(Medical Xpress)—Charles Powell is a man with a novel idea—he's created a new type of condom, called the Galactic Cap—it covers just the tip of the penis, rather than the whole thing. He's even set up an Indiegogo project to help with funding. The reason, he's created the new condom, he says in an accompanying video, is because a friend of his died from AIDs after engaging in unprotected sex and because traditional condoms don't work as well as many believe. The high success rate attributed to standard condoms in preventing pregnancy and STDs, he claims, is because it only applies to usage when the condom is used correctly—they don't work at all if they slip off during sex, or break—no one really knows how often that happens, but apparently, enough that most have either heard of it happening or experienced it firsthand. There is also the problem of men going without, as happened with Powell's friend—men don't like using them because they reduce sensation and pleasure.
The Galactic Cap, he claims will not fail during use, plus, it allows the wearer to experience more pleasure during sex. It's also easier to use, freeing people from the awkward moment of application of traditional condoms. It is able to do all this because of its unique two-part design.
The first part serves as a base, it is applied to the tip of the penis hours or even days before a sexual encounter is expected—no erection required. The base has a hole in the top that allows for urinating. When the sexual encounter is at hand, the second part, the cap, is very quickly applied. The user peels off a backing and places the cap over the tip of the penis onto the base—doing so creates a seal, preventing semen from escaping during ejaculation, and thus preventing pregnancy and some STDs.
Powell claims the Galactic Cap allows for more pleasure during sex because both the shaft and coronal ridge are left uncovered. That he adds, will increase usage, helping to prevent unwanted pregnancies and some STDs.
The main problem with the new condom, of course, is that it won't stop STD infections, in most cases. It might slow HIV, for example, which is most often transmitted via semen, but won't stop skin to skin transfers or those that transfer due to minute breakages in the skin, which often occur in the penis or in or around the vaginal opening. Thus, the new condom might be useful to monogamous couples (provided it works as advertised and is approved by the FDA) but most others hoping to protect themselves will likely reach for more traditional brands.