The Gates are open to a rubber revolution

Reporter: Samantha Daniels

It’s been on TMZ, so you know it’s for real. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations has a $100,000 USD grant available for anyone who can come up with an idea for a “next generation condom.” And yes, that includes you. That may seem like a somewhat feasible project, but there’s a catch. Not only do these new generation condoms have to be just as safe as the condoms we have today, they also have to make men want to wear them.
I remember in Grade 8 health class with the appropriately named Mr. Love, our gym teacher. When asked about novelty condoms, Mr. Love rhymed off a list from the top of his head. “There’s flavoured, ribbed, glow-in-the-dark, scratch and sniff…”
Although I’m fairly certain scratch and sniff wouldn’t be a huge seller, that list gives some insight into how marketing companies have tried to rework a 400 year old product that many men aren’t that fond of. Even though the condom has moved beyond its animal intestine days, the technology hasn’t improved much in terms of pleasure, especially in the past 50 years.
Sex isn’t just for making babies anymore. Pleasure is playing a larger role in sex, so it’s no wonder men aren’t jumping at the chance to use them. As Dane Cook so eloquently put it, “it feels like I hate you” when compared to sex without a condom.
Instead of trying to distract men from dissatisfaction with pointless features, manufacturers should be spending the time to revolutionize the design. Instead of glow-in-the-dark condoms, they should be manufacturing condoms that are effective without sacrificing pleasure.
However, as it is the safest and only means of contraceptive defense against sexually transmitted diseases and infections from intercourse, condoms sell and will continue to without any changes.
The Gates are here to change that. Let’s hope someone takes them up on their offer.