You Wear the Condom Tonight
New Protective Device Billed as Unisex
We’ve talked a lot about male contraceptives. Most recently there was the sonic ball bath, but we also can’t forget the hot magnets in the testicles. As I’ve said before—male contraception has been just around the corner for almost two decades and we’re not all that much closer to having viable options on the pharmacy shelf. But now, you can help make it happen. If you’re part of a young fertile couple who is having penis-in-vagina sex but doesn’t want to get pregnant, there’s a clinical trial going on and it doesn’t involve putting your balls in anything (or putting anything in your balls).
The study, which just got an additional $3 million dollars from the National Institutes of Health, is investigating a contraceptive gel that males rub into their shoulders daily. The gel contains segesterone acetate, a synthetic progestin, which blocks natural testosterone production in the testes and reduces sperm production. It also contains replacement testosterone to help maintain normal sex drive and other secondary sex characteristics. Study participants use the gel and another method of birth control until the male’s sperm count is too low to cause a pregnancy (usually about 4 to 6 months), and then use the gel as their only form of birth control. Earlier phases of the trial have been successful, and researchers are now hoping to prove this product works on a larger scale.
While I joke a lot about male contraceptive—for the proposed unorthodox methods (large needles to the balls) and funny research problems (how to get baboons to ejaculate)—the more effective contraceptive methods on the market the merrier, and getting involved in a clinical trial is actually a noble thing to do for science. So, if you are a female between the ages of 18 and 34 with regular periods and you have a male partner who is between 18 and 50 and you don’t want to get pregnant in the next two years, go for it.
You Wear the Condom Tonight; New Protective Device Billed as Unisex
A Malaysian company announced this week that it has created the first unisex condom that could be worn by those with penises or vaginas. We have been trying to take the gender out of how we talk about condoms for a few years now, but this is definitely new.
Recognizing that not everyone with a penis identifies as male and not every vagina owner identifies as female, sex educators have dropped the “male” and “female” from in front of condoms and gone with “external” for the kind worn on the penis and “internal” for ones that go inside the body. This has the added benefit of acknowledging that many people were using internal condoms for anal sex even before the FDA approved one brand, marketed as F2C, for this use in 2019.
The makers of the new condom—called the Wondaleaf—have taken this one step further and suggested that their new device can be used on a penis or in a vagina (it does not appear to be recommended for anal use). Wondaleaf can best be described as a (sandwich-bag-esque) polyurethane pouch with t-shaped tabs on the top. One side is covered with adhesive. The sticky side is meant to adhere to the wearer and the device comes with a packet of lube that can be put on the inside or outside of the condom. The device will be available in Malaysia as of December and a package of two will sell for approximately $3.60.
When used in the vagina, the Wondaleaf works very much like other internal condoms. There is no internal ring, but users are asked to put a cotton ball inside, remove the covering on the adhesive, push the device into the vagina with two fingers, and then adhere the remaining material to the vulva for additional STI protection. This could be an improvement on existing internal condoms which rely on an external ring to stay in place. That said, the company does warn that removal is less painful for those who shave or wax their pubic hair.
As for using it on a penis, I admit that I watched the “how to” video a few times and I’m still a little confused (and not just because the video appears to use a flaccid penis model). Users have to turn the pouch inside out so that the adhesive faces the penis. Once the penis is put inside, there is a lot of extra material that gets awkwardly wrapped around the base and the scrotal area. (Gives new meaning to “Wrap it before you tap it.”)
Small clinical trials among couples having penis-in-vagina sex have suggested the Wondaleaf performs better than existing internal condoms (5.3% failure versus 7.2%) and that men and women prefer it to the F2C. Comparisons to traditional external condoms, however, are not quite as favorable. It had a slightly lower clinical failure rate (0 versus 0.52) but the traditional condom had far less non-clinical failure (which I assume to mean user failure)—3.12% compared to 1.03%. Moreover, male participants preferred using the traditional condom.
I get the feeling that this product was originally invented as a competitor to F2C (which it seems to do well) and that sticking a penis in it was an afterthought. This is a refreshing change of pace from the penis-centric world we live in, but I’m not sure it’s actually a unisex condom.
Wyoming Couple Wants Librarians Arrested for Offering Sex Positive Books
Banning books is apparently not enough for one Wyoming couple who took their complaint about certain books on the library shelf to the sheriff and county prosecutors in the hopes of starting a criminal investigation.
Hugh and Susan Bennett were offended by the presence of five books at their local library in Gillette, Wyoming—This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson, How Do You Make a Baby by Anna Fiske, Doing It by Hannah Witton, Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, and Dating and Sex: A Guide for the 21st Century Teen Boy by Andrew P. Smiler. Rather than just complain to the library board as many of their neighbors have done, the Bennetts alerted the Campbell County Sheriff's Office which referred the matter to county prosecutors. Citing a potential conflict of interest with other county officials involved in running the library, the prosecutor referred the case to Michael Stulken, the prosecutor in nearby Weston County.
Stulken returned his decision last week though it only applied to four of the five books because he never received a copy of This Book is Gay. In a letter to the sheriff, he said that none of the titles he reviewed were obscene and that having them in the teen or children’s sections of the library does not qualify as “sexual intrusion” under any Wyoming laws that conceivably could apply. He went on to write: “I cannot ethically bring criminal charges if the facts surrounding a certain matter are not supported by probable cause.”
In a separate victory for This Book is Gay, the library board voted to uphold the staff’s decision to keep it in the teen section. Doing otherwise, the board agreed, would be censorship.
Not surprisingly, the Bennetts are disappointed with the decisions that keep all books on the shelf and all librarians out of jail: "We had thought that they would see a problem with recruiting children for sexual activity when they’re not mature enough for that to be an issue in their lives, creating an issue where it should not be created.”
I cannot even respond to that except to say that my new career goal is clearly to write a book that the Bennetts want to ban.
A New Fleshlight Safe Might Keep Thieves Away
If you’re still trying to thwart would-be robbers by keeping cash in the freezer or hiding your good jewelry in your sock drawer, you may want to consider a sex toy-inspired update.
Brian Sloan designs sex toys. In particular, he is the creator of the Autoblow, a male masturbation device. For those not familiar with sleeves or fleshlights, these are devices that one puts their penis in to simulate oral, vaginal, or anal sex. They’re usually squishy on the inside and sometimes look like a realistic vulva on the outside. Some vibrate, others contract and release, and all are meant to take lots of lube to make the experience as true-to-sex as possible.
Sloan noticed that none of his friends or relatives wanted to touch his prototypes. Whether it was prudishness (it looks like a vulva) or squeamishness (what if there are bodily fluids in it), Sloan saw a new business model in their reluctance and invented the Autoblow Safe. It looks like a sex toy on the outside but inside it holds your most valuable possessions.
Sloan suggests slathering the outside in lube and sticking it next to the rest of your sex toys to really befuddle robbers. Excellent plan unless, of course, the thief is in the market for a new masturbation aid.