Condoms of the future
What technology can do for your sex life and global health
Today, as Washington joins the list of U.S. states that legally recognize same-sex marriage and becomes one of two states to legalize marijuana possession, it’s not a stretch to say Washington has a progressive vision of life in the future. And, that includes the future of condoms.
University of Washington teams in Seattle just developed a condom that is made of “nanofabric.” You don’t just buy that at a fabric store alongside the Project Runway contestants searching for silk or satin, though. Nanofabric is made when scientists create fibers from liquid inside an electric field, a high-tech process called electrospinning.
The first of its kind, it’s like a vaginal ring in the sense that it can be inserted into the woman’s body. But unlike anything else, it dissolves inside and releases preventive drugs. It can be used alone or with your current contraception to prevent pregnancy and STDs. That’s a big step up from nonoxynol-9 and latex (no matter how thin). Researchers say the nanofabric condom might make a big difference in places like Africa, where HIV is common, but that it could also be used to handle contraception challenges here too.
Meanwhile, a Seattle affiliate of Planned Parenthood this year raised the stakes on futuristic condoms with another kind of high-tech condom. Have you heard of the ones with QR codes so people can “check in” and share where they’ve practiced safe sex on wheredidyouwearit.com ? Also, people can make comments on your check-ins in an interactive map. Does this qualify as “oversharing“?
There’s so much stuff going around these days, anything that creates a safer sex environment is a health bonus. Keep in mind that the Seattle area is in the same league as Silicon Valley for high-tech companies large and small. The nanofabric condom research was founded, in part, by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Think about it, these futuristic condoms are so innovative, maybe nerd culture just got a little sexier in Washington.
Who knew that electrospun condoms and coded contraceptives could make healthy sex so exciting? Hopefully, the condoms won’t be more exciting than the sex itself.
More on Healthy Living:
Social media could boost condom use
Common STDs and their symptoms
More than 1 in 4 teens has sexted
Why would ANYONE "check in" on 'Wheredidyouwearit.com? To brag or give someone else a thrill? Talk about over-sharing, sheesh. With all due respect, we all know how to do it and we dont need to know where you did it or any other details about your sex life. Grow up and learn that some things were meant to be kept PRIVATE.
Not sure why this is going to change anything. Groups will say this will corrupt minors, against their religion, or will encourage lustful behavior. Thanks to groups like this, unplanned pregnancies and STDs will be with us for a very long time.