So last night the philanthropist and benevolent computer whiz Bill Gates partook in another AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit, and revealed an aspect of his work that I for one was not familiar with.
Gates is known the world over for both his technological prowess and his numerous charitable actions: as of last May year it is reported that he has donated $28 Billion dollars to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a charity dedicated to helping those in extreme poverty the world over. Impressive stuff. But what I didn’t know was that Gates’s charity has invested in 11 research projects into developing the World’s ‘Next Generation’ condom.
Yes that’s right, the inventor Microsoft has turned his charitable attention to the funding of 11 new innovative Condom designs (which I will outline below). Granted the words ‘micro’ and ‘soft’ aren’t the usual adjectives you’d like to associate with condoms (Error 404: Penis Not Found) but as a whopping $1.3 Billion dollar’s of Gates’s charitable donations go towards sexual health provision and research into the fight against HIV and AIDs it’s perhaps not so surprising that Gates has turned his eyes to this ‘sensitive topic’ (nice one there Bill).
So back to the condom competition. The premise of the research is to find a way to Daft Punk condoms, a way to make them: Harder Better Faster Stronger…and generally Thinner. As Gates stated in the AMA last night:
“The idea was that men don’t like the current design so perhaps something they would be more open to would allow for less HIV transmission. We still haven’t gotten the results. One guarantee is using carbon nano-tubes to reduce the thickness”
It’s the age-old concept of Men disliking condoms. The classic cliche of being in bed with a guy, things getting steamy, and before you know it he’s attempting to slyly replace a finger with his cock (so subtle). You ask him to find a condom ‘Oh I don’t have one!’, so you provide one (contraception is both of your responsibilities, I can’t fathom why girls don’t carry condoms – if you want sex get a fucking condom) only for him to lament that ‘it doesn’t feel as good’ ‘I can’t get hard with one’ ‘I prefer the real thing’ and so on and so forth. The bottom line is, unless you’ve both been tested and can provide documentation (I was once asked by a one night stand to provide certified proof of my lack of STDs…) you need to use a fucking Condom.
(There’s a joke to be made here about Anti-virus software but I’ll leave that to your capable minds dear reader.)
What classic, generalised, and stereotyped guys don’t seem to understand is that the feeling is mutual. There’s more than just your dick in this equation my friend, the vaginal canal has similar sensitivity and to be quite honest the latex can chafe. Have you ever chafed internally? No? Well then shut up about your discomfort and realise that the whole condom situation regarding preferring skin on skin contact is literally between a rock and a hard place (euphemisms intended).
So in comes *ahem* Gates. As I mentioned, 11 projects have been drafted from 812 submissions and each have been ‘awarded $100,000 (£60,000) to create stronger, thinner condoms’ in order to ‘significantly preserve or enhance pleasure’.
So a brief overview of the winning condomcepts
1. Heat Conducting Antibacterial Condom: it’s like a sterilised inferno on your dick….Just kidding. It’s a design utilising the highly elastic and heat conducting form of crystalline Graphene – aimed to add that special bit of heat to your sanitary sex.
2. Elastic Condom: This one is by some chaps up in Manchester aimed at feeling more like skin on skin than any previous condom.
3. Self-tightening Condom: apparently this new-fangled design uses layers of polymers which slip and slide and gently tighten during intercourse to give your shaft that extra squeeze incase your partner hasn’t been doing their kegel exercises.
4. Mucous Condom: A team in the USA are spitting on condoms and re-wrapping them. Ok no seriously they’re attempting to fashion a mucous-membrane type condom to mimic the real flesh like conditions of the horizontal mumba. No spit involved.
5. Break Resistant Condom: using nanoparticles this one promises to prevent condom breakage through reducing friction and tearing.
6.Shape Memory Condom: You know those memory foam mattresses? Sort of like one just for your cock. Body heat from all your grinding will mould the shape of the condom to your penis making the thing more tactile and less like a plastic bag.
7. Wrapping Condom: No it won’t rap whilst you shag, it’s more of a wrap-dress style condom, like winding loads of clingfilm around your knob.
8.Superlastomer Condom: Sound’s like a made up word for ‘super lasting’ – the aim of this one is to allow for the development ultra thin, soft, strong, and tear proof materials which are also low-cost for production in developing countries.
9. Cow Tendon Condom: apparently a mix of achille’s tendons and fish skin this will feel more flesh like than any other condom…mostly because it is made of flesh. Dead cow flesh. Seriously.
10.The Rapidom Condom: never fear about slow embarassing condom application again. With the Rapidom one quick motion is all it takes to wrap your willy, it’s like an applicator tampon for your junk. No more worrying about putting the condom on the wrong way round and exposing your partner to disgusting diseased bodily fluids.
11. Condom Applicator Pack: an attempt to remove your hands from contact with the condom, you know incase you don’t wash your hands like ever and they’re covered in who knows what.
So that’s it. The project was launched in November 2013 and research is already underway. I for one am excited about the progress of this project, Gates seems to have his finger on the pulse of society and their wants and desires, and I applaud his endeavors to help the world in any which way he can. Condoms are a staple basic of our sexual health, and any movement to address the stigma around using them is a fantastic idea and should be wholly supported.
Who knows, Microsoft’s “Macrohard” Condoms could be hitting a store near you soon.