Condoms are hands-down the best way to prevent both unplanned pregnancies and STIs, but for all the good they do, most guys still whine about wrapping it up. Bill Gates hopes to change all that: The billionaire's foundation is offering a $100,000 grant to anyone who can design a better condom, or figure out a way to make guys more eager to wear them. "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.” the challenge's description states.
True story. The only bad news in all this: "Large-scale human clinical trials are not required," the challenge states. Still think you can one-up Trojan? Let's take a look at a brief history of rubbers for some inspiration.
1,000 BC: Egyptians used linen sheaths to get it on without sharing any diseases. They even died them different colors.
1500s: Linen condoms made a comeback in Europe as a way to prevent syphilis. One major innovation this time: The cloth was doused in chemicals—the very first spermicides—and then set out to dry.
1800s: Hallelujah! Goodyear (yes, the tire folks) figure out how to mass-produce rubber.
1861: An American newspaper prints the country's first-ever condom ad, touting "French Preventatives."
1873: And, one step back. The Comstock Law of 1873 makes all contraception illegal.
1957: Durex introduces lubricated condoms.
1990s: Hello, polyurethane.
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