The new electrical condom could be good news for sexual health. Initial tests of the Electric Eel suggest that it boosts pleasure for both users.
The condom was created by two PhD students from Georgia Tech’s Digital Media Program. Firaz Peer and Andrew Quitmeyer designed the device so that it sends short electric impulses along the underside of the penis. So far users describe the experience as “pleasurable, comfortable or exciting.”
If you are still worried about safety, Peer and Quitmeyer won’t specify the exact voltage, but they say it is very small. Even more reassuring, they have both tried it out themselves.
Their prototype uses a soft sleeve fitted with electrodes powered by a programmable Lilypad micro-controller. It has already performed well when connected to a breath sensor so users can increase the stimulation as their breathing becomes heavier. The designers anticipate that it could be hooked up to various controllers and adjusted in person or over the internet. They’ve also started a crowd-funding campaign to support continued development.
The impetus behind the Electric Eel came in part from a challenge by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in March 2013 offering $100,000 for “new generation” condoms that could increase their use among the world’s poor. Notable inventions so far have included ultra-thin polymers that mold to the penis when heated, and a sheath made from cow tendons that feels more like human skin. Also worthy of mention is the “Rapidom” that goes on lightning fast.
Obviously, increasing condom use has the potential to reduce unwanted pregnancies and STDs in both poorer and richer nations. A condom that increases pleasure during sex may be one way to overcome one common objection to its broader use.