condoms have come a long way since Renaissance-era men wrapping their dicks with livestock intestines, but even with ribs for her pleasure, rubbers that glow in the dark, and self-warming varieties, only about one third of men in the US use them.
As part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s competition to design a better condom, a research team created a rubber that gets slippery when wet. A specially-designed layer of hydrophilic polymers coats the condom’s surface, which activates and becomes slick when it comes into contact with moisture. Some condoms you can currently buy at the store have a thin layer of lubricant already applied, but it wears off during sex. The researchers were awarded a $100,000 grant for their research.
The researchers say their new condom is good for “1,000 thrusts.” Assuming a rate of one thrust per second, that’s more than 16 straight minutes of jackhammering before the artificial lube wears off. Sounds like a lot but okay. (The study says typical intercourse lasts for between 100 and 500 thrusts.)
The study, published in the Royal Society Open journal, outlines in the driest terms how they’ve created this self-lubing condom. The researchers assessed “frictional performance” across a variety of lubricated and non-lubed latex condoms using a machine and performed touch-tests with human participants to determine how they perceived slipperiness and what they preferred, hypothetically, during sex.
After touching non-lubed, lubricated, and the newly-designed condoms, 73 percent of the study’s 33 participants (13 male and 20 female-identifying) said they preferred the new condom design, and would be more likely to use a condom if it was inherently slippery. Even some of the people who said they never used condoms told the researchers they’d consider starting, if this condom existed.
A few notes about this super condom: Just because it stays slick for 1,000 thrusts does not mean that obliviously pounding your partner’s brains out constitutes good, fun sex (unless they ask for that in which case, godspeed). If you really need to know when you’re setting a personal record, there’s a pedometer cockring for that.
And for the love of God, do not reuse this condom. Or any condom, for that matter.