The doctor who invented it swears you won’t even know it’s on.
STDs are on the rise and the pandemic has made unexpected pregnancies more common — so either regular condoms are not doing their job or people just can’t be trusted to wrap it the hell up. But now, there’s new type of condom developed in Malaysia that can be used on both penises and vaginas — and the doctor who invented it is hoping to make sex safer and more pleasurable for everyone, according to Reuters.
The Wondaleaf Unisex Condom was developed by John Tang Ing Ching, a Malaysian gynecologist who was frustrated by the high rates of unexpected pregnancies and STDs he kept seeing among his patients. He told VICE that his idea for the Unisex Condoms was inspired by PPE and how it protected doctors from getting infected during the pandemic and that he wanted to create the equivalent of that, but for sexual encounters.
The Wondaleaf condom has an adhesive covering on one side and can be reversed depending on whether it’s going on a penis or inside a vagina. It’s made of polyurethane, a thin, transparent material that is used in a variety of home products, including furniture foam, according to the American Chemistry Council.
Polyurethane is also waterproof and flexible and Tang claims that you can’t feel it once it’s on or inside of you and that peeling it off doesn’t hurt (going to need some Reddit reviews of this before I try it since peeling something off that part of my body sounds at least a little painful). On top of all of that, the adhesive on one side ensures that the condom stays put and can be worn before the penis is erect, so that moments of passion don’t get disrupted.
Although the condoms we have now work remarkably well at preventing STDs and pregnancies when used properly, the Wondaleaf Unisex Condom hopes to address some of its pitfalls. For one, people with vaginas have to rely on penis-havers to properly wear condoms and trust that they won’t take it off without telling their partner — a tactic called stealthing which, by the way, is a form of rape. Meanwhile, condoms that are made for vaginas may slip or move around during sex if they’re not worn properly.
Still, once we do get this more inclusive and comfortable condom, we can’t neglect the importance of the sex education that has to go along with it. According to some alarming studies, there are several reasons that people with penises are not using condoms that have nothing to do with forgetting to wear them, including a perception that they’re effeminate or that having them on will hurt their performance (trust me boo, it’s not the condom). On top of that, it seems like teenagers in the U.S. are generally using protection less often because widespread sex education in the classroom is still largely absent or grossly insufficient.
Despite these obstacles, the promise of the Wondaleaf Unisex Condom is exhilarating. They will be sold in packs of two for $3.61 and are expected to become commercially available in Malaysia by December. But since Wondaleaf is still conducting clinical trials to meet international safety standards and make the condom available worldwide, you’ll have to hold on to your Trojans till then.