Meet the Hydrogel Condom, the Rubber of the Future


There’s a new condom in trials that feels like skin! It’s made of something called “tough hydrogel” and while the invention sounds promising, if you’re like me, you probably just rolled your eyes. Condom companies always claim their products feel like nothing is there.

But before I fuss, what the hell is a hydrogel?

According to a press release from Australia’s University of Wollongong, whose scientists created the new prophylactic through a sexual health grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, hydrogel is water held together by “a very small amount of long molecular chains called polymers.” Hydrogels are already included in products like contact lenses, toothpaste and shower gels and can feel very squishy, like body parts.

The Aussie researchers hope to change people’s outlook on sexual health by making a product that can reduce the risk of STD infection and unwanted pregnancy without feeling like a burden during sex.

“Once we have a material that is strong, safe and potentially more pleasurable we will need to move from a situation of ‘having to’ wear a condom to ‘wanting to’ use one.”

The hydrogel condom is still in trials to make it STD- and sperm-proof but my skeptic eyebrow remains raised. I’m all for sexual health and encouraging people to use condoms, but the continued false advertising from the condom industry about how their products ‘Feel like nothing is there!’ or like a rocket is exploding in my vagina make me weary. On the other hand, if this hydrogel condom is the real deal, it could be amazing.

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