Self-lubricating condoms for more pleasure, fewer infections

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The researchers tested the friction that resulted when rubbing the polymer-coated latex over a surface resembling skin for around 15 minutes. After this time, the polymer-coated latex generated approximately half the friction compared with standard latex which had been lubricated with water. Non-treated latex with a commercially available lubricant performed better at first, but after the 15-minute test period was still not as effective as the newly developed polymer-coated latex. The new material additionally scored well when people were asked to rate its slipperiness. A massive 85 percent of test participants described it as more slippery than the non-treated latex with added lubricant.

“The next steps include manufacturing the condom under [good manufacturing practices] and conducting a marketing study with couples,” Grinstaff said. “One of the authors on the paper, Dr. Stacy Chin, has started a company, [Hydroglyde Coatings], to develop a self-lubricating condom. In fact, she has a new formulation that performs even better.”

The paper describing the work, “Friction-lowering capabilities and human subject preferences for a hydrophilic surface coating on latex substrates,” was recently published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

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