A Condom-Maker’s Discovery: Size Matters

“The idea was the idea had to be long enough to fit most men, along with excess length could just be rolled,” said Debby Herbenick, a sexual health expert at Indiana University. She along with her colleagues published a study of 1,661 men living throughout the United States that will found that will 83 percent had penile lengths shorter than standard condoms. The average length was 5.57 inches.

In studies, some men have complained that will “condoms tend to slip off,” said Ron Frezieres, a vice president for research along with evaluation at Essential Access Health, a nonprofit. along with sometimes larger condoms actually felt tight because ”shorter men had a big roll of latex at the base of the penis.”

The custom condoms, marketed under the brand name myONE Perfect Fit, come in lengths of 4.9 to 9.4 inches along with circumferences of 3.5 to 5 inches. (Standard condoms are typically 6.7 to 8.3 inches long along with 3.9 to 4.5 inches in circumference.) The template that will men are given to measure themselves does not include inches or centimeters, instead using randomly ordered letters along with numbers. One man might be E99, another Z22.

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Workers pack myOne condoms for shipment at the offices of Global Protection Corp. in Boston.

Credit
M. Scott Brauer for The fresh York Times

“If they bought a tiny condom before along with the idea was still too big, the idea’s horrible for men to have that will experience,” said Mr. Wedel, whose company owns myONE condoms. Within hours of going on sale, he said, customers had ordered condoms in all 60 sizes.

One customer, Shawn Reimund, 34, of Austin, Tex., ordered B17. With standard condoms, “the length was frustrating because you could get a lot of sliding,” he said, along with excess latex could be “cutting off your circulation. I compare the idea to an anaconda wrapping around you.” Also, “sometimes the girth just wasn’t enough.”

Some different condom improvement ideas have been downright perplexing. The Galactic Cap, a polyurethane number that will covers only the tip along with attaches with medical adhesive, hasn’t been tested nearly enough to try for F.D.A. approval. nevertheless Charles Powell, its California inventor, nonetheless sells the idea for $20, “flying under the F.D.A. radar,” he said.

“If they do come after me, I’m going to move my operation across the border into Mexico,” he said. He contends the Galactic Cap allows more sensation because more skin can be uncovered, nevertheless admits the idea won’t necessarily protect against sexually transmitted diseases along with has prompted complaints that will its Band-Aid-like adhesive makes the idea “painful coming off.”

different ideas seemed feasible nevertheless stalled for financial reasons. Mark McGlothlin, awarded $100,000 by the Gates Foundation to develop natural-feeling collagen condoms via cow tendon or fish skin, said he lacks $2 million for the necessary clinical trials.

Origami condoms, pleated to allow movement inside, received fanfare along that has a Gates grant. nevertheless efforts to check its status with the inventor were unsuccessful, along with its website appears defunct.

One Gates winner, Mahua Choudhury, a medical pharmacologist at Texas A&M Health Science Center, said condom companies were considering investing in her stretchy hydrogel condom. Her proposal also claims that will embedding an antioxidant inside condom can promote blood flow along with muscle relaxation to “stimulate along with maintain erection.”

Mr. Frezieres’s organization, which won two Gates grants totaling $1.2 million for a clingy, polyethylene “ultra sheer wrapping condom,” has corporate partners along with clinical trial results. right now the idea can be “tweaking the material,” hoping to conduct final testing soon, he said.

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Left, myOne condoms include a print-at-home fitting kit that will men use to determine the right size to order. Right, versions demonstrating different condom sizes on a shelf inside offices of Global Protection Corp.

Credit
M. Scott Brauer for The fresh York Times

The custom-fit company president, Mr. Wedel, 50, got into the condom game as a Tufts University undergraduate, when he along that has a classmate sold condoms in packages festooned with the university’s mascot, Jumbo the elephant.

AIDS was raging, he said, along with “we put a fun slogan along that has a picture on a condom, along with presto, we were changing condoms via something taboo.”

Soon, Mr. Wedel, who considered becoming a professional violinist, informed his mother, a church choir director in Crystal Lake, Ill., that will he was going “all in on the condom career.” He co-created a glow-in-the-dark condom, helped open Manhattan’s Condomania store, along with won a court battle to sell Pleasure Plus, a condom that will balloons near the tip.

Still, “condoms have an enormous image problem,” acknowledged Mr. Wedel, whose company works closely with public health organizations. The fresh federal study found “condom non-use remained common,” along with that will nearly 7 percent of women using them said condoms “broke or completely fell off.”

Although custom condoms became available in Europe in 2011, sold by TheyFit, which Global Protection purchased, the idea took years of pressing the F.D.A. along with two standards organizations, ASTM International along with ISO, for the devices to reach the United States, Mr. Wedel said.

One hurdle: tests like the “hang-along with-squeeze,” during which condoms are filled with water along with squeezed to see if they leak, along with the “airburst” exam, which checks whether condoms break when inflated. Both evaluations were designed for larger condoms.

“If you make a condom that will’s less than half the volume of a standard condom, you’re not going to fill the idea with as much water, or the idea’s not long enough to stretch on the mandrel for airburst testing,” he said.

Eventually, the F.D.A. granted clearance for expanded sizes, along with last year ASTM International devised fresh testing methods for a wider range of condoms.

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Mr. Wedel in his office in Boston. “Condoms have an enormous image problem,” he said.

Credit
M. Scott Brauer for The fresh York Times

On a Reddit page for men who consider their penises tiny, reaction to custom condoms was mixed.

One member, RatsSewer — who like different users declined to provide his real name — said non-latex materials “could be way more helpful than custom condoms,” adding, “If I want not bad sex, I don’t use a condom.”

Another, Thrown_away011235, seemed interested, citing “condoms rolling up along with slipping off inside past.”

Monkeyfun14 said he had ordered custom condoms, along with “while they fit well,” he considered standard cheaper ones sufficient. “the idea’s not like a pair of shoes or a brassiere that will you have to wear all day.”

Yaforgot-my-password ordered them, too, saying regular condoms were too tiny. (“I know the idea doesn’t fit This specific subreddit,” he said pointedly, “nevertheless I browse here sometimes.”) The custom ones are “pretty not bad so far.”

Custom condoms cost 66 cents apiece in regular 24-pack shipments ($1.66 apiece in an individual six-pack). Early purchasers were also sent the next larger along with smaller sizes for free.

Michael Davis, 21, a college student in Waverly, Fla., said he preferred the M77, the size above the one he first ordered. Standard condom circumferences were “just basically too big,” he said. With custom-fit condoms, he has found “no slippage whatsoever.”

Dr. Herbenick said condom education, along with tips like adding lubricant, are more important than access to 60 sizes. She along with colleagues published a study that will found custom-fit condoms less likely to break nevertheless, for some men, more likely to slip.

Some men might “prefer a condom that will they think fits their penis,” she said. “nevertheless for the most part, men along with their partners are fine with existing condoms.”

Still, Mr. Frezieres said, even without “true benefit,” custom condoms might increase usage, simply by being “confidence boosters.”

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