The Condom of the Future Is Here and You're Going to Want to Try It

June 13th 2016

Tricia Tongco

With both the rhythm and pull-out methods making a comeback, it seems as though the most effective form of birth control, the condom, is in need of a make-over.

The Swedish intimate lifestyle company Lelo has responded to perceived stagnation in the condom industry by releasing what Tech Insider calls "the condom of the future." In an in-depth feature, Tech Insider describes the HEX condom:

"From across the room, the HEX condom looks pretty ordinary — an eggshell-colored piece of latex that unrolls into a phallic shape. But up close, it becomes apparent where the name comes from. A faint, hexagonal patterned honeycomb lattice is etched into the material."


A video posted by LELOHEX (@lelohex) on

Lelo's redesign of the condom is well-timed: Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that reported cases of STDs were on the rise in the U.S., some of which at an “alarming rate.”

Lelo founder Filip Sedic told Tech Insider:

"It is kind of a shame that in 2016, we are still using a product that is more or less identical to what it was a hundred years ago. I believe that with today's technology, we can do much better."

Lelo is known for its sleek designs, but the engraved honeycomb pattern on the condom is not just for aesthetics.

Here's how the HEX condom is different, according to Tech Insider:


A photo posted by Kenneth Play (@kennethplay) on

It's more flexible.

"...when pressure is applied to the condom, it stretches in six directions from any point. This flexibility makes it more forgiving of tension. If you poke a hole in it, the damage stays contained in the single cell. It doesn't shatter like traditional condoms."

It's less likely to slip off.

"Designers placed the hexagonal design on the inside, drawing inspiration from non-slip tires, to prevent slippage."

It potentially feels better.

"Eight years ago, Sedic, an engineer by training, set out to do something radical: Make a condom that men would actually want to use. Or at the very least, tolerate."

While the jury is still out on the last point, it is important to acknowledge decreased comfort and pleasure as one of the major reasons that people ditch condoms. According to a survey by Glow, a fertility app for women, the top reason that so many couples use the withdrawal method is because it “feels the best.”


A photo posted by LELOHEX (@lelohex) on

However, the innovative design comes with a hefty price tag:

A pre-order on crowdfunding website Indiegogo prices the condoms at $9.90 for a 3-pack, $19.90 for a 12-pack, and $34.90 for a 36-pack. 

It should be noted that the HEX condom isn't the first so-called "condom of the future."

For example, in 2014, Bustle referred to the Galactic Condom, which covered only the tip of the penis for a more pleasurable experience, the "future of sex." As it turned out, the futuristic sex helmet was unable to prevent STIs and had a fail rate  preventing pregnancies of 15-18 percent.

So, while HEX is garnering some positive attention now, and might hint at a more enjoyable safe-sex future, it's always important to proceed with caution.

If you would like to learn more about the origin of the HEX condom, read the full story from Tech Insider here.