Creeps: You don't have to try to convince your partner that the pull-out method works just as good anymore! Bill Gates is here for you.
Latex condoms may be over 85% effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy and the spread of most sexually transmitted diseases when used properly, but they just don't feel good, amirite? You know what I'm talking about, fellas. [Exaggerated wink.]
And so the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is offering up $100,000 of initial funding for the designer of the "next generation of condoms," just one of the topics for Round 11 of its Grand Challenges Exploration initiative.
The one major drawback to more universal use of male condoms is the lack of perceived incentive for consistent use. The primary drawback from the male perspective is that condoms decrease pleasure as compared to no condom, creating a trade-off that many men find unacceptable, particularly given that the decisions about use must be made just prior to intercourse.
And ladies! Fret not, ladies. Bill & Melinda are thinking about you too, asserting that the less common and more expensive female condom needs to see some changes as well:
Female condoms can be an effective method for prevention of unplanned pregnancy or HIV infection, but suffer from some of the same liabilities as male condoms, require proper insertion training and are substantially more expensive than their male counterparts. While negotiating use of female condoms may be easier than male condoms, this need for negotiation precisely illustrates the barrier preventing greater use that we seek to address through this call.
Are you ready for the challenge, young grasshopper? Proposals must "have a testable hypothesis, include an associated plan for the the idea would be tested or validated, and yield interpretable and unambiguous data in Phase I," before being considered for Phase II funding.
[image via AP]