health

The new, "super condom" that looks and feels like human flesh.

Condoms will now feel even more natural. (Image via iStock).

Here’s some news that’s bound to get you excited. Aussie scientists are developing a super-condom which doesn’t actually feels like a condom at all. Instead, it feels like a second skin… because it is a second skin. The material is designed to look, feel and behave like human flesh.

Is this the Hannibal Lector approach to safe sex? Perhaps it is.

The key difference from regular old condoms is that these babies are made from hydrogel, rather than latex. Hydrogel is a material that is strong, yet flexible – like a good lover – and it can also be engineered to mimic the properties of human flesh. (Post continues after gallery.)

Related: Coming soon: the condom that prevents HIV.

One must wonder, of course, just whose flesh we are talking about. Will we instead be able to purchase “foreskin” and “circumcised” varieties of condoms? We live in the age of options, after all. And glow-in-the-dark condoms are just so passé.

Fleshy fascinations aside, these hydrogel condoms really do seem super-powered. Hydrogel can be engineered to do basically everything, except for notice your new haircut. Science Alert reports that hydrogel condoms could potentially self-lubricate, deliver drugs (such as Viagra), be biodegradable and even conduct electricity. Talk about sparks flying.

Related: You can now have a vibrator implanted into your vagina. 

So, who are these sexy scientists, who probably wear white lab coats with nothing underneath? Oops, sorry, we mean who are very smart and have lots of degrees and are helping humans. Yes, that.

Well, they are our very own Australian scientists from the University of Wollongong, Sydney, led by materials scientist Robert Gorkin. This confirms what we have always known: Wollongong cares about willies. You heard it here first.

What would Garth from "Wayne's World" think about fleshy condoms? Ewwwwww.

The team responded to a call-out by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop the Next Generation Condom. According to Science Alert, the team must now prove that hydrogel is a potential material for the Next Generation Condom, in order to receive the next round of funding from the Foundation.

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Related: Would you have sex for science?

Of course, there’s more to this story than the pleasures of sex. Gorkin ultimately hopes that a new material for condoms will encourage safer sex.

"If you make them so pleasurable that people can't wait to put them on, then more people will use them, and we can hopefully stop the spread of disease. It's as simple as that," he says.

The Gates Foundation is funding projects such as these so that a Next Generation condom will “lead to substantial benefits for global health”, both in reducing the incidence of unplanned pregnancies and preventing HIV and STIs.

Related: The only two diets that really work. According to science.

If developing a better, more natural-feeling condom is the answer to encouraging safer sex habits this millennium, then here’s hoping that these super-condoms will hit the shelves soon.

Do you think these condoms will be a game-changer?

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